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Employment Expertise –Job Seekers – Feelings After A Layoff

Question: I’ve just been laid off from a job and I’m experiencing a range of feelings. Is that normal?

Answer: The news you were given, “we have to let you go,” is never easy to accept. Even if you were let down easy or had some warning. It doesn’t make it easier.

It’s normal to feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. A profound sense of dislocation immediately after a layoff or termination of any kind is to be expected. Strong emotions are normal and happen to everyone.

Experiencing a range of emotions all at once can be difficult and confusing – and is very typical. These can include:

  • Shock—it causes you to feel out of synch with the world, as though everything has completely changed but no one else sees it. It can be a very lonely feeling.
  • Anger—general irritability and impatience with people you encounter on a daily basis.
  • Denial—the state of mind where you unreasonably cling to a hope that isn’t realistic, such as: “they’ll call me back to work within a few weeks – this is no big deal.”
  • Sorrow—this feeling is a lot like grief that is a natural response to loss. You can recognize it by feelings of sadness that suddenly sneak up when you thought you were fine. You may also have a loss of appetite, or trouble sleeping (or sleeping all the time). Grief is more than sadness; it can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally.

Talk with your family or trusted friends and tell them what has happened. Keeping a layoff a secret puts you under enormous stress and adds to the negative feelings and isolation. Remember layoffs are common today. Friends, neighbors or churchgoers may sympathize completely.

Talking with those close to you will make the loss seem less severe. You will find many allies and job leads among the people you know, which is an excellent type of networking.

What you’re feeling is normal, and millions of others have had the same experience.

Two web sites that may help you start coping are:

Article on the Holland Sentinel