I just lost my job. How do I tell my family?

Live Well Diary Team

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i lost my job - holding hands

How do you tell your loved ones, “I lost my job?”

You’ve probably spent some time worrying about telling your family that you’ve lost your job.

I mean, it’s a challenging situation to be in. Now more than ever, it’s essential to keep a positive attitude and stay hopeful that things will get better.

Here are some tips for telling the people (who love and support you) this dreaded phrase – “I lost my job”:

Take time to breathe.

  • Don’t rush into telling people about your situation.
  • Take time to think about how you will tell them.
  • Don’t worry about what other people will think—or say.
  • Don’t feel like you have to explain the situation or make excuses for yourself because there aren’t any! You’re not bad, and you didn’t do anything wrong. The best thing right now is honesty and openness with your loved ones, so they won’t have any reason to be worried or suspicious of you in the future.
lost my job - family

Call or Speak to your family members one by one.

When you’re ready to tell your family about losing your job, start with the person who knows you best. Call them first and invite them to dinner, for example, if that’s your mom, dad, or spouse.

If it’s a sibling or best friend, plan an activity (a trip to the park, maybe) where they can support you while also being distracted from what happened at work.

Make sure everyone understands this is not personal—you weren’t fired because of anything you did wrong. As tempting as it might be to make excuses for yourself or explain why something happened, don’t go there!

The important thing right now is being honest with yourself and those around you who sincerely care about you.

Don’t make assumptions or excuses.

  • Don’t blame others for the situation.
    You maybe thinking “I lost my job because of my horrible boss!” This isn’t your boss’s fault, and it isn’t your coworkers’ fault, either. They are likely just as frustrated with their jobs as you are, so don’t take out your frustration on them.
  • Don’t blame the economy or the company’s performance because they are not at fault here. It is usually outside of anyone’s control because it happens and that is life.
  • Don’t blame yourself, either! You didn’t do anything wrong. It might simply be a choice made by your employer driven by their business requirements at that moment.

When you lost your job, use your network to find a new job as soon as possible.

  • Use your network. It’s best to begin searching for employment quickly. Once you got time, it is tempting to fall into a rut and stop applying for jobs, but don’t give in!
  • Use LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media to find out about jobs. You might not expect it from your family or friends, but many of their connections will know about open positions at companies where they work or used to work.
  • Ask your friends and family for job leads. If someone knows someone who works at a place that interests you, ask them if they could pass along an email reference or introduction letter on your behalf.
  • Ask former colleagues: You might get lucky here! Someone who thought highly of you may remember that they have connections at another company that would be interested in hiring someone with similar experience as yours. This person might even feel comfortable recommending that company precisely because they know how well-suited you are for their needs (and vice versa).

Don’t isolate yourself from family and friends.

  • Don’t isolate yourself from your family and friends. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling ashamed for what has happened, but this is not the time to isolate yourself. Getting out of the house and hanging out with family or friends can help you feel human again while also providing you with a support network that will help you through tough times.
  • Don’t hide how you’re feeling. If something is bothering you, talk about it! Saying things out loud makes them easier to understand, which in turn, makes it easier for others to understand as well (and vice versa). Feelings might seem difficult to put into words at first, but once they’re out in the open—whether by talking directly or indirectly (eg. through an art project) —they become manageable.

Spend time with your family.

As one navigates through a tumultuous period of unemployment; relying on family for emotional support becomes paramount.

Showcasing appreciation for ones’ loved ones by regularly enjoying quality time together (at minimum once each week) can help prevent feelings stemming from isolation or discouragement from ingraining themselves within ones’ psyche.

Focusing on personal wellbeing also proves essential when handling financial struggles that may lead individuals to neglect their needs entirely. Maintaining healthy eating habits by consuming nutrient dense foods as well as incorporating regular physical activity has proven beneficial actions that contribute significantly towards overall wellness along with getting adequate rest.

Be honest, stay calm and don’t forget to enjoy the people who support you during this challenging time.

It’s okay to feel sad, but it’s important not to beat yourself up. Of wondering about what changes you could have made – take a moment to reflect on the growth and knowledge gained during the time in that position. It can also serve as a reminder that this is a temporary occurrence and from my experience searching for employment, I’ve come to understand that nothing remains constant (even though certain situations may give the illusion of permanence).

Don’t be ashamed of your situation. You don’t need anyone else’s permission or validation before taking control of your life and making choices based on what makes sense for you—not your friends’ opinions or random strangers on the internet. If those actions don’t come at anyone else’s expense, there should be no shame!

Remember: A career change doesn’t have to mean restarting from scratch—the skills and experiences gained at previous jobs aren’t lost forever when we leave them behind for something new! So don’t forget about all those amazing individuals who supported us along our journey.


Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. Resources are available to help you through this difficult time and hopefully find work again soon. Make sure to let family members know in advance so they can be there as support and not worry unnecessarily. Remember: even though it will be difficult, stay positive!

Images Used

Photo by Emma Bauso: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-man-s-hand-3585811/

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/2-person-holding-hands-45842/



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