8 Reasons It's Hard To Move On From Job Loss (& 6 Ways To Get Back On Your Feet Again)

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Why Unemployment Can Lead To Depression (& How To Feel Better After Getting Laid Off Or Fired From Your Job)

Unemployment is one of the most devastating life-changing events you can go through, whether you were laid off, fired from your job, or found yourself in sudden, unexpected circumstances.

Being unemployed can lead to depression and a host of other emotional issues, just like any major loss — death, divorce, or a serious illness — can do to you.

RELATED: Saving Money—And Your Relationship—After Job Loss

Your job loss could be due to corporate downsizing, a layoff, or getting fired.

Regardless of the method, there is so much tied up in your job. It stands to reason because it’s your career, it impacts your finances and often is an integral part of your self-worth.

No wonder you can’t move on from unemployment!

Here are 8 behaviors that might be keeping you from moving forward after you've lost your job:

1. You're still in denial

This is normal. It’s a coping mechanism to help you see the reality of the situation through a filter. You might think why me? You may hope they will change their mind.

Or you may use humor to deflect the raw emotions that come up from being let go. Even though this is normal, staying too long in this state will not serve you well.

2. You're buried in your emotions

Anger, betrayal, and blame are just a few of the strong feelings that may be pervasive.

Sorting through these emotions is an important part of moving on from job loss.

3. You're stuck in a negative attitude

How could this happen to me? I’ll never find another job like this! Who will hire me now that I’ve been let go?

Negative thinking can create a downward spiral that can lead you to believe that these statements are true.

They are likely not.

4. You won't stop rehashing the story

Recounting the details of your job loss repeatedly keeps you in that story, which makes it difficult to see the new opportunities that may unfold in front of you.

In other words, stop telling the old story and start telling a new one.

5. You keep imagining what "might have been"

Focusing on what you hoped would be your future in that job increases the possibility that you can’t see the potential that lies ahead.

Instead, visualize about what might be as you explore new options.

6. You're letting limiting beliefs take hold

So often, people equate what they do with who they are.

If you are one of those people — I’m a nurse, financial professional, corporate executive — thoughts about what you might do in the future may be limiting your progress of moving on from job loss.

What if you could use your skills and talents to do something else that utilizes those same gifts in a different way?

7. You're taking it personally

More often than not, unless you’ve been fired for cause, the loss of your job was merely a business decision.

Regardless of how you feel the company should have acted, there were factors in play that you may not even realize.

The truth is, those factors are beyond your control. It’s not personal!

RELATED: I Lost My Job — But Found Myself In The Process

8. You're in a continual pity-party

Feeling like a victim and inviting everyone to your pity-party puts you in a position of powerlessness.

Just like staying stuck in a negative attitude, this can quickly devolve into depression from which it can be very hard to pull yourself out.

If you want to know how to move past unemployment and get over your job loss without sinking further into depression, here are 6 tips for getting through it:

1. Frame your situation differently

Ask yourself, "What if it was my idea?"

These few words helped to shift my perspective when my twenty-year career with one company came to an abrupt and unexpected end.

Rather than focus on all the things you’re worried about, start to think about moving forward from job loss as though it was not a loss at all — but your choice.

What would you do in that case?

2. Embrace the future

If it was your idea to end this job, then you would likely be making plans to ensure you are well set up to move forward with your career search.

Review your finances so you know what you need and how long you can spend in your search. Open your mind to new possibilities. Allow new ideas to come to you without judgment.

This job change could be a blessing in disguise and the next job you land could be better than the last.

3. Access your connections

Connect or reconnect with people in your network who can help you. Let them know what kind of help you need.

Do you need someone to help update and up-level your resume? Are there people in your circle who can introduce you to others who may be able to help?

Would you benefit from having a career consultant as you move through this process?

4. Don't bad-mouth your former company or employers

Burning bridges is not a good practice. Speaking badly of colleagues or management staff from any previous employer will not reflect well on you.

Being grateful for their assistance and for the experience will send a message to your connections and future employers that you are kind and considerate of others. It’s one of the many qualities employers favor.

5. Don't skip out on self-care

Finding a new job is a job in and of itself, and it's going to take time and energy. Making clear choices and a good impression requires you to be rested, well-fed, and relaxed.

Reducing your stress levels and taking good care of yourself is essential at all times in your life — but especially when you're moving forward after a job loss.

Fill your own cup by making time to do the things that relax you and allow you to get centered and focused on what is most important to you. There are many benefits from self-care when a major life event has taken place.

6. Surround yourself with the best

In my experience, when I've rubbed shoulders with people I admire and who have been where I want to go, I’m encouraged and uplifted. I see this same phenomenon happening all the time.

When you surround yourself with the best people, who are positive, have your back, and can make connections for you, the process of moving on from job loss will be so much easier. I like to call this group of people my “Personal Board of Directors.” Who's on your board?

Although the loss of a job or unemployment in general can be devastating, how you react to it can influence how quickly you bounce back and find your next good move. Recognizing the behaviors that may be holding you back and quickly taking control to change them will help you to take part in the practices that will land you in a better position.

RELATED: 12 Healthy Ways To Stay Positive When You've Lost Your Job

María Tomás-Keegan is a certified career and life coach for women, and the founder of Transition & Thrive with María. If you’re ready to explore how change can impact you and how to move through it with more dignity and grace, get her free ebook From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition now.

This article was originally published at Transition and Thrive with Maria. Reprinted with permission from the author.