Journeying with Your Family through Unemployment

When facing job loss, you might be tempted to keep your unemployment a secret in fear of letting your loved ones down. It is understandable, but more often than not, you might be overthinking it. Here, we address some of the common concerns and tips to help you approach this sensitive topic.

1

My family members would not understand

It’s emotionally draining to explain what happened or worry about how your family might react. But in truth, the more you fear your family won’t understand, the more you might push them away.

Word of Advice:
Keep an open mind. Once you have come to terms with your job loss, calmly share and relate the details honestly. Be ready to listen to your family’s concerns and gently ask for their patience and understanding.

2

I do not want to be a burden to them

It is tempting to want to shoulder the financial responsibilities of supporting the family. You believe that (i) your family members have their own problems to take care of, and (ii) this is your personal problem that you should take full responsibility for it.

Word of Advice:
Unemployment is not a burden you need to shoulder alone. Sharing with your family and friends is the first step towards finding your next job through receiving their support. It will be helpful to discuss how your family can work together in managing household expenses, exploring creative ways to reduce expenses, or exploring part-time work options.

3

I don’t even know who I am anymore

For most Singaporeans, our career takes up a huge part of our time and forms much of our self-worth and identity. Losing your job also means losing the camaraderie with your colleagues, and the recognition and satisfaction you receive.

Word of Advice:
We are more than our job titles and statuses. We do not stop being a parent, child, spouse or friend when we lose our job. Your family role is much deeper than simply being a breadwinner. Instead of worrying about possible disappointments, assure your loved ones that you will do your best to meet their basic needs. Draw strength from your other life roles to find your purpose and continue your job search journey.

We hope you have found this article useful in managing your employment journey with your family. For more resources on job hunting, download this checklist to plan for the next steps you can take in your journey.

You may also wish to consider speaking to a Career Coach for career guidance and third-party feedback to complement your job search efforts. You can register for Career Coaching here, or call 6883 5885.