COVID Impact: How to bounce back from job loss

Focus on the journey and be cognizant of what you are feeling and learning through this experience, says mental toughness expert Gaj Ravichandra

COVID 19 has hit the global economy hard, pushing it into recession mode. There are job losses across the world. According to a survey by the Indian Society of Labour Economics, job loss is the most severe immediate impact of the pandemic. While lower economic growth and rise in inequality would be the long-term effects (source: Economic Times). We spoke to Mental Toughness Expert Gaj Ravichandra about coping with failure and how to bounce back after job loss. Gaj is a highly sought-after performance coach recognized for his effective leadership training techniques. He also has a passion for helping clients reach a higher potential. These are his top tips on how to cope up with losing your job. 

Acceptance is key

It’s natural to feel a sense of sadness about losing a role particularly when a lot of our identity is tied up to our work. Accepting the present situation is the difficult first step. Acknowledging that there will be the typical stages of grief and loss to work through – as per the Kubler Ross framework – is an important step in the process. It is entirely normal to experience feelings of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression before getting to Acceptance. It is also not uncommon to experience many of these states on any given day. One must allow themselves to feel these emotions without feelings of shame. Focus on the journey and be cognizant of what you are feeling and learning through this experience.

Image of motivational quotes
Image by Dan Meyers for Unsplash

You are in charge of your mindset

Keeping focused, energized, and positive during this time is critical. Surround yourself with positive and practical people who will lift you so that you can feed off their energy. Don’t feel shy about asking a friend to give you a pep talk if you’re feeling particularly low. Silence any negative self-talk.

Having a set routine can provide the discipline around finding that next adventure. Be sure to carve out time for exercise, job searching, and other activities that bring you joy. Exercise is critical for combating negative stress hormones like Cortisol. Put aside 30 minutes each day to raise your heart rate and increase endorphin levels. 

Gaj Ravichandra, Reg Psych, MComm, MAICD (Image: supplied)
Gaj Ravichandra, Reg Psych, MComm, MAICD (Image: supplied)

Be deliberate about your next steps

 As a first step, I recommend working with a career coach. They will help you identify your ideal direction (i.e. working for someone, being your boss, etc.) as this often becomes less clear after a job loss. I advise starting with the ‘end in mind.’. Then start working backward to determine what your long (3-5 years), medium (1-3 years), and short (3 months – 1 year) term goals need to be to achieve this direction.

For those re-entering the workplace as an employee, ensure your CV is up to date. It should also be bench-marked against a leading platform like This will give you a good indication of how your CV and experience compares to others within your industry. Once your CV is updated, review your network. Identify 3-4 people whom you believe would be able to support you and provide you with leads/contacts in the industry you would like to work in.

The most important point to remember is to focus on what is in your control – such as who you can reach out to today or how much time you will spend searching for appropriate roles. Don’t waste time thinking about things that are outside of your control like the economy. If it’s helpful, write down a catchphrase like “control the controllable” and keep it somewhere visible to keep your mind on what you can influence. 

Picture of a work station and apple computer
Image by Carl Heyerdal for Unsplash

Bounce back after job loss

Set mini-goals for yourself each week. Break these down to daily goals – give yourself a reward when these are achieved. Try and use these goals as minimum expectations for the next week so that you are constantly raising the bar and setting yourself personal bests!

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Arti Dani
Arti Dani is a journalist by trade, a travelling runner with 5 international marathons, one ultra-marathon under her belt. 100 push-ups a day is a simple job for her, even though she's still working to perfect her headstand skills.
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