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Healing After a Job Loss (Examples and a Model from a Career Coach)

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development career coaching, healing, job loss, grieving, Kübler-Ross Change Curve model, recovery, moving on, coach

Awareness is the first step--healing from job loss coaching quotes

Handling Job Loss

Job loss can come in many forms from being fired, downsized, or quitting a job that didn’t work out as expected. The reason for the loss, and your investment in the job, help determine how great you feel the upset in your life. 

A sudden job loss can leave you feeling shocked wondering how this could have happened. Losses can even accumulate over time. Awareness is the first step to healing from loss. Once you allow yourself to process your feelings over a loss, you will be able to move on with a positive attitude. 

It’s easy to blame yourself for the loss or just gloss over it and try to move on without acknowledging your feelings. Skipping over the healing process can lead to anger and frustration that will show in your voice, words, and body language as you apply and interview for your next job. 


The Kubler-Ross Change Curve model for Healing

The Kubler-Ross Change Curve model can help you, “understand their reactions to significant change or loss” explains Kübler-Ross.

The Kübler-Ross Change Curve model for healing:

  • Shock or surprise at the event that led to loss.
  • Denial or disbelief and looking for evidence it isn’t true or you might be able to change the event.
  • Frustration when recognizing things really are different possibly resulting in feelings of anger.
  • Depression with low mood or energy that may be situational if feelings are processed or more long term where intervention is needed.
  • Experiment with new situation, possibilities, and options.
  • Decision to work in a new situation and feeling more positive.
  • Integration with the new situation and feeling renewed.

An Example of Success After Being Fired

A personal example of job loss happened when I was unexpectedly fired from a job without notice. After receiving glowing evaluations, I was shocked to get fired without notice. I felt very emotional and wondered if I would ever get another job. I felt angry that they could suddenly fire me without a reason.

I asked myself what I had done wrong, and tried to come up with a reason, but realized the situation was beyond my control.

Fortunately, I was hired for a position that better fit my skills and interests within two weeks. To my surprise, one of the interviewers knew my former employer. I was very glad that I didn’t say anything negative about my previous jobs.

Once you work through the initial shock and grief over losing or leaving a job, you want to focus on your successes.

You can feel grief even if you need to voluntarily leave a former employer. Whatever your reason for leaving, focusing on your skills and successes will prepare you for your next opportunity.

Read through the following story of job loss. Then take a moment to list the skills you developed while you worked through your crisis and loss. 

A Story of Resilience

A young man spent four years planning and building a beautiful house for his family and starting a business. A tornado plowed through his town and blew down his home. He was able to quickly find a place to live and knew he needed to look for a job.

He showed his resilience and flexibility by posting his skills on social media and searching for companies he might want to work for. Rather than talking about the disaster, he talked about the skills he developed while building his home.

When he looked for a job, he didn’t tell prospective employers his sad story about how long it took to build his amazing home and start a business. He talked to his friends, colleagues, and social connections about building an amazing house.

While posting on social media and talking to friends, he talked about how he drew up the plans, developed a budget, purchased supplies, and built his home. He was able to share the many ways he developed the skills he wanted to use in his next job while building his home.

A Time for Healing

Job loss can feel very private and personal. When shame creeps in, it is easy to hold in your feelings and try to just move on to the next job or seek shelter in yourself alone.

Understanding that most people have or will experience job loss in their careers will help you to not feel alone. You will feel more open with trusted friends or professionals about your job loss when you realize that changing and losing jobs is becoming more common as we experience various crises in our world and our careers. 

When you give time and attention to your healing process you will experience more positive feelings and take the actions needed for future success. You might experience the grieving process very quickly, or it may take some time and attention. Take the time you need to smoothly transition to your next job. 

Seeking assistance from a career professional will provide you with the attention and tools you need to process the loss and find the healing you need to find a new joy in your work. You will find yourself prepared for your next opportunity if you reach out and get the support you need. If you should find yourself stuck in feelings of depression, be sure to seek out a mental health professional.

Nancy Miller is a Career Counselor and Certified Life Coach assisting clients in working through challenges and loss then finding work that gives them meaning and fits their life purpose.


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  • Nancy
    December 07, 2021

    Thank you for reading my article. As a Career Counselor and Certified Life Coach, I am happy to talk with you about job loss or grief from expected or unexpected loss in your life or work. You can contact me for a free consultation Sincerely, Nancy J. Miller.


The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
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