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How to Cope With Anger When You Lose Your Job

Updated on April 28, 2016
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I'm a business communications coach who teaches writing, speaking, and leadership skills to adults in the midst of a career change.

Losing your job can be one of the most stressful events you ever experience Being angry about being let go is normal but it doesn't have to take over your life. If you are struggling with feelings of resentment and anger because you were just fired, these tips might help you recover mentally and spiritually from your job loss.

Which way do you turn now that you've lost your job?

Job loss can feel like there are dark clouds hanging over your head, if you let it.  But with a bit of faith and time to take a good look at all the new directions now open to you, you can survive.
Job loss can feel like there are dark clouds hanging over your head, if you let it. But with a bit of faith and time to take a good look at all the new directions now open to you, you can survive.
The Gift of Job Loss - A Practical Guide to Realizing the Most Rewarding Time of Your Life
The Gift of Job Loss - A Practical Guide to Realizing the Most Rewarding Time of Your Life

Should you start looking for a new job right away when you lose your old one? This book provides a fresh perspective on how to turn job loss into one of the best times of your life.

 

When job loss strikes, be mindful of what you do, what you talk about, and what you think about. Instead of obsessing over losing your job, what your boss said, or whom you think sabotaged your career, focus on what’s going on in your life right at this moment. Who is there for you? Who can you turn to for support and guidance? What new opportunities are sitting right in front of you that you’ve missed all this time because you were spinning your wheels at your old job?

When you lose your job, use it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your career path. Think about where you want to be in one year, or even five years. Would the job that you just lost have gotten you to where you wanted to go? What are your career goals and your personal plans? One of the best ways to start coping with sudden unemployment is to take a deep breath, and a big step back, and examine the path you were on. Was it the really right path for you?

Make a clean break from your employer. Make sure that you have all the forms and documents you need from your employer as soon as possible. Find out if you can cash in unused vacation or sick days and ask how long insurance coverage will be in effect after your employment is terminated. Get your papers in order (i.e.; letter of reference, portfolio samples, final insurance and expense claims, etc.), so that you don’t have to keep contacting your old boss after you leave.

Don’t stalk your ex-employer. Of course you wouldn’t physically stalk your ex-employer, but constantly checking the company’s Facebook page or Twitter feed to see what your old co-workers are up to can prolong the emotional attachment to your past work life and make getting over your loss harder and more painful.

Avoid the temptation to publicly slam your former employer. If you’re angry because you feel losing your job was unfair and unjust, it can be easy to badmouth and diss your former boss to everyone and anyone who will listen. Don’t do it! Resist the urge to seek revenge on your former employer by gossiping. You could end up in hot water if you are caught slandering or libeling your former boss.

Join a support group. To cope with your recent job loss (and make the most of your networking time), find a support group that will get you out of the house. Weekly coffee meetings with other job hunters is a great way to share networking tips, get feedback on your job hunting skills, and offer mutually beneficial career advice. Online networking forums, job hunting blogs, and web-based support groups might be helpful as well.

For most people, job loss means they'll have to tighten their spending until they get back on their feet.
For most people, job loss means they'll have to tighten their spending until they get back on their feet.

Stay in touch with people from the last job you had before this one. Get in touch with old business associates and former employers that you have a good relationship with. You may need them for references when you start job hunting again, especially if your recent job loss left you on dubious ground with your old boss.

Don’t let job loss disrupt healthy habits and routines. Take care of yourself every day: get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, and get some exercise. If you went to a gym that was close to work because it was convenient and your co-workers went there too, find a new gym closer to home. It’s natural to want to avoid going anywhere near work, so find new places, and new people, to get fit with.

Give yourself a break. Remind yourself that getting over the angry feelings that come with losing your job takes time. Letting go of a job that you once enjoyed and the people that you had fun working with can be rough. Go easy on yourself.

Stay positive and always be prepared for whatever new opportunity comes your way. Letting go of your anger over losing your job is the only way to move on and move back into the job market successfully. Like many others who have been suddenly let go, you can survive this job loss and reach your career goals. You might just need to take a different path to get there. But you will get there if you keep going!

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

— Thomas Edison
Believe that a bright future awaits you!
Believe that a bright future awaits you!

Who would you turn to for moral support after losing your job?

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Taking up a new hobby after you lose your job can be a fun way to stay busy, boost your self-esteem, develop news skills, and even make some money on the side.
Taking up a new hobby after you lose your job can be a fun way to stay busy, boost your self-esteem, develop news skills, and even make some money on the side.

© 2013 Sally Hayes

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