Job loss can be associated with feelings of defeat, shame and uncertainty. Feelings of
defeat occur because of the loss itself. Jobs are often referred to as a “living”. Consider the expression “making a living”. The implication here is that the job is what makes one alive, which is far from the truth. One may consider this loss to be directly connected with their sense of self. The loss of a job would therefore be synonymous with a loss of self. A
loss of self is a critical phase that requires immediate consideration.
Shame is associated with the perceived embarrassment of no longer being employed.
This is especially true when one’s job is associated with one’s life and sense of self.
The uncertainty arises when one is unaware how financial responsibilities will be managed. The devastation of job loss can have a significant impact on those caught
in the path of its destruction. The impact is often minimized and those effected can be victims of the “just get another job” type of support from friends and family. This only exacerbates the feelings of defeat, shame and uncertainty.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to resolving feelings associated with job loss. One
must, however, understand the source of those feelings and deal with each as they arise.
This is critical and will determine one’s success in subsequent jobs. Unresolved job loss issues can negatively impact one’s productivity on the job as well as job retention.
Job loss can be viewed as either an opportunity for growth or a set-up for defeat. Even in defeat, however, hope is waiting to be manifested. How one responds could be the difference between success or disappointment.
Naquisha Howard-Stubbs, MA, LPC
I am a a Licensed Psychotherapist specializing in helping individuals live emotionally, mentally and spiritually fulfilling lives.