Layoffs and the Emotional Toll on Jobseekers

Layoffs can come as a shock. It is not unusual to feel numb and / or depressed after receiving the news. Yet, you need to be at the top of your game so you can move forward to find a new job.

This is the 3rd of a 3-part series on key elements to focus on during a layoff. In the last few days we covered the job search process and finances. Today we talk about the emotional toll of a layoff and provide some general tips to keep you in a healthy emotional state of mind.

What should you do?

Each person must decide the best approach for them during this time of change, but there are some key ways to manage those emotions.

–     Give yourself some time. If you are emotional, don’t fight it. Take a few days. Get the emotions out during that time.

–     Keep your eye on the end goal. Set your plan and start concentrating on the job search.  It can take months to get a job these days and having a purpose can reduce depression. Some people like to envision what that job will “look” like and think about that to keep them going.

–     Don’t isolate yourself. Make sure you get out, visit friends and do some things you enjoy or that you consider “the norm.” It will help you feel like your life is on track.

–     Find a job search partner. Know anyone who is going through the same thing? Call them up and support each other through the process.

–     Job Clubs: If you don’t know anyone else going through a job search, go to job club meetings (such as if you live in Arizona) where you can meet others who are also looking for employment. You won’t feel so alone and you will be able to get valuable advice as well from employers and experts who present at these meetings.

–     Seek out a behavioral counselor / life coach: They can help with your emotions if you can’t get past the depression. There are agencies, like Catholic Social Services or Jewish Family Services who have pay to scale for those who can’t afford their services..

–     Volunteer: Nothing brings more meaning into one’s life than volunteering and the rewards from helping others in need. It helps you realize that life has it’s challenges but you can make it through.

–     Think of other hard times you have had in your life and how you got through it. Those successes can help you realize that you can get through this as well.



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