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The Loss of Your Job Isn’t Worth Losing Yourself Over

Reaction To Job Loss

According to Monica O’Neal, a clinical psychologist, getting fired is traumatic. Even in a case where you anticipate it, getting fired still is traumatic. Just like any other form of trauma, it is followed by a grieving period. While getting weighed down with different feelings such as sadness, anxiety, and disappointment during this period of uncertainty is easy, it is important that you don’t lose yourself after the loss of your job. With the right selection of tips and knowledge, there is a great possibility that you can ensure that losing yourself doesn’t happen.

It is important that you know there isn’t one right reaction for job loss. All through the days and sometimes week after the loss of job, you may experience different emotions and that is totally fine. According to a career coach, David Wiacek on the feelings of his clients after they lose their job, their feelings vary from anger and they get vengeful. Some feel livid towards their boss and later have feelings of disillusionment or disenfranchisement. He said most times when they put a call through to him one week or 2 weeks after the loss of their job, they began to exercise symptoms of depression and are also often anxious about what the future holds.

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Determinants Of Reaction

According to Dr. O’Neal, the way a person tends to react to the news of the loss of a job most times depends on whether the person was fired or the person was laid off. Dr. O’Neal added that when a person gets laid off, they typically tend to disassociate the occurrence from themselves as well as their real performance simply because it isn’t about the job loss. They sometimes feel like that makes them a failure and processing it might be an actual challenge. Dr. O’Neal further explains how important it is to put in hard work into processing what is happening.

She likened job loss to break up. If one doesn’t reflect on actions as well as mistakes then a person is likely to enter the subsequent relationship, in this case, another job while still having those issues and this, in turn, creates a vicious cycle.

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Dr. O’Neal advises such people to reach out to someone they trust be it a supervisor or therapist or former colleague to help in discovering the behavioral pattern that is standing between you and the achievement of your goals. Dr. O’Neal said if even after weeks, you still feel so down, then you may need to get professional help.

Identity Loss

Losing one’s job sometimes makes one feel like they no longer have a part of their identity. However, looking on the bright side, the downtime this provides you between jobs can be used in going after other interests. It could also be the time to consider what and how you want your chosen career path to be 5 to 10 years down the line.


However, if you do not have the requisite means to survive weeks without having a job, then you can continue to search your soul as you work on a temporary job. Wiacek mentioned that there is this stigma that surrounds temporary work. However, he added that it provides a good opportunity to find out that you actually are different from your job and your world doesn’t revolve around it. The job may only be a way through which you get to pay your bills and you can still remain fulfilled outside the job.

Working on Physical Fitness

This can most likely contribute to the improvement of mental fitness. You need to get to hiking or register for yoga or start playing tennis as soon as possible. According to Wiacek, having a healthy body provides support for mental resilience. You need this mental resilience when you are trying to get over the job you lost and move ahead to start a job search that will turn out successful.

Having a healthy body provides support for mental resilience

Wiacek mentioned that there are times when unemployment allows a client to get hands on the reset button.  Dr O’Neal also noted the positive effects that come with achieving personally-set fitness goals. She noted that if your body simply feels better that can also help a person in feeling better about his or her capabilities. Also, at this time when you feel fit and great, it may be the right time for leveraging on endorphins. You can use this period to edit your LinkedIn profile and work towards getting the job you have been dreaming of.

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