Job loss has affected nearly 40% of low-income households, the hardest hit, in the recent study, CNBC reports. This is mainly because of the current pandemic which has led to an economic slow-down all over the world.
Last April 2020, the Labor Department announced a sudden spike in the unemployment rate to 14.7% in the United States, 10.2% short of the peak of the unemployment rate during the Great Depression.
The number translates to 22 million people that had lost their jobs. This has brought millions of Americans to line up in food banks across the nation.
That is way over the number of people who lost their job during the Great Recession. Truly, the pandemic had impacted the lives of millions of Americans.
In Cleveland alone, the unemployment rate in April rose to 23.1% from 7.1% the previous month.
But job loss could happen to anyone anytime, not just during a pandemic. Some retire, some quit.
Whatever the reason is, this article is for you. Read on to know what to expect if you experience job loss, what you can do to cope, and what you can do to bounce back.
Job loss changes lives
Imagine yourself waking up tomorrow morning and not needing to turn off your alarm clock. You have all the time in the world for anything that you want to do.
Over the years, your version of an early morning jog was rushing to the bus stop on your way to the office. This time, you have no buses to catch, no deadlines to beat, and no bosses to direct you to your next task.
Sounds like you’re on retirement, right? But you are too young for that. Apart from feeling free, you are stressed about making ends meet. You are craving the security that a regular paycheck gives.
Losing employment has a grave impact on the lives of the workers as well as their families. For many, their lives revolved around their job day in, day out. And everything changes when you get fired or laid off.
Are you ready for these changes? Have you thought of the repercussions?
For many years, your sense of accomplishment comes from being good at what you do, achieving that target, completing that project, earning that raise, getting that promotion, and having the respect in your workplace.
Remember though that you are more than just your position in the company. Outside the workplace, nurture the relationship that you built with your colleagues. Friendship can go beyond the boundaries of your office.
And certainly, you can own your time and thoughts now. Refocus and have time to think about what you can do to become productive.
Benefits are no longer free
Before, you took pride in being a good employee, and in return, the company compensated you. You used to raise your family with the salary that you are earning. Your health benefits used to cover whatever health emergency that you and your family encounter.
But all of these will be gone once you get laid off or resigned, or even retired. You will no longer have the health insurance attached to your employment.
In any case, you should always have a backup plan in terms of finances. The stress on your finances brought by the diminished income could possibly be the most impactful.
So, you should be ready to downsize and lessen unnecessary expenses until you get back your income.
Fortunately, Ohio is giving unemployment compensation to qualified individuals.
The emotional and mental toll
Everything changes from your everyday routine to how you see yourself. There are even times that the husband stays at home after losing his job and it is the wife who becomes the breadwinner.
For some, this reversal of roles does not appeal to their ego. Some even experience depression.
But it is never meant to be permanent and you can always turn this around. Your reaction to this experience will highly dictate how you will fare later.
And this experience affects millions of people, not just you. There are cases that some are fired because of their particular action. But there are many cases, especially during this pandemic, that businesses are just left with no choice.
What can you do to deal with job loss?
As with any loss, grieving is a part of dealing with losing your employment. It is always the first step for you to finally accept what has happened and move forward more positively.
Embrace the emotions.
Do not attempt to disguise what you are feeling because later, it will still manifest in one way or another. Disappointed? Fearful? Let yourself heal by acknowledging those feelings.
If your friends and family show support, be thankful and do not push them away. Those who are true to you will always want what is best for you. Surround yourself with people who will make you feel loved.
Revise your life blueprint.
What is it that you truly lost? Was it the job? Was it the paycheck? Were you truly happy? Maybe you can find them elsewhere.
And this moment is the perfect time to reflect on how you truly want to live your life. In the process, you may even find your true calling and pursue your true passion. In the end, your job loss could be a blessing in disguise.
Use your time wisely.
We all have 24 hours a day, employed or not. If you use up 8 of those finite hours at your workplace, how will you spend it today?
You have more time for yourself and for your loved ones now. Reconnect with yourself, take the time to study, and be productive in another way.
Do not stop networking.
Does your community need more volunteers? Is there a new club that you want to join? Go and find new friends in the process.
Utilize your social media network, too. Optimize your LinkedIn profile. To help you with that, download Milia Marketing’s checklist!
Job loss could be stressful if you are not prepared financially, emotionally, and mentally. It presents a lot of problems with all the changes that it brings. But it could also present a lot of new opportunities.
Why not take the time to delve into your inner passion? This might be the break that you need to finally redirect yourself into your true purpose.
Why not start a business? Take the time to study and prepare for once the pandemic ends, there is no way for small businesses, or even big corporations, to go but up. Launch and you may find yourself earning more than what you used to.
Who knows, your temporary and unexpected job loss could be your break to something grander.