“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
All of us experience major disruptions at certain points in our lives. In fact, this is an expected and predictable hallmark of the human condition. For some, these hard times come frequently – the impact of the trauma is overwhelming and recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience – the strength required to adapt to chaos and hardship – lies at the heart of mental and emotional health.
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.