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 you lost your job.

Well, it’s a challenge to find oneself in. In these similar times, be positive and hope that things will improve.

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

Take time to breathe.

Pause and allow yourself a moment to breathe deeply. Refrain from hastily divulging the details of your current situation to others. Instead, invest time in thoughtful contemplation about how you intend to communicate your circumstances. Release any apprehension about the potential judgments or comments from those around you.

Grant yourself the grace of not feeling obligated to justify or make excuses for your position – there is no need. Understand that you are not inherently flawed and haven’t committed any wrongdoing. At this juncture, the most valuable action involves embracing honesty and openness with your loved ones. By doing so, you provide them with the transparency necessary to dispel any concerns or suspicions they may harbour in the future.

lost my job - family

Call or Speak to your 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 someone 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) where they can support you while also being distracted from what happened at work.

Just to clarify, understand that this isn’t about you. It is tempting to try and justify or focus too much on the reasons behind what happened. Best not to go down that road.

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.

Resist the temptation to assign blame to others. It’s easy to point fingers and say, “I lost my job because of my horrible boss!” However, recognise that your boss or coworkers aren’t solely responsible. They, too, may be grappling with frustrations about their roles, so venting your frustration on them is unproductive.

Avoid blaming external factors such as the economy or the company’s performance. These elements are not guilty in this scenario; life unfolds beyond anyone’s control. It’s essential to acknowledge that unforeseen circumstances happen, and attributing fault to external forces is counterproductive.

Equally important is steering clear of self-blame. The decision to let you go may have been a business necessity dictated by your employer’s immediate requirements. Approach the situation with a clearer perspective and focus on the steps forward by releasing unnecessary guilt.

Use your network.

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 have 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. They may know 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. 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

Resist the inclination to withdraw from your family and friends during challenging times. It’s understandable to feel a sense of shame or embarrassment about what has transpired, but isolating yourself is not the solution. Instead, consider reaching out and spending time with loved ones. Leaving the confines of your home and engaging in social activities can restore a sense of humanity and provide a vital support network to guide you through difficult moments.

Do not conceal your emotions. When something is weighing on you, communicate about it openly. Verbalising your feelings facilitates your understanding of them and makes it easier for others to comprehend your perspective. Conversely, it allows you to understand their viewpoints. While it may feel challenging at first, expressing emotions becomes more manageable when we find ways to communicate them. Whether it is through conversations or creative outlets like art projects, the act of articulating our feelings can make them more manageable.

Always remember that loved ones and close friends are there to support you. Opening up about your experiences can help strengthen the bonds and create a shared understanding. Being open and vulnerable during challenging moments can lead to healing and receiving support.

Spend time with your family.

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

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

Be honest and stay calm

Just be truthful, remain composed and don’t overlook the joy of being surrounded by those who are there for you during this period.

It’s okay to feel sad, but it’s important not to beat yourself up. If you are wondering what changes you could have made, take a moment to reflect on the growth and knowledge gained from the situation. 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 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. 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!

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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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