8 Reasons You're Struggling To Move On After Job Loss — And How To Get Back On Your Feet

Even if you didn't like your job, losing it can seriously affect your self-worth.

Falling into a depression after losing your job but finding the light to get back on your feet D-Keine, pixelshot, 89Stocker | Canva 

Unemployment can be a devastating life-changing event whether you were laid off, fired, or found yourself in sudden, unexpected circumstances. Being unemployed can lead to depression and other emotional issues, similar to any significant loss we experience, such as death, divorce, or illness.

Regardless of the reason for your job loss, you were dependent on your job. So, it stands to reason you are concerned about the impact on your finances and your self-worth.


No wonder you are having difficulty moving on from unemployment!

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

Eight reasons it's hard to move on from job loss 

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 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 emotions that may be pervasive. Sorting through these emotions is necessary for moving on after losing a job.

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 these statements.

They are likely not.

4. You won't stop rehashing the story

Repeatedly recounting the details of your job loss keeps you in the story and makes it difficult to see the new opportunities that may unfold.


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 you can’t see the potential in the future that is actual.

Instead of Imagining an impossible outcome, visualize what might be in your future 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 differently?

7. You're taking it personally

More often than not, unless you’ve been fired for cause, your job loss 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!

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.

Like staying stuck in a negative attitude, this can quickly slide into a depressed state of mind, which can be hard to pull yourself out of.


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

Here are six ways to get back on your feet after losing a job.

1. Frame your situation differently

Ask yourself, "What if it was my idea?" When my twenty-year career at one company came to an abrupt end, those words changed my perspective.

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 were your idea to end the job, you would likely make plans to ensure you are well-equipped to continue your career search.

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


This could be a blessing in disguise, and the next job you land could be better.

3. Access your connections

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

Do you need help updating 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 employer will not reflect well on you.

Being grateful for their assistance will tell 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 will 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 — especially when you're moving forward after a job loss.

Fill your 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 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.


Moving on from job loss will be much easier when you surround yourself with positive people who have your back and can make connections for you. I 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 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.