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When you think of grief

When people think of grief, they think of a significant loss such as a family member or a beloved pet. But different types of grief come in different forms – like the grief you might feel over losing a job and being unemployed.

Laid off due to funding cuts, part of redundancy due to restructuring, or even when you leave a job of your own volition because it wasn’t serving your professional needs, it can be a difficult experience to process.

The loss of income; the loss of friendships at work or the camaraderie you would feel at lunch; the loss of water cooler chats and hallway meetings; this sense of loss can leave you confused and wondering what went wrong.

The Five Stages of Grief in Experiencing Job Loss:


You may say to yourself – is this really happening? It will take some time to accept the job loss; to accept that you are now unemployed and need to start again. Don’t rush through the emotions, ignore, or suppress them. Losing a job can be a shock to our system. Give yourself time to process and reflect on the learnings.


Anger can mean frustration or a violation of your core values. Whatever it is, work through your anger. Look for opportunities.


The third phase is bargaining – this can happen within ourselves, with another person or even with a higher power – whether you believe in a traditional God or the Universe, bargaining or negotiating is something each of us do at different times in our lives.


Depression can come in at any time during our grief journey. The best thing you can do for yourself is sit with the depression and sadness, be inquisitive, analyze it, and work through it. This isn’t always easy, and we sometimes need additional support in working through our depressive episodes, such as seeing a doctor or a counsellor.


Acceptance is the final stage of the grieving process. True acceptance is when you can appreciate the lessons you learned from the loss and move on to a future that is meant for you.


Remember, grieving over a job loss is not wrong, it is completely natural. It can be a profound experience. Trust that you will find your way back. This is a new opportunity for you.  

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