4/17/2009

Coping with Job Loss

This morning I read on stacking pennies blog that she is worreed about job loss:

http://stackingpennies.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/tell-me-something-good/

... and I read on Get Rich Slowly about someone who has lost their job:

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/04/17/ask-the-readers-help-ive-been-laid-off/

A LOT of people are worried about right now, including myself. My company has been slowly downsizing and making business decisiosn where, unfortunatly, appropriate. It is a very hard decision to let people go - and the impact is huge!

I thought I would pass along some information on Coping with Job Loss that I got from work...


Coping With Job Loss

If you have lost your job as a result of downsizing or other reasons, you may find yourself feeling:
- Overwhelmed
- Confused
- Worried

This is a normal reaction to a potentially devastating situation. Losing a job is one of the five most stressful life events. The result can mean that you experience:

- Loss of self-confidence
- A shaken sense of security
- Reduction in your usual ability to cope
- Financial worries

It is important to be aware of the emotional impact that the critical change will have on you in the short term. If you’ve ever grieved the loss of a loved one then you will know that a grieving process is a natural and healthy response to a critical change. The following reviews the process:

After a loss you are likely to experience:
· Shock and denial

You may wonder if your own performance contributed to the job termination. This is a natural reaction since your mind is trying to make sense of what just happened. In this phase, you may shut down, self blame, feel embarrassed and lack motivation to take control of your situation

· Anger, confusion, sadness and fear
You will experience most of these feelings. Sometimes all at the same time. It is important to allow yourself time to experience these emotions. To keep yourself safe and make sure that you are not isolated share your feelings with a trusted family member or friend. Release anxiety through adequate rest, nutrition, exercise and relaxation. Take extra special care of yourself.

· Acceptance
This comes with time and always at your own speed. There is no right or wrong time to reach this place. Once you are here you are truly ready to start planning for the future.

Remember, there is no set time frame and no right or wrong way to experience loss. It is an individual process for all of us.

Remember, it is important to understand that your reactions are normal so be kind to yourself as you evolve through the changes.

If job termination is not effective until a specific date, take care of yourself:
- Work regular hours and preserve time for friends and family
- Take breaks away from the office/company at lunchtime and during scheduled breaks
- Avoid colleagues who complain and are locked into resentment about their situation yourself with a supportive circle that will motivate you to build confidence and stay positive
- Financially prepare for the change
- Get your resume in order
- Network and begin to look at your options

The loss of a job can feel like the end of the world. It is a big change but it is also an opportunity to find a new direction and take on new challenges. Six months from now you could be in school, or in a new job learning new things and meeting new people.

It is always true that change is the place that we find the most opportunity. We hardly ever find opportunity in the routines of our normal everyday life. Change is hard but it is also good.

Here are some tips that can help you to move ahead positively:

- Maintain a sense of professionalism
- Don’t be a victim
- Allow yourself time to grieve and when you’re ready begin the process of looking at your options
- Focus on the future which is in your control not on the past which isn’t

Review your finances
- Determine your net worth
- Refinance if you need to
- Talk to your creditors and let them know of your circumstances
- Adjust your lifestyle according to the financial change
- Speak to a financial consultant if necessary

Apply for Employment Insurance

Go to your local Human Resources Development Canada office. You have a maximum of four weeks from your final day at work to submit your application.
Check the website @ www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/ae-ei/.

Seek emotional support
- Reach out for support
- Contact your Employee Assistance Program for additional support if your company has one

Job Hunting
- Update your resume regularly, adding new skills and completed projects as well as courses taken
- Actively network - this should be done even while you are in the process of being downsized
- Explore all options
- A contract position can be a temporary means for paying the bills while you continue your search for a job that you want
- If you are in a position to do so, you may want to consider upgrading your skills or taking courses that might lead to a different type of work

Maintain a balanced lifestyle
· Get adequate rest (at least 8 hours),
· Proper nutrition (protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy)
· Good hydration (at least 6-8 glasses of water a day)
· Exercise (i.e. walks, swimming, yoga) and leisure (i.e. hobbies, interests)
· Strengthen family and social ties
· Keep lines of communication open with your spouse or partner. Problem solve together around the job loss
· Remember, looking for a job is a full time job 3-4 hours a day is what you need
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