Losing a job can be daunting and scary. You spend most of your waking hours at focused on work. When that foundation is suddenly ripped out from under you unexpectedly, it can be disorienting and even heartbreaking. There’s no shame in the range of emotions you may feel after losing your job. A part of the bounce back process is taking time to rest and check in with yourself. As you deal, here are seven reflection questions to ask yourself after a job loss. 

How am I feeling?

Take a moment to pause and assess how you are feeling. Are you angry, disappointed, relieved, or in a state of shock? Losing a job can take a toll on your mental health. A part of the grieving process is taking inventory of your emotions and having respect for whatever stage you are in.

What do I need right now?

Sometimes, you need a good cry, a stiff drink, a nap, a walk in nature, or time with your girlfriends. Ask yourself what is your heart crying out for in this moment. Be gentle with yourself and tune in to your heart’s needs. 

What has been the most damaging part of losing this job?

By losing your job, you will lose a source of income. Take time for reflection and figuring out what, if any, other damages you will incur by losing your job. Does it inhibit your ability to travel, pay bills, save up for retirement, or pay for childcare? Take time to reflect on what this job loss means for you and the damages that will result in its aftermath.

How has this job affected my mental, physical, and spiritual health?

A job loss not only affects your financial wellness, but it can take a toll on your mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Perhaps, you were laid off from a toxic workplace or maybe you were let go from a job you really love. Whatever the scenario, losing your job can impact your overall health. Take time to reflect on what you need to do to rest, recharge, and heal.

Are there any colleagues that you’d like to stay in touch with or use as a reference?

Another question to ask yourself after a job loss is whether there is anyone you’d like to stay in touch with from the company. Perhaps, there is a manager or director who might be a great reference for your next job. Maybe there’s a colleague who you grew particularly close with during your time at the company. Take inventory of the connections that you have made and assess which you’d like to maintain.

Are there any lies I am believing or realities I am now facing because of this job?

Oftentimes, people attach what they do to their worth and sense of identity, which is why a job loss can be particularly crushing. One question for reflection after the end of your time at a company is whether it has left you questioning your worth or your abilities. Are there lies about yourself that you need to uproot? Alternatively, maybe the job loss has shown you truths about yourself. Maybe this is not the industry or job best suited for you in the future or maybe you know that this is the route you will continue to pursue.

What have I learned about myself through this experience?

It might sound cheesy, but after every storm, comes a rainbow. Maybe losing this job is a blessing in disguise, and it was an opportunity to for reflection. Every job allows you to gain more wisdom for your journey ahead. Take stock of what you learned from this experience and what you learned about yourself to propel you forward.