Strengthening relationships after job loss

If you’ve just lost your job, or had your hours reduced, you may be experiencing financial difficulties for the first time.

The uncertainty may also leave you feeling afraid of what lies ahead. Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you.

Losing your job can make you feel upset, angry, and out of balance, forcing you to make rapid changes to your life. [1] You are grieving a loss [2], so it’s important to be compassionate towards yourself, knowing that what you are feeling is a natural reaction. Give yourself the time and space to adjust, accept your feelings and go easy on yourself. [3]

Supportive personal relationships with a partner, family and/or friends, are incredibly important in helping us cope through difficult times. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with those you trust can help with feelings of isolation, even if you can only talk over the phone or with the people you live with. Relationships built on trust, honesty, respect and open communication will weather the storm. [4]

Everyone copes differently in times of stress. This is the time to lean on the people who care about you. It takes courage to reach out and ask for support but confiding in people you trust will only strengthen your relationships. Invest the time, be present and truly listen to what each other has to say. [5] People want to help, but often don’t know how, so letting those around you know what you need is crucial.

Keeping the lines of communication open, sharing your feelings and accepting help will go a long way towards maintaining the positive and supportive relationships you need during such a stressful time.

More information

[1] Beyond Blue. (2020) Work and your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak (accessed 9 April 2020).

[2] Fowler, D. (2020) Unemployment during coronavirus: the psychology of job loss (accessed 9 April 2020).

[3] Smith, M, Segal, J, Robinson, L. (2020) Job loss and unemployment stress (accessed 9 April 2020).

[4] Relationships Australia. (2019) Positive and respectful relationships (accessed 9 April 2020).

[5] Mental Health Foundation. (2016) Relationships in the 21st century: the forgotten foundation of mental health and wellbeing. London, Mental Health Foundation.

Page last updated: Friday, 18 March 2022