Collage of two Asian women, one wearing black and one wearing white, both posing against a brick walls.

Job loss is never easy. It can come with emotions of uncertainty and anxiety and might even push you to question your self-worth. However, be proactive, and soon enough, you may find yourself on the opposite end of things, fulfilled and open to new adventures.

As you take your time to get back on track, take inspiration from these Filipinas who turned their job losses into gains and .

Putting Yourself First

Isa Del Rosario had just returned to the Philippines after getting her master’s degree abroad when she started working as an internal communications associate for a multinational corporation. The pressure to live up to expectations proved overwhelming.

“I was half-hearted about the job and that affected my performance. To make matters worse, I had a bad case of COVID. I decided to resign to focus on my health and recover from the mental strain that came with my job,” Isa explains.

Now Isa is starting a family of her own and has a new, high-paying job waiting for her when she’s ready to work again. “I have a very supportive and understanding boss that let me go on an .” She adds, “My new job also allows me to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures, which taught me how to adjust to others. It’s an important skill, especially now that I’m in another stage in my life.”

Sometimes, it’s about choosing yourself.

Choosing to leave a stable but stressful job is a difficult choice. Maybe it’s not as jarring as getting laid off, but it still requires a big adjustment, not to mention a few weeks or months without pay. For Isa, it was a matter of prioritizing her . Eventually, the move led her to a more flexible job and the exciting new prospect of becoming a mom.

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Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

Grace, Trixie, and China (real names withheld) were all casualties of a mass retrenchment at a publishing company. China, who was nearing retirement age, was offered to retire sooner. On the other hand, Grace and Trixie took the company’s early retirement package after hearing that they would be included in the next batch of layoffs. 

Partly to save face and partly to be practical, the three accepted the offers despite their genuine desire to continue working for a company they love. “I never told anyone, but I was heartbroken. I was with the company for 27 years. It’s my second home. I was at the office more than I was at home!” shares China. 

Grace, who was only 39 at the time, had no plans of leaving the company. Although "retiring” was her choice on paper, job loss wasn’t in her plans. “I saw myself growing old there. I felt uprooted. For a while, I felt directionless. I had no career plans and I honestly felt old around other job seekers,” Grace says. 

Trixie, 47, shared Grace’s sentiments. “I’ve been doing the same job for years and I hadn’t bothered to upskill, update my CV, or even ask for a better title.” Trixie adds, “It really bothered me when LinkedIn would send me leads for entry-level positions. My value and skill level didn’t match any of the offers I received. It was frustrating.”

It's never too late to live a new life.

All three women were older professionals who found themselves suddenly floating in a sea of uncertainty. Grace and Trixie became reluctant jobseekers in the highly competitive space of digital publishing, while China struggled to keep herself busy at home. 

“I didn’t want to start feeling old because of idleness,” China shares. “But as time went on, I grew to appreciate the time I had on my hands. Now, I can visit my sister and pamangkins any time. I can tend my small garden. I can travel.”

Trixie also eventually found a new job as a magazine editor. “I don’t know if I can call that a success just yet – I’m a work in progress. But I am happy, and I’ve learned to appreciate my value again after a gutting job loss.”

Meanwhile, Grace has discovered her gift for creating engaging social media content and started managing the accounts of friends. “I’ve built a good network because of my previous job, and now these connections trust me with their businesses.” Grace adds, “I think the triumph here is in realizing that . You just have to believe it and work on it.”

Finding Family and Faith

Sabrina Tumulos was working as a communications specialist for a tech startup for almost a year before she was retrenched. "I cried and felt downhearted. It was a different kind of . I was unhappy, angry, frustrated, confused, and as time passed, I became bitter,” says Sabrina as she looks back on the devastating blow of her sudden job loss.

Feeling like she hit rock bottom, Sabrina focused on her marriage and faith. “Although I had to adjust to certain financial changes, I learned to for what I have. My relationship with my husband has been more focused on our faith and not so much on material things,” she says.

Today, Sabrina is an ESL teacher and an owner of an online shop that lets her turn her passion for creating customized keychains and other trinkets into a business. “Jobs will come and go, but enduring faith and deep relationships with friends and family will always keep me in a better place,” she adds.

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Moving to Greener Pastures

Like Sabrina, Tricia Janelli was also affected by the tech industry’s massive layoffs. For them, job loss came unexpectedly and suddenly. “I wasn’t given a specific reason for the layoff other than their decision to reallocate resources,” Tricia says.

One way of is by adding to your skills and job hunting with intention. Don’t just look for any job – target those you really want and would make a difference in your life. “After five months of being rejected left and right, I finally found my tribe,” Tricia shares. “The company I currently work for puts its employees first instead of just focusing on the numbers. It’s where I feel valued as a person,” shares Tricia.

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Staying True to Your Goals

Karlyn Cua worked in the advertising industry for more than 10 years. However, personal goals drove her to leave her stable job. “While I loved my time at the agency, I ultimately made the difficult decision to resign due to health and growth reasons,” shares the former business manager.

“I realized that to thrive both personally and professionally, I needed to take some time off to focus on my well-being and explore new opportunities aligned with my long-term goals,” she adds.

Today, Karlyn is a freelance business consultant for several companies. “Every life phase has its highs and lows, and each challenge, like job loss, is unique to each stage. I would say I’m one step closer to my goals, and that's good enough for now,” Karlyn says.

Various situations might result in job loss. Personal problems, health-related issues, and economic crises can cause someone to lose their . Whether it comes from rejection or a personal choice, remember that the pain is only temporary. Take your time to heal and come back stronger. Soon, you’ll end up where you were meant to be.