Coping with Redundancy

When you lose your job, it can feel like your world is falling apart. Critically, losing your job means losing financial stability and emotionally, a job loss can spin you into a whirl-wind of stress, anxiety and depression. You may even have a sense of betrayal after giving years of hard work and loyalty to your employer. Unfortunately redundancy is increasingly becoming part of modern careers, as businesses seek to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, and a growing number of people are faced with having to cope with this experience.

As we spend so much of lives at work, for many of us, our jobs become part of our self-identity; a reflection of who we are and our place in the world. Losing a job can undermine that sense of identity. It may even feel like part of ourselves is lost. It is not uncommon to go through emotional phases which are similar to grieving.

  • Shock/disbelief/denial
  • Angry
  • Bargaining/re-gain control
  • Despair/depression
  • Letting go/acceptance

Physical symptoms such as; weight loss or gain, insomnia or fatigue can also be experienced.

It’s important to not deal with these feelings on your own, and fight any urge you may have to withdraw and isolate yourself. Talk to friends and family members. It’s important to recognize that it’s not your fault. It’s a good time to re-evaluate what makes you, you, regardless of whether you’re employed or not.

Of course, there are practical things to consider such as updating and refreshing your CV, but it is also important to look after your emotional well-being at a time when you may be feeling depressed and overwhelmed. Perhaps one of the most difficult things to cope with is the uncertainty; how long will the period of unemployment last? It is often this sense of uncertainty which leads to feelings of insecurity, but try to stay positive. It might be time to reflect on taking a new direction, or you may want to take some ‘time off’ before beginning a new employment journey.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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