Impact Of Job Loss

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Impact of job loss - How can I lighten the blow?

The impact of job loss is tremendous. The loss of a job is never easy, even if it is expected. Unexpected job loss has an even greater emotional impact on us.

For a man, the loss of a job can be devastating to his identity, his sense of self worth, and his self respect. If his income is the primary income, a job loss may cause his wife to react negatively out of fear due to a loss of security. She may blame him for something that may not be his fault. His already bruised and deflated ego, his sense of pride, and his most important emotional need -- respect, will suffer. Her reactions to him will define their future relationship for a long time to come.

For a woman, the loss of her job undermines her greatest emotional need -- security. If she is the primary earner, her security is now threatened and negative thoughts of losing the house or insurmountable financial burdens will lead to stress. Often, a woman forms close personal relationships with her co-workers. A sudden job loss may feel like an unexpected loss of a loved one, because the emotional support from her co-workers is severed or strained.

For both men and women, job loss will reflect on our personal value. It may be argued that we put too much value on the external image of a job and not enough on the internal dignity of being a human being. Yet, it is hard to see or feel dignity when your source of income is removed. There is no simple solution, a job loss WILL cause stress. Many researchers rank the stress of job loss with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) found in combat.

Here are some tips on handling the job loss stress and action items that will help you on the road to a new and better job:
  • Recognize the pain. The trauma and shock are real. Identify those emotions and do not deny them. It is appropriate to mourn, but job loss not an excuse to stop living. You are worth much more than just a job.

  • Take inventory. Begin to take action by taking inventory of yourself and your situation. Ask a friend or family member whom you trust to help you with this exercise. You may get some pretty good insight.

    • Make a list of your qualities; being specific about the skills that you have. During interviews, you will be asked to discuss them, so be prepared now!
    • Where have you grown?
    • What have you done that made an impact? Be specific and use numbers whenever possible (job interviewers love numbers).
    • List your skills specifically. Do this on a multiple basis, squeezing out every ounce of skill that you have.

  • Record Deficiencies. Make a list of your deficiencies because you may be asked to discuss them as well. If this job loss occurred due to some deficiencies, you must be prepared to talk this through with a potential employer; be frank, honest - yet resourceful. Be careful not blame your previous employer, because you will be in a situation where the potential employer is looking for a new loyal employee. Be loyal to your former company and sing its praises (as best you can). Tell where you fit in and why. Tell how the company helped you grow.

  • Tell the truth. If the company needed to cut costs and you were unexpectedly laid off, realize that there is no longer a stigma to being "downsized" in America. You are not alone, even though it feels like it right now. It has happened to millions of people in almost every industry. The ripple effects of one industry can move rapidly through another, causing companies short-term financial stress, where the only cost savings is through layoffs. If there is any internal or external reason for your job loss, simply be prepared to talk about it. Hiding it is not only unethical, if it surfaces later. it may do you more harm.

  • Do not become negative. Negativity will not help you in future interviews. Begin to talk about your former position and the people there in only positives terms. Consider that losing your job is best thing that ever happened to you and that this job loss WILL lead to bigger and better things. There are many people who will tell you that the loss of their job was the best thing that ever happened to them. They had other interests, dreams, goals, and ambitions that they never would have pursued while at their old job. Now is the time to seize the moment.

  • Write it down. Journal your feelings, emotions, thoughts, and prayers. Write down what it is that you want to become. Create your perfect job on paper and then go LOOK for it! Take a risk and apply for your dream job. You just might get it. Research has shown that those people who write out their emotions every day after losing a job, find a job sooner. It may be that they worked out everything they wanted to say to their former boss and are now prepared to move on. Getting it out of your head and onto paper is a profitable thing.

  • Examine Yourself. Examine elements of your life:
    • Emotional and spiritual health. This is a perfect time to take spiritual inventory and re-examine the meaning of life. There are many spiritual communities that have job loss groups you can join at no cost. You are a human being with dignity and you are worthy of respect. You are not to be pitied. Do not drag yourself down with negative thoughts - they will show through in your voice and facial expressions and your writing. (Depression is a natural reaction to stress: Have someone else read your cover letters, e-mails, and resumes since there is a tendency to have a negative tone creep in regarding your previous employment).
    • Health and nutrition. Eat right, exercise, go to bed on time, wake up as if you were still working and make getting a new job your temporary job. Avoid excess eating or drinking. Stress can lead to depression, so be on the lookout for signs of unhealthy behavior.


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