Job loss affects each individual in a unique way, as no two people will feel or treat with their situation the same. The feelings that follow a lay off are often deep and personal, ranging from anger and humiliation to a sense of hopelessness and disappointment.
As you try to come to terms with these feelings, life will seem chaotic, and you may feel as if everything is out of control.
Understanding Your Emotions:
You’ve just received notification and it’s natural to want to protect your job, your livelihood, and even your dignity! Although each employee is unique, the common emotional reactions you and your colleagues may experience at this time are disbelief, defiance, confusion and even fear. As the news sets in, the days, weeks and months after, you start accepting the change in your circumstances. How quickly you move through each phase is dependent both the length of time it takes you to process your situation as well as your access to coaching, support and other tools and resources needed to help you rebuild.
Moving Forward – What You Need
When you’ve recently lost a job, it’s common to fear that you won’t find new employment in a conveniently short timeframe. This can lead to a range of concerns and doubts with respect to your ability to fulfil essential financial obligations. This fear can sneak in with uncertainty being present at all hours of the day and in some cases having not just a psychological, but also physical effect.
Though it’s valuable to understand how you are likely to feel, it’s equally as important to understand what your needs are after a layoff or termination. Getting a firm handle on both will help put you back on a path to achieving your goals.
- Emotional support. When dealing with the weight of the issues you are facing, it’s not always easy to explain it to anyone else, like the people in your circle – your family and friends, who want to help you. Instead, you keep the emotional issues you’re dealing with bottled up and you find yourself isolated and depressed. If your company is offering it or you can get it done for free or at a minimal cost, get counselling. Let those around you know that you’re seeking help, and when you can, share some of what you’re going through with them. The more emotional support you can get, the faster you can move on.
- Confidence building.The fear and shame that often comes with job loss can whittle away at your confidence. You’ll begin to feel defeated and demoralized, neither of which are good when it comes to preparing for or attending interviews. Rebuilding your confidence can be crucial at this time. Take small steps, celebrate small wins, and as your confidence increases, you’ll find it easier to tackle the job placement process again.
- Help choosing a career direction. It’s natural to want to explore many options and opportunities because of termination, however you may not approach this in the best way, given the desire to find employment quickly. You may even consider the possibility of a more drastic career change, such as going back to school or trying to branch into a new field with your existing skills and experience. Sometimes, you just don’t know where to start, or how to assess what would be the best fit. Taking some time to do research, understanding your goals and skills can help you choose a direction that not only feels right, but is also a good match for you. Clarity at this stage is critical to your success as you transition.
- Assistance with resume writing. Many of you may not have written a resume in years and won’t even know where to begin. You aren’t sure of what employers are looking for and which skills and experience are most important to include. There are many helpful and free online resources you can tap in to when it comes to resume writing. Spend some time reviewing new resume styles, look at layouts that are industry specific or those that can help you showcase your special skills or experience. Spend the time refining your resume, it’s worth it!
- Interview coaching.An interview today may not match the interview process ten years ago. It’s usual to feel a sense of uncertainty when it comes to interviewing. Getting help to prepare for this step in your career search can significantly improve your chances in the job market.
- Financial management advice. For terminated employees, your financial wellness will be as equally important as your emotional wellbeing. Getting advice on managing debt, financial planning, wealth protection, and even lifestyle changes can help reduce the stress caused by lay-offs, build confidence and give you a boost to recovery.
While you figure things out, there are some little things that you can do to gain some stability, like putting together a personal or family budget, doing some research on the job market or looking into other opportunities like entrepreneurship. Remember, aim for small wins to boost your confidence and keep your head in the game.
Job loss is an emotional experience, not only for you, but for your loved ones as well. Understanding what’s happening during this time is a big step toward dealing with it and helping those around you cope. Engage in dialogue around what’s going on, get an idea of their concerns and maybe share some of yours. Support is key to working through this upheaval and progressing forward.