“I have lost my job and do not know what to do now!” This is something we are hearing every day from job-seekers applying for jobs and we completely understand how emotionally traumatic coping with a job loss can be.
Millions of people have lost their jobs world-wide due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in feelings of panic and unexpected devastation. Suddenly losing your job or being laid off or furloughed might have you feeling hurt, rejected, hopeless, uncertain, anxious, depressed and in fact, making you feel like you are spiralling out of control. Job loss can take a toll on your self-confidence as well as on your relationships and overall mental and emotional health. Not only do you have the pandemic to worry about and the indefinite social distancing regulations, but now you have to worry about your finances, or rather, lack thereof, as well as now having to find a new job. For you, your job is not just a way of providing income to support yourself and your family, your job is part of your identity, it’s part of who you are.
Job loss may only be temporary
Although it may seem so incredibly overwhelming now, it is imperative to know that this is a temporary situation and even though things are difficult at the moment, they will improve. It is also important to know that you have not lost your job because YOU have messed up, you have lost your job due to an unexpected global pandemic that came out of the blue, and it’s not your fault. You don’t have to feel embarrassed to say that you have been retrenched, so have many others making it less frowned upon after Covid-19. In some countries like the USA there is no stigma at all to being retrenched.
A survey conducted by credit bureau, Transunion has found that roughly one in six people in South Africa now report that they have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Tips to keeping a good mental attitude after being retrenched
Take time to grieve. What you have been through is painful, especially if you loved your job. Make sure that you take care of yourself physically and mentally, getting enough sleep, eating properly and staying active.
Settle into a daily routine as soon as possible
Get up at the same time each morning, have breakfast and then get out of your pyjamas, go for a walk or a run, shower and get dressed for the day creating an overall sense of optimism and purpose.
Try to accept the new reality and challenge every negative thought so that you can start moving forward
You hear stories time and time again of how the most successful business people have suffered setbacks and then bounced back even stronger than before by learning from the experience. The same applies to you. Maybe this is even a chance to rethink your career path and pursue something new? Instead of dwelling on the job loss, retrenchment and putting yourself down, start thinking about future possibilities.
Don’t let the set-back of being retrenched or a job loss knock your self-confidence
This is not about you. When you do get a job interview you want to be able to go into the interview with your head held high, full of self-confidence that you can do the job well and deserve to be hired.
Use the job search time wisely
You might not be able to control how long it is going to take for you to find another job but you can control what you can do to improve your chances of finding a job. By focussing on what you can control, you lower your anxiety and are more able to be resourceful. Turn your attention to learning a new skill and expanding your network through professional sites like LinkedIn and other online groups and communities. Use networking as an opportunity to connect with others in your industry over a shared interest. With the extra time on your hands update your CV and assess your most marketable skills.
You need a supportive network when you have suffered a job loss
Keep yourself surrounded by supportive family and friends, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, they care for you and will gladly assist, so whatever you need just ask them. One might even be in the same boat as you and by sharing your feelings will make you feel less alone and re-assured you that it’s going to be okay. It might help talking to a third party, such as a therapist or counsellor, who can help guide you through your own personal experience.
Suffering a major set-back like job loss can be traumatic, but you are not alone in your plight. Control what you are able to control and try not to get discouraged. You are more resilient than you think. There is always hope and you still have your skills, just hold onto a right attitude even if it means asking others to help you.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by everything that is going on around you and are looking for a lifeline during Covid-19 here are some resources that might be of help:
- LifeLine South Africa: 0861 322 322
- Covid Emergency Hotline: 0800 029 999
- Covid WhatApp Support Line: 0600 123456
So. Africa: (Free legal hotline set up for employees and employers affected by Covid-19)
The hotlines operate between 9am and 5pm Monday- Friday.
- Tertius Wessels - 079 887 0742
- Werniech van Blerk – 083 551 7162
- Michael Hatherell – 066 486 9566
- Nombuso Ndlovu – 071 604 3272
- Charlene Roux – 082 656 5879
- Justin Hattingh – 071 604 3553
Or email your query to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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