Most people regard their jobs as simply a way to make a living, to provide the funding to support their lifestyle and pay their obligations.
So when faced with a job loss, they mostly think in terms of loss of income, and rarely consciously consider the psychological implications that make job loss so painful and full of stress.
Like an iceberg, the surface pain is dwarfed by the underlying psychological pain.
For those who have just lost their jobs, here are some of the psychological considerations that lead to stress, anxiety, and even panic.
Beyond the loss of income, losing a job also comes with other major losses, some of which may be even more difficult to face:
- Losing your job may mean the loss of standing with your family, friends, peers community, and profession. The larger the title, the more one’s loss of professional identity may be felt.
- Self-assurance, self-respect, self-satisfaction, and self-confidence all may be significantly reduced with the loss of one’s job.
- The loss of daily structure, the framework you base all of your waking hours upon often increases the feeling of loss, uncertainty, and aimlessness.
- Many people regard the loss of meaningful activity as a key indicator of their worth to themselves, their families, and their community.
- One of the most painful realities of job loss is the absence of familiar people who know and accept you as a peer, colleague, and friend. This feeling is more pronounced if you have been singled out, rather than laid off or fired as part of a much larger group. In many ways a group layoff or mass firing in preferable as it reduced self-blame and the implication that your termination was linked to your individual performance.
- More than the loss of your income comes the diminution of your sense of stability, safety, and comfort.
- And, perhaps the most depressing consequence of job loss is the loss of promise, potential, and hope for a brighter future.
Forewarned is forearmed. Knowing what to expect after a job loss is useful in combatting your feelings of loss, inadequacy, and general depression and hopelessness. The key thought should be: this too shall pass. It might pass like a painful kidney store, but it will pass.
Here is to your brighter future.