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Moving beyond job loss

publication date: May 10, 2020
author/source: Emilia Stypulkowska

What does it feel like to lose your job?

You experience shame. You wonder – why did this happen to me and not someone else? What did I do wrong or fail to do?

You lose your sense of security and protection. All of a sudden, you don’t have the ability to sustain yourself financially and provide for your basic needs.

You experience grief. The grief that is created by the void of a daily routine and connections with everyone at your work.

You experience self-doubt. A part of your identity and your confidence is gone. You don’t realize how tied your job is to your self-worth until you lose it.

Your sense of usefulness and contribution is gone.

How can you combat these powerful feelings?

I suggest these steps:

  • Take a week or two to let yourself process without taking action. Sleep in, watch Netflix, and allow yourself to feel your grief.
  • After that, wake up at a regular time every day (8am or before is ideal) to work on a goal that you’ve set for yourself. This should be a simple and pleasurable goal that you look forward to. (If it’s not something you look forward to, you will likely have a hard time motivating yourself to wake up early and not take the extra time to sleep)
  • Reach out to someone, perhaps a friend or family member who has some idea of how you’re feeling and can offer you empathy and support
  • Set aside at least an hour or two every day to start working on your job search. That’s right – I don’t recommend that this is something you do for 8 hours a day. It’s much easier to stay positive and focused if you don’t overwhelm yourself with a full-force job search.

If you’re looking for a job right now, please remember that good people always land on their feet. I know you are one of them.

Emilia Stypulkowska helps people take control of their careers by helping them navigate challenges, restore their energy, and land their dream job. She can be reached at


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