I just lost my job!
What a harsh reality for many people today. You know that the economy has been doing poorly for a long time and the company’s bottom line reached an all-time low. However, you never expected losing your job, because you even received a special reward last week.
Today you are informed that you do not have a job anymore!
It is nearly Christmas and everybody planned a joyous time of rest after this hard year.
Your manager might have told you how unfortunate it is to sit in your position in a time like this and that you will go through the “stages of mourning”. Adding that next year is a time for new beginnings and that you will be able to move beyond the situation.
You listened to the manager as though you were watching a bad TV-story because this could not be happening to you. Not after everything you have done for this company and been loyal for so many years.
Your experience is like an explosion and implosion at the same time. All your assumptions and hopes are shattered. Like in the following illustration from our book, “Managing Trauma Relief” page 51.
Now your reality is filled with disbelief, shock, guilt, resentment, self-pity and anger. All at the same time.
Losing your job is one of the harshest things that can happen to you. This is especially hard if you were committed and made extreme sacrifices. Getting through the loss won’t be easy, but it is possible.
The first step is to get all the support you can. Share the news with your family and friends. Although feelings of shame and despair are normal, you do not need to go through this alone.
Should the company offer counselling or reskilling programmes, take opportunities. This is not the time to be too proud or too rebellious to use the assistance.
Get your CV updated. Your next fulltime job is to get a new position. No, I do not mean send the CV to the whole wide world without them having posted job vacancies, because that is a waste of precious time. Let everyone you know help you lookout for opportunities for work.
Get out of bed and the bedroom. Be involved in community outreaches and church projects, because that will mitigate the empty hours and you will meet new people.
Contact your financial advisors for assistance with a plan to deal with the changes in your life’s circumstances.
Get help to deal with the trauma of the loss of your job. Your whole household is affected and you all have to allow each other to deal with the fears and uncertainty. At first, you will need counselling to handle the painful situation and to acknowledge your emotions and challenge. After helping my clients to deal with the immediate fall out of the situation, I usually go over to a coaching process to assist you to set new goals for your life and to explore new career possibilities.
There is always hope and help. Your hobby or charitable work might become the new opportunity you have been waiting for.
You do not need to be formally employed to have a good future. You might see a need in your community that can become your new business. As an entrepreneur, you can create a venture that can make a difference in many people’s lives.
Life will never be the same again, but you are resilient and will be able to find a “new normal”. You will be able to take action to grow towards wellness in every area of your life.