The Emotional Impact of Layoffs and Job Loss
Here is some information from your Employee Assistance Program, Partners EAP, about job loss.
Not everyone will have the same reactions or needs after a job loss, but for many, losing one’s employment can be a life crisis and a major loss. Some people rank the loss of a job as equal to going through a divorce or experiencing the death of a loved one. It is not unusual to experience a wide range of responses which can be uncomfortable or upsetting.
Just like any loss, you may feel a sense of grief. Healthy grieving most often passes through stages of shock, pain and acceptance. These stages are not continuous so you may cycle back and forth through these stages over time. Letting yourself experience your grief will help you move through the stages and recover from a loss in a healthy, effective way. Often, people also experience a loss in self esteem. Here are some typical reactions:
Shock – you may feel disbelief or denial, you may withdraw; it is difficult to remember details and absorb new information after receiving the news.
- “I can’t believe it! It’s not true.”
- “I feel numb.”
- “Leave me alone – let me continue as before.”
Pain - you may feel anger, sadness, loss of self-esteem
- “I feel awful – I don’t want this!”
- “You don’t understand!”
- “What did I do to deserve this?”
- “What am I going to do now?”
Acceptance and Moving Forward– you reach out, re-involve, recall treasured memories, laugh again.
- “I have grown stronger.”
- “I’m recovering.” “Life is worth living again.”
- “I’ve found something more meaningful for me.”
- “Things turned out better than I thought or hoped would happen.”
- “Even though this was painful, I appreciate the benefits of this life experience.”
All of these feelings and reactions are normal and natural. It is also normal to have no reactions; feelings may come later, or not at all. We are all individuals. We all respond in our own ways.
The following signs may show you are having greater than normal difficulty coping with job loss:
- Sleeping changes/excessive fatigue
- Irritability for over two weeks
- Continued high level of anger
- Drinking excessively
- Being unable to tell anyone about your job loss
- Anxiety – constant worry
- Difficulty concentrating.
For more information or to discuss concerns about job loss please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.
In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.
This content was last modified on: 03/20/2017