Loss of Employment
Some career changes are choices that you make. Accepting a new job, accepting a promotion, or changing companies are usually in our control. Generations ago, people would get a job and stay at the same company for 30 or more years. These days, people will not only change their employers but often their career area altogether. It’s not uncommon for people to have 2, 3, or more careers in their lifetime – some completely unrelated to their current career. These are exciting career changes that can feel risky – forcing you to take a leap of faith.
However, there are the career changes that are not within your control – those made as a result of being a victim of downsizing, restructuring, or layoffs due to economic circumstances. Perhaps you’ve suffered an injury or illness that exempts you from continuing on in your current career. Perhaps your spouse or partner has accepted a new job that means re-locating and a career change for you as well. Or maybe you’ve found you simply cannot find work in your current industry and have to make a change in order to pay the bills.
Losing your job can feel overwhelming and bring with it a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, especially if you feel like the choice has been forced upon you, and grieving this loss is a very common process to experience.
Symptoms & signs of grief from the loss of employment
Job loss can leave you experiencing anxiety, depression, and/or grief.
- Inability to stop worrying about your employment
- Feelings of never-ending stress
- Being easily startled and/or quick to panic
- Feeling socially isolated or alienated from others in your life
- Problems in your social relationships due to the feelings of being vulnerable
- Fatigue, difficulty sleeping
- Inability to catch your breath
- Trembling, muscle tension, muscle aches
- Heart palpitations
- Indecisiveness and inability to concentrate
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling worthless
- Thoughts of committing suicide or of death
- Lack of interest in everyday activities
- Lack of joy in things or activities that used to bring pleasure
- Feeling irritated
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Back pain, chest pain, muscle aches, and joint pain
- Digestive problems
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Change in appetite or weight
- Self-destructive behaviour (alcohol or drug use/abuse)
- Extreme sadness
- Inability to function
- Obsession with the job loss
- Feelings of anger or guilt
- Withdrawing from others
- Lack of appetite
- Digestive problems
- Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
- Feeling achy
When is time to get help?
If you have experienced a loss of employment and you’re feeling overwhelming anxiety, are feeling depressed, angry or resentful, and feel stuck or unable to accept this change and move forward, it might be time to seek help.
You may also want to learn more about:
Treatment methods for grief from loss of employment
You may also be feeling anxiety, be dealing with anger, or perhaps your relationships have been affected as a result of your job loss, so your therapist may want to address those areas as well. There are effective treatment methods for coping with grief, including:
- Grief work therapy refers to the methods used in counselling that help people to grieve loss and understand their emotions associated with the loss in a healthy way with the ultimate goal of moving forward.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy encourages clients to accept the difficulties and misfortunes of life. Clients learn coping techniques to not dwell on negative emotions by staying in the present.
- Person Centered Therapy differs from more traditional therapeutic approaches in the belief that, while the therapist has expertise in many areas, the client is the expert on themselves and their lived experiences. People are essentially trustworthy and have a vast potential for understanding themselves while also being able to ultimately resolve their own problems when guided properly.
- Emotionally focused therapy is based on observations and experience. It looks at emotions and emotional intelligence, which helps support stronger and more secure relationships by helping better understand how our actions impact others, and how our emotions drive our interaction.
Your therapist will work with you to determine the most effective treatment method for you and your unique circumstances.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
We can share coping strategies and tools you can use to help you get through this time of transition and help you to meet the challenges that may lie ahead of you. We can assist you in setting realistic goals and timelines for those goals. With support, you can come out of this loss feeling more resilient and better able to cope with all of life’s changes. Our therapists are here to support you and empower you.
Insight can provide you with in-person, online, or telephone counselling. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.