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Making Life Work vertical graphicGrief is a common reaction after a layoff or job loss. But experts stress that it is okay to grieve. Grieving is a natural part of adjusting to a job loss, especially when the loss is unexpected and beyond our control.

Even so, identifying constructive ways to deal with your changed circumstances can help.

Keep a diary or journal about how you feel, whether good or bad, for at least a month. Confronting and verbalizing your feelings may be the first steps toward emotional recovery.

Reflect on the successes you had in your previous job, the good times you shared with your coworkers, and the characteristics you most liked about yourself.

Exercise regularly. Vigorous, regular exercise helps reduce stress and lessens the effects of day-to-day frustration, irritation, and anxiety.

Develop a few daily routines until you go back to work. These routines can help clear the mind and enhance your productivity and sense of usefulness.

Working mom with her sleeping son on her arm

Prepare for Returning to Work

The good news is that when the crisis is over the economy will restart and you can go back to work. While you are not working, focus on ways to learn and grow in your career. Use the Internet to read articles, take courses, and view videos to increase your job-related knowledge and skills. If you will be looking for a new job, think about what you really want out of life and define your career goals. Update or prepare your resume so that it clearly communicates your strengths. Productive activities like these will prepare you to reenter the workforce stronger than ever.

Spread the Word

If you will seek a new job, let everyone know the type of position you want. The larger the network, the more likely you will find work quickly. Spread the word among your family members and people in your community. The more people who know, the more people you can enlist to help you find work. Some may actually be searching for an employee. Knowing these people may also provide you with another distinct competitive advantage: many employers prefer to hire people they know personally or with whom they are familiar through friends and business associates.


Download a PDF of Making LIFE Work – Restarting After a Job Loss, ACES-2596. 

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