Job Loss

There Are 5 Stages Of Job Loss Depression

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When it comes to job loss, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been fired (lost job due to your performance), or laid off (lost job due to your company’s performance), the fact remains you must deal with a five-letter word: grief.

There Are 5 Stages Of Job Loss Depression

I recently came across an excellent article by a recruiter on the five stages of grief as they relate to job loss.

You can read it here.

My favorite part of the article is the very end when the author says:

“I’ve seen people get stuck in Anger for years and not understand why they never get a job offer. I’ve seen others go straight to the Acceptance stage the day after they’ve been laid off. Everyone is different. Don’t be too hard on yourself!”

Are You Faking Acceptance?

I agree everyone navigates grief differently and that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves.

However, I also see lots of cases where people think they are at the “acceptance” phase when they really aren’t.

Here’s an example…

A couple of years ago, a woman joined CareerHMO to help her stalled job search.

She had moved to a new city after having spent several months caring for a sick relative. She was upbeat and excited about finding a new position, but couldn’t seem to get past the first round of interviews. On paper, she was clearly talented, so I decided to dig a bit deeper to see if something was happening in the interview stage that was causing the problem.

I found it when I inquired, “Why did you leave your last position?” I assumed the answer was around the care of the relative. However, instead she began sharing a long-winded somewhat confusing explanation of her former employer, a project she had been working on, and an ultimate lay-off of 200 employees. I said, “So, you got laid-off?” To which she again started in on a long explanation which lead me to say, “So, were you fired?” At which point, she started to cry.

Yes. She had been fired. But even worse… she had never really accepted it.

We worked for over two months together. Each week, I would challenge her to get through yet another stage of job loss grief. It took a lot of effort, but eventually I got her to truly accept what happened.

Two Signs You’re Really There

The best way to know if you are truly over your job loss and in the stage of acceptance is if you can talk about the experience with:

  • Objectivity: You can state the facts without adding emotional commentary.
  • Accountability: You can take ownership of your role in what lead to your job loss.

Trust me when I say hiring managers (and everyone else you talk to about your job search) can tell if you aren’t at the acceptance stage of job loss grief.

So, I hope you will consider having an honest conversation with someone to see if this could be what’s holding you back.

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search.

I just finished four new training videos for you – they’re all about executing an easier job search in this economy.

My videos are completely free and I’m confident you’re going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below.

WATCH VIDEO NOW ►

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

5 comments

  1. My position was “eliminated” about 3 weeks after the new VP was brought on board. It was a surprise, as I was looking forward to the changes his leadership might bring, but it cost so much to get him, a few of us were let go.

    I like to think I’m over it -no more early morning nasty emails or working while I’m on PTO. But how does one make the dreams and nightmares stop?

    • I was recently laid off too, after much change in management over the last several years. It feels like you are tossed away, after working for so long as a dedicated employee. But I try to look at the upside, that it is a chance to have a new start somewhere, to have new challenges, meet new people, and to make an environment change. Because change is hard, you have to use your energy for positive things, and not look back. I have gone through anger, grief, and acceptance. It comes and goes, I try to let it go, but I also realize it is part of the project. I try to remember it is business, and not personal, but after working many years somewhere you feel like it was such a part of your life every day, but in the end, it is what it is. I think the answer is open up to friends, not past co workers, as they are still working there, and will probably have more work added onto their jobs due to the recent layoffs, so they feel you are the lucky one. Thanks for the great article.

  2. I find this site very helpful. Especially the part about job loss. I recently lost my job, and it was so devastating. after reading the article help me come to grips with that.

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