7 Tips for Coping with Job Loss or Job Transition

Losing or changing jobs can have a significant impact on your life and the lives of those around you. If you find yourself unemployed, you may be in for some unexpected challenges.

Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! is here to help you in your time of need. To help you navigate this situation, we put together this blog post to offer some tips intended to help you manage this challenging time.

1. Face Your Feelings

Everyone handles job loss differently. Some might turn to destructive habits to cope, but those habits will not help you in the long-term. Acknowledging and embracing how you feel could help you deal with your loss and enable you to move forward.

To help yourself come to terms, try:

  • Giving yourself time. Go easy on yourself and do not expect to get over your job loss immediately. This is a life changing event.
  • Accept your new reality. Rather than dwelling on the past, focus on what to do next. The sooner you accept what happened, the sooner you can move forward, but do not rush forward if you are not ready!
  • Consider this a temporary setback, not a lifelong change. Job loss does not define who you are or what you are capable of.


2. Determine Your Budget

A job change may affect your ability to pay bills, purchase groceries, or enjoy your hobbies. Lacking money to afford these things adds even more stress, so it is important to keep a budget to help you manage your expenses and limit potential stressors.

To manage your budget, you can:

  • Sit down with your family to review the changes in your income.
  • Find out if you qualify for benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Agency or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Consider taking odd jobs, stop-gap jobs, or freelance work until you find your next employment opportunity.
  • Consider consulting a financial advisor.

3. Assess How Your Family is Impacted

Your personal and family life may be disrupted when you are unemployed. Even though you have more time to spend with your family, you may feel the constant burden of finding a job.

As you process your emotions, you may find comfort and support through those close to you. You may want to talk about what happened, and your loved ones are the most skilled at listening and helping you.

You may want to talk to your family about the situation and what might need to change. They may be scared, angry, confused, or they might expect you to take on more household chores. These are issues you can address as a family. Make sure others know that it is not anyone’s fault that this happened. Communication is key!

And remember:

  • It is okay to laugh, cry, and express emotions.
  • Do not be afraid to say “no” if you need to.
  • You can set boundaries for yourself.

4. Maintain Your Routine

Your daily schedule is one of the biggest changes after a job loss or transition. Maintaining structure in your daily life can help you avoid complacency and keep your morale high.

To maintain your routine, try to:

  • Set an alarm to get up at your regular time.
  • Set aside some time to job search.
  • Dress as you normally would for work.
  • Create a space at home to complete job search activities.
  • Get out of the house! Visit your local Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! office, library, or meet with a friend or family member to help you search for jobs.

5. Adjust Your Social Life Accordingly

Job changes may result in social changes, especially if your social life was tied to your employment, or your new situation changes how much time, money, or energy you can devote to your social life.

Maintaining relationships is important for your emotional and physical health. You may find it helpful to:

  • Plan low-cost or free forms of entertainment. Invite some friends to walk or jog together or invite them over for a potluck dinner.
  • Exchange ideas with friends or acquaintances who are also in job loss or transition.
  • Get involved with your community. Try attending local events or volunteering, you never know what opportunities you will uncover while networking!

6. Hold On to Your Personal Identity

For some, what you do for a living may define you. When you become unemployed, you may lose the sense of identity that came with your occupation. Depending on your situation, “What do you do for a living?” may become difficult or embarrassing to answer.

You may find it helpful to:

  • Focus on the aspects of your identity that exist outside of your job or career, like your family, hobbies, and community.
  • Visualize achieving your goals, your next career, or what is to come.
  • Stay positive! Lean into your strengths and surround yourself with supportive people.
  • Take it easy. Take time to do something you enjoy. Your hobbies define you, too!

7. Take Your Next Steps

When you are ready, Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! is here to help you wherever you are in your employment journey! You can visit one of our offices to:

  • Update your resume.
  • Get help with cover letters, interview practice, or job searching.
  • Learn about local employers or industries that are hiring and might be a good fit for you.

Our Talent Specialists can assess your current situation and help put you on a path towards success.

Best wishes on your new journey!  May success follow you in all that you do!