With the unemployment rates at peak levels, there is not as much, if any, of a stigma associated with losing your job. Yet despite all rational explanations, if you actually experience job loss it can still feel embarrassing or as if people believe your job performance contributed to your job loss. Here are some things to remember as you cope with these feelings and continue your job search:

  • You are a person of value, so do not let any job define you. If you are now working at a coffee shop to pay the bills but you were laid-off at your accounting firm, do not feel as if you have to identify with either. You are still a CPA, even if you're making drinks in the interim. Be proud of the work you are doing and have the confidence that one day you will be back crunching numbers instead of brewing coffee...unless you like being a barista better!
  • Do something different! Many people are bored with their job and long to fulfill a life-long dream, like writing a book or starting a business. Look at your job loss as a new opportunity to pursue your dreams and to try something new. Remember, you didn't wish to lose your job but you did dream of a day when you had the opportunity to try something new. Take it!
  • Do not let your physical health suffer. The emotional stress brought on by job loss, even if it was because of a very bad economy, can cause physical and mental trauma. Remember to stay active, both physically and mentally. Exercise, volunteer, join a support group-anything that will keep you moving physically and mentally.
  • Be aware of your loved ones. Children and spouses may be affected by your change in circumstances as well. Try to keep the lines of communication open with your family, and keep your home life as stable as possible.

You may not have a job today, but do not be the victim. Above all, look for opportunities and stay optimistic about your future job prospects-it may take longer than you hope to restart your career (or begin a new one!), but if you plan ahead and keep trying you will soon find yourself with new employment!