9 Ways Losing My Job Changed My Life

When I lost my job out of the blue, I thought my life was over. I couldn’t even fathom anything positive coming from it. All I knew is that I needed to get another job ASAP to restore my sense of normal (and my means to support myself). Little did I know that getting a new job would take me longer than I had anticipated and this would change my life in ways I couldn’t imagine.

  1. I became less materialistic. When you longer have a monthly salary to depend on, you quickly realize that there is more to life than material things. You can’t afford to buy anything you want on a whim, and as a result, you’re forced to find happiness in other things that can bring you joy such as time with friends and family and self-reflecting to take stock of the person you are.
  2. I was more open to guys from varying pay brackets. When I would meet guys who weren’t in senior roles at work or not earning as much as I did before being laid off, I would write them off as lacking ambition. Losing my job showed me that as long as someone had a job or was doing something to support themselves, they were probably doing the best they could. I wasn’t fair in judging them without knowing why they earned a lower salary or didn’t have a big-time managerial role.
  3. I became more empathetic. I used to think that people in dead-end jobs were losers who were too lazy to make their situation better. However, being jobless and having the qualifications showed me that sometimes you have a crappy job not because you want to but because you need to survive until something better comes along.
  4. I became humble. No longer having a job to define me made me realize how empty my life felt without it. I was no longer this big-shot corporate type making waves at work and companies weren’t knocking on my door dying to hire me despite my accomplishments. I ate a huge piece of humble pie in realizing that I had to find more things in life that were more important than work.
  5. I embraced the idea of a side hustle. Getting laid off due to budget cuts at work made me realize just how being employed made me indispensable. I never wanted to be in that position of not knowing how I was going to survive if I lost my job out of the blue again. As a result, I began researching ways I would make money on the side even if I got a job. It would not only be a good contingency plan but also a great way to manage my money better by investing more in savings and gaining financial assets.
  6. I appreciated my family more. Being unemployed meant that my savings quickly dwindled. I had to cut back on a lot to survive. I got so worried about how I would make it through each month, but every time I thought I was close to being homeless, my family would come through with cash to get me through, food donations, and just valuable time spent with me on weekends to take my mind off things. I appreciated them for that, especially considering I made very little time for them when I was working.
  7. I lost friends. I realized that my so-called friends quickly began to stop inviting me out for hangouts and stopped calling to check in on me when I lost my job. I used to think I could count on them for anything, but losing my job and needing friends to be there for me in a way that was more than just having a good time showed me how many fake friends I had.
  8. I became more independent. When I had a job, it consumed most of my life. I wanted to be around other people who were ambitious and climbing the corporate ladder and their approval mattered a lot to me. Since I lost my job, those work friends disappeared very fast, and I realized that living my life for the approval of others was not what I wanted to do. Instead, I started embracing independence in doing what made me happy regardless of who supported it. I think that has made me much more content.
  9. My view of life expanded. Before I lost my job, I had tunnel vision about climbing the corporate ladder, the courses I would take to help me get ahead, and the networking events I had to attend. My life was very one-note. Since losing my job, I began having ambitions in other areas of my life like being a better daughter, sister, giving back to the community, and simply having more fun.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.