Losing a job can really take its toll on you. It’s not just the financial aspect of it. You can feel overwhelmed like you’ve lost control, and find it difficult to remain positive and look forward.
Losing your job can make you feel like you’ve lost your sense of purpose and drive, especially if it is recession-related, and there is nothing you could do about it. You feel helpless.
In this way, losing a job can make it feel like you are grieving a great loss, and you may demonstrate symptoms of bereavement as a result. So, let’s try to understand grief after a job loss a little better, in this guide.
Can You Grieve a Job Loss?
Yes, you can 100% grieve a job loss, especially when losing the job is involuntary. It feels like a big loss. You’ve lost everything you have been working towards at that company, including close colleagues, perhaps even job benefits, and your sense of financial security.
It is perfectly normal to grieve your job loss.
Understanding Grief and Job Loss
Unexpected job loss in a country where everyone strives towards the American dream can be tough to take. Know that you are definitely not alone in grieving your job loss. Grief is a natural emotion and will come as part of the psychological processing and adjustment of the loss you have faced.
Suddenly becoming unemployed due to the current economic crisis can provoke feelings of stress, grief, and even depression and anxiety. You may exhibit symptoms of depression or grief, with outbursts of anger, irritability, difficulty sleeping, or unusual eating habits. You may find it difficult to focus and move forward in life.
However, it is how you cope with the grief and build a life after what happens that matters. There are four typical stages of grief: anger and blaming others, bargaining, despair/depression, and finally, acceptance.
Studies show that the longer you experience unemployment, the more likely you are to exhibit symptoms of a mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression. So, how can you cope with the grief and take steps forward?
How To Cope
You may be grieving the job loss, as you felt it was a big part of your identity. Therefore, it is important to separate yourself, and your self worth from what your career is. As mentioned above, you will go through the four stages of grief during this time.
To help you cope, you will need a lot of moral support from friends and family. It is also a good idea to join a local support group to speak with people going through job loss, just as you are.
You can also write down your feelings and express every thought you have about being unemployed. This can provide you with some catharsis and help you through the anger/blaming stage. The next thing to do is think of it as a temporary setback, and come up with a plan of action of what your next steps are. Work on your resume, or try to complete some courses in the meantime to add to your skill set.
You should also not be so hard on yourself. Thousands of people are going through the same thing as you. Use this as an opportunity to rethink your career options. You may find something else brings you more joy than your previous job. You then need to move towards acceptance. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new circumstances, and allow yourself to grieve, but know this will soon pass, and you can begin moving forward in your career.
Finally, don’t be too proud to speak out and seek the help and guidance of a therapist to help you work on your self-esteem and get through your grief and job loss. We are here to support you with grief counseling or depression therapy connect with us soon.