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The Emotions of Being Laid Off

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We can all imagine what it’s like to be laid off. Like getting dumped or losing a loved one, losing a job comes first as a shock, and may lead into all the standard emotions of trauma: denial, anxiety, anger, and so forth. There is anger, both at yourself and also your former employers. It’s probably all mixed up together, and hard to extricate. You might blame your boss, but secretly doubt if you should be blaming yourself. You might jump to conclusions, say things that you regret the next day, or have it all figured out in your head only to doubt your conclusions the next day.

Let your heart team with all these emotions. They come and go, like the waves of a sea; there is no choking them out. They are the way your mind and body process the loss, the way you prepare yourself for your next attempts.

Self-pity, embarrassment, hopelessness, panic attacks, and dread are standard: you are not crazy, you are not even whiny, you are simply a human being reacting as human beings do.

Whine a little, get some shoulders to cry on, do what you need to do to get you back to yourself. But how much of this becomes too much? If you are depressed for over 6 months, this might be a sign that a therapist could help you move on from the loss of the job. There is no shame in that; we all handle loss differently, and having a professional help us think things through is as natural and useful as any other matter.

Profound shame or persistent resentment against your old boss or are both avoidable if you let yourself accept the situation. This is the way it is, and you can’t wish it away. What you need, in these circumstances, is to balance out what happened, to gain some perspective on what all was involved and how we can move forward stronger and with greater insight into ourselves on the job front.

It may seem a poor trade off, the loss of the job in exchange for self-knowledge, but ultimately, the second may help you more in the long run. Not all the emotions of a lay off need be bad. You will get bits of optimism, hope, and excitement. Perhaps a whiff of possibility is charging your veins, and you can finally do what you were always afraid to do: find a new and exciting career.

The Emotions of Being Laid Off by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes