Job Loss Grief & 3 Helpful Resources

Grief is experienced whenever a relationship ends, including a relationship with an employer.

Just as in the death of a spouse, the loss can be anticipated or unanticipated.

Anticipated

You see it coming.  The company has done poorly ever since the economy tanked or maybe the company is moving to a location where commuting is not cost effective.

Someone in these and other circumstances have a chance to prepare and grieve in advance.  This shortens the amount of time they spend in grief after they lose their job.

Unanticipated

Everything is going well but to be more lean and mean the company decides to downsize and today ends up being someone’s last day.  This person is going to grieve longer than someone who saw the handwriting on the wall.

No Perfect Way

Whether it is job loss or spouse’s passing, there is no perfect way to grieve.  Each person’s grief is unique and their recovery will take different paths.  That is good, because what one person learns during their journey can be shared with someone else also going through a job loss journey.

Overwhelming

So many people’s identity is chained to their job and suddenly their identity is downsized along with their job.  The grief can be overwhelming.

For me job loss grief was tough but figuring out what to do professionally was more overwhelming than grief itself.  I did collections for 13.5 years and now had no idea if I wanted to continue doing that or go in a different direction; so many options, so many choices.

Single vs. Married

Stress from unemployment takes a toll on everyone whether single or married.

If someone is single, they are the sole breadwinner and now the income is gone and there is no one in the household for financial or emotional support.

Marriages do not always survive one spouse being unemployed.  A reduction in household income tests the marriage, especially during extended unemployment.

Your Identity

Do not let the terms “unemployed” or “in-transition” become your identity.  Job loss grief is a profound experience but it is not your identity.   This is where personal branding comes in.   For example:

I am a Communications Professional and recipient of multiple awards for my WordPress blog, JoyReturns.com. It is a cheery and uplifting site where widows and those not grieving learn that, while not easy, joy does indeed return after a spouse’s unexpected move to heaven.  It is one tool I use to change people’s perception of widows.  By the way I am in transition and looking for a company who needs my blogging and other social media skills.

Putting “in transition” at the end puts the focus on what I do and what I have achieved.

Decision Time

There are two choices in grieving, no matter the source of grief:

  • To Heal
  • Not To Heal.

3 Helpful Resources

  • “Positive Living Day By Day” Norman Vincent Peale – Uplifting Daily devotions. (Guideposts)
  • “God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting” Robert W. Kelleman, PH.D – This book is for someone suffering grief whether caused by death, job loss, divorce or other life circumstances. (BMH Books)
  • “Healing Is A Choice: Ten Decisions That will Transform Your Life & Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them” Stephen Arterburn, M. Ed – I read chapter 1 and it really got me thinking about making connections. This book is also applicable not matter the circumstances you are facing. (Thomas Nelson)

Final Thoughts

May you decide to heal from job loss grief.

May you decide to do the work necessary to heal.

Do not let job loss grief (or other grief) hold you back.

Instead use grief as an inspiration to better yourself.

God is with you.  Everything happens according to his plan, not ours.

Scripture:

My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.

Philippians 4:19

Irish Proverb:

“The future is not ours to know and it may never be so let us live and give our best and give it lavishly.”