The loss of a job is similar to other kinds of loss and there is a grieving process associated with it. Again, your honesty and understanding of this process will help you move towards acceptance – which is essential for a successful job search.
1. Denial and Isolation
Even when job loss isn’t personal (large layoffs, plant closings) it can still feel like a very personal situation. Many people feel very alone and feel as though they are unique in this situation. Instead, it’s a common situation to be in and the feeling of isolation is very normal.
People work hard. They sacrifice and give much of themselves in their jobs, so when that job is lost it can feel as though your contributions haven’t been valued. Many people feel angry about losing their job and the circumstances of that job loss can further exacerbate the feeling of anger.
Some people, in a feeling of desperation, jump right into the job search without a plan. They apply to every job they see, whether they’re over- or under-qualified. They feel desperate and feel like they don’t have time to plan their job search and do the strategic steps like networking.
Depression can creep in through this process and can become paralyzing. You might not want to get off the couch and get out there in the community. Many people question their skills and their worth, halting the job search. This is a normal process and one you’ll need to work to get through – draw on your anchors and your support and think about the positive contributions you’ve made in the past, and will make again.
You don’t have to feel great about your job loss – when you get to this point the job loss will still have been a rotten experience. This is the point when you say, “It happened, I’m being forced into a change, and now it’s time to embrace it.” This is when the job search is really ready to begin.