Losing your job hurts—plain and simple. For some, it’s devastating.
Not only can it hurt your financial welfare, it can cause emotional pain and suffering. Depending on your reactions to this crisis, it can severely impact your relationships with family and friends. In fact, for some people a job loss is similar to hearing about the death of a loved one. And there are reasons why you may feel this loss so deeply.
It’s a common practice in much of today’s society to place our identity in our job and in our career. For example, you may have based your self-worth and self-esteem on your job responsibilities, or on your coworkers’ respect for you, or on your job title, or your workplace relationships, and losing any of these can mean losing part or all of your personal identity.
The grief that follows a job loss is a natural and very real. Like most significant losses, the side effects can be painful and often happen unexpectedly. But there is a way through this loss that can create growth and healthy changes.
Let’s look at how this might happen and what steps to take going forward.
Our ability to grieve and adapt to the loss of a loved one is an important feature in the course of our lives. Change can stimulate growth. Loss can give rise to gain. If we do not grieve the loss, it can drain us of energy and interfere with our living fully in the present.
If we do not mourn, we may spend our lives under the spell of old issues and past relationships and failing to connect with experiences in the present. It is during the time of grieving that many people begin grief counseling with a professional therapist since they are likely better prepared than most to empathize with you and guide you through your journey of grief.
Most couples who end their long term relations are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. “What will people say? Who can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How can I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? Will I be able to keep my children? What about money? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change?”
When we hold on to our fears and refuse to do anything about them we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble.