Overcoming the Depression of Job Loss

Losing a job is one of the most traumatic events that an individual can go through, and can be as devastating as dealing with the loss of a loved one. You have to deal with it by giving it its proper due and that entails going through a mourning process.

Now more than ever we as a society are faced with some very serious challenges. 1 in 4 American workers can be classified as contract, independent, or consulting professionals who are not joined to an employer on a full-time basis thus don’t have an anchor to feel a part of something. The average American changes jobs 8-9 times in their careers, so we constantly have to reinvent ourselves.

Some constructive strategies to deal with the Depression that can arise from job loss are provided below.

* Be honest with yourself. Admit that your Depression exists and address it head on.

* Remind yourself constantly that your self-worth is not tied to a job.

* Surround yourself with only positive, nurturing people in your immediate network. You must cut out all of the negative influences from your life (that includes family and friends) that are sources of negativity to you during this period in your life. Explain that you simply cannot bear to have any negativity around you as you cope with this traumatic time in your life.

* Stay active! Join a YMCA, gym, health club, or just go for a 30 minute walk every day. Remaining active will help you to prevent weight gain, which leads to the next recommendation…

* Avoid overeating! Understand that we often eat as a source of comfort with leads to weight gain and thus…further depression. This vicious cycle is especially common during the holidays.

* Set daily, weekly, and monthly tangible goals for yourself as pertains to your job search.

* Understand that all people create “head trash” for themselves. That means that @ 65% of all the things we say to and about ourselves is NEGATIVE. Fight that tendency and keep reminding yourself how special you are.

* Seek counseling. If the depression becomes severe enough to be debilitating then you absolutely must seek professional help.

* Begin networking to build a network of leads for job opportunities. Go to Linked In and MeetUp, identify the groups in your area that cater to professionals in the 3-4 industries that you are interested in seeking employment in then send requests to the group organizers to join those groups. Find the key trade and professional Associations in those industries and go to any meetings, events, and/or conferences to decide if it is worthwhile for you to join that organization.

* Go back to school: Take courses that will help you develop additional skills, credentials and competencies. Seek any and all appropriate professional development opportunities to make yourself more marketable.

* Consider doing seasonal/holiday volunteer work. It will sharpen your skills, help you to expand your social and professional networks, make you feel good about yourself, and preoccupy your mind from hooking into the “head trash” we ALL encounter.

* GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! We all can be held captives to our own forced imprisonment when we choose to avoid social contact/interaction. When you are struggling with feelings of Depression, it is the IDEAL time to lean on the people in your network that you value most for nurturing and support.