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career counseling blog by veronica cano

Grieving a Job You Love!

October 15, 2021

This article was created by Veronica Cano, Career Counselor at Career Intentions with the hope to inspire and boost self-confidence during these uncertain times.

During these uncertain times, for many of us, our job has served as a point of stability. Our job gives us purpose, structure, a support system, community, financial stability, and important fringe benefits. Also, for many of us, we love the work that we perform, we have built strong relationships with our employer, co-workers, or clients, and have created goals to grow within our workplace. In other words, our employment plays a critical role in our life.

However, when your employer decides to lay you off or terminate you for any given reason, it is definitely unsettling and feels totally unfair. Let’s dissect this further.

Let’s say that you work full-time and you spend most of your time contributing and supporting your employer in exchange for a monetary benefit. However, suddenly you lose your employment. This can definitely feel unfair (feeling used, under-valued, exploited, etc.), and can definitely foster feelings of resentment. And to add another wrinkle into this scenario, you honestly loved the work you performed, and just feel heartbroken that it is all over.

Much like an intimate relationship, your employment plays a key role in your life, and how do we get over the fact that it is over?

Find an Outlet to Express Your Feelings

With the loss of employment, you may experience feelings of loss, sadness, guilt, resentment, anger, confusion, anxiety, depression, or even optimism for the future. Gosh so many feelings for a job right?

However, as you experience the loss of employment, find ways to process and express your feelings. This can be done by:

Talk it out (or even cry it out) with someone you trust (friend, family member, counselor, partner, etc.)

  • Express your feelings with art (drawing, painting, sculpting, dancing, acting, etc.)
  • Engage in physical activity (exercise, play a sport, gardening, bike riding, swimming, walking/running, etc.)
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings about losing your job

Know Your Worth

Even though you lost your job, it doesn’t mean that you’re worthless. On the contrary, you are valuable and you are worth a ton! Even though you may have trouble identifying your worth at this time, you do have skills, experience, education, and/or training that makes you a great candidate for a future job!

Your task is to self-reflect and identify what skills, experience, education or training, and strengths that make you a great candidate! In other words, what value do bring to an employer? Also, what makes you unique or authentic?

If you engage in self-reflection and continue doubting your self-worth, then make sure to ask someone who knows you well (friend, partner, family member, colleague, former co-worker, etc.) to help you identify what are your attributes that make you a great candidate!

With this information in mind, this will help you boost your self-esteem, and will help you market yourself during your job search. So look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate yourself because you are definitely worth it! Best believe it!

Create New Goals

Once you’re aware of your self-worth, then it’s time to Identify your goal(s). What is the next goal that will fulfill your values, bring you joy, and/or give you purpose? Identify it and write it down.

Then, it’s time to make a plan. Make a one year plan, three year plan, and/or even a five or ten year plan. What small action steps can you take to achieve your main goal? Write down your plan, so that you can feel like you are committed to this goal (this will increase the likelihood of completing this goal, and it will motivate you).

Also, just in case, have a backup goal and plan ready in case your original goal or plan doesn’t go as planned (because life is very unpredictable).

Take Action

Now, the step that takes the most energy. Take action and do it with your purpose in mind!

Remember to keep your purpose or goal in mind as you take action because it will help guide you, motivate you, and will help you to not give up.

A New Chapter

Even though your employer decided to terminate you, your life isn’t over! You are not defined by your job. You are unique and have value! Look at this new chapter as a new opportunity to do what you really want to do. Now that you have processed this experience and you have gained a new perspective, make sure to take advantage of the best employment opportunity available to you. And who knows, maybe the next job might be your favorite!