Laurie, a 50 year old divorced woman, has been out of work for eight months. She had been with the company for 18 years, felt pride in her work and loyalty to her employer.
When the lay-offs began, stress and anxiety spread throughout her department. Coming into work each day she wondered who would be next…”I pray it won’t be me”. was always on her mind.
The day that Laurie found out it was her turn to be fired, as much as she had anticipated it, she just couldn’t believe it! “Why me? What am I going to do?”
She packed her personal belongings feeling as if a death had just occurred. Laurie walked out of the building in numb disbelief. She had no idea what the future would now hold for her.
Being very organized, pro-active and industrious, Laurie threw herself immediately into looking for a job. What she was totally unprepared for was the impact of her emotions on her search.
So began Laurie’s grieving process. Feelings of anger, loss, denial and depression surfaced in erratic and unpredictable ways. Her self-identity had always been centered in her work. Without it, who was she now?
It took a while for Laurie to realize how much her emotional state was negatively impacting her efforts to find a job. Walking into a job interview, she thought her anger and resentment were well hidden, but they weren’t.
When Laurie was able to see what was happening, she set out to get some help to address the feelings that were stuck inside her. She joined a support group, started journaling about her feelings and became much more aware of the emotional toll her job loss had taken.
Losing a job impacts one emotionally and physically as well as financially. As in Laurie’s case, we so closely identify with what we do for a living, we can find ourselves floundering when that self-identity is lost.
If you are feeling down in your job search process, you aren’t alone! Here are some ideas for finding your emotional balance during your job search.
1. Write about what upsets you.
2. Do what revitalizes you. Enjoy pleasant moments each day.
3. Choose to have it happen. Avoid “If only…”
5. Be open to and find the unexpected opportunity. What calls to you?
6. Bolster your self-esteem. Make a list of your best characteristics and skills.
7. Find value and learning in what you are going through.
8. Make finding a you your job. Be persistent.
9. Discover and develop your skills of resiliency.
10. Use your imagination and humor. Be playful and bold.