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2 minute read

What Happens When You Lose Your Job and What to Do Next

Recognise the six stages of grief arising from job loss and strategies to handle the situation.

However strong you think you are, being retrenched or fired will hurt. Here’s a walkthrough of what you might experience, and how to come out better on the other side.

Stage one: Shock and denial

Losing your job can be difficult to accept, especially if you have been with the company for many years. Our word of advice: give yourself some space to come to terms with and process the situation; talk through your feedings with your spouse or a trusted friend

Stage two: Fear and panic

Once you have accepted your job loss, fear and stress can sweep in as you think about coping with pressing needs at hand

Word of advice: list your worries and process them systematically; talk through your worries with a trusted friend or coach and work on the next steps

Stage three: Anger

You may feel unfairly treated by your employer. However, anger may be unproductive and damage your job search.

Word of advice: Be aware of your emotions, and find a healthy outlet to express them; talk through your feedings with a spouse or a trusted friend

Stage four: Bargaining

Harping on what you could have done differently may lead you to blame yourself and affect your ability to move on.

Word of advice: instead of letting guilt take over, focus on the actions you can take to move forward; it may be useful to speak to family and friends or speak to a counsellor for third-party perspectives

Stage five: Depression

When reality sinks in, feelings of worthlessness and helplessness may creep in.

Word of advice: be patient, and understand that rejection from job applications is common; surround yourself with positive people and seek professional help if needed

Stage six: Acceptance

You start accepting the reality of your situation and begin to take charge of your job search. With the right guidance, you can find a fulfilling career

Word of advice: use your unemployment as an opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities; celebrate milestones, big or small, in your job search.

As Parameswari Seenivasan, a career coach says: “ Every individual’s experience with job loss is unique. What is important is to keep your mind calm and know that nothing is unbeatable. You got this!”

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What happens when you lose your job; WSG Careers Connect

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