Recovering From Job Loss
AUBURN, April 12---Almost
daily, newspaper headlines and television news programs are filled
with talk of another company merger or another plant closing. When
companies merge or are bought out by other companies, inevitably
jobs are realigned, altered or eliminated.
loss can be devastating both emotionally and financially for the
hundreds of workers who are told weekly that their jobs will be
terminated, says Dr. Jacquelyn Robinson, a community workforce
development specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension
"Grieving over a
job loss is only natural, especially when the person losing the job
is not at fault. The stages of job loss grief are similar to those
experienced when there is a death of a family member."
There are two aspects of
job loss: the practical and the emotional. The reality of job loss
is dealing with loss of income and benefits until gainfully employed
again. Emotionally, the consequences of losing a job are just as
real. The self-image and -worth may be damaged, while fears about
the future and the ability to meet financial commitments may be
overwhelming. Many worry about how they are viewed by others.
The manifestations of
job loss are real and can be debilitating, Robinson says. Some
symptoms of job loss grief include increased stress, feeling
defeated, being at odds with family members more frequently or being
sick more frequently.
Robinson says there are
ways to overcome the feelings of hopelessness and desperation after
the loss of a job. She offers the following suggestions:
Take time to
grieve. Coping with and getting through any type of grief take
time. Even though you may be restructuring your life around an
imposed career change, it is important to acknowledge your
Keep a diary of
how you feel, both good and bad, for at least a month.
Confronting your fears, hurt and frustration may be the first
step to healing the hurt.
experienced on the previous job, the good times you had with
coworkers and the characteristics you like most about
regularly. Vigorous exercise on a regular basis helps reduce
stress levels and lessen the day-to-day irritants.
Form a new daily
routine to follow until you find your next job. Routines help
clear the mind, keep productivity high and promote a feeling
Form a support
group among your friends and family. Socialize with those who
care. It is helpful knowing you are not alone and that the
feelings you are having are normal. Being around others is a
very important part of the healing process. Friends and family
also may provide valuable leads on prospective jobs.
SOURCE: Dr. Jacquelyn
Robinson, Extension Community Workforce Development Specialist,
Alabama Cooperative Extension System, (334)844-5353