Job Loss Grief: The Unknown and Unacknowledged Emotion

You have either been laid off, downsized, right-sided, made redundant, let go, or whatever they called it, and you feel a wide range of emotions.  Or maybe you don’t feel anything at all at the moment.  All you know is you are now experiencing an unplanned change.  Everything you thought about yourself, your job and your future has now been upended.

Among your feelings are shame, anger, fear, anxiety, depressed and many others.  And all these emotions are real.  You are human, and as a human, it is natural and normal to have feelings like these when a loss occurs in your life.  Loss happens in life.  Job loss is felt in the heart and not in the head.  You will go through various emotions at different times.  They may or may not be like someone’s feelings.  It’s ok though because everyone experiences grief differently.

However you have come to understand yourself at this time, there are many others who don’t.  Your family, friends and former colleagues don’t know what to say to you.  They are reacting out of their own fears. In the case of your spouse and children, they fear the financial security of the family.  Your colleagues fear they will experience the same fate.

Additionally, you live in a culture that wants to feel good and dislikes being around people who are sad.  You, like many of us  were taught to hold your negative emotions in check.  As a result, you are not equipped to handle your own emotions let alone someone else’s.   Think about the last time you were around someone who lost a loved one.  You were at a loss for words and were afraid of saying anything that causes the person to start crying so you tip toed around the situation.  You don’t like to see others cry.  It makes you feel uncomfortable. You and a few million other people feel that way.

As I have explained above, grief is normal.  But it has to end in order to move on.  I will cover that in my next posts.  For now, you need to seek ways to alleviate your grief.  Some ways to help you out:  join a job search networking group that allows you express your feelings.  Find a person who will listen without judging you or trying to fix you.  Understand you are not alone, and that what happened was more about business than you.

Please share your comments below.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

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  1. on August 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm