The 5 Stages of Job Loss Depression

In these trying times, when tens of millions of Americans are out of work, it can be difficult to find motivation to keep moving forward after a job loss. Such a dramatic career shift is difficult enough under normal circumstances—now, it can throw you into a funk. 

You may have heard of the five stages of grief, or how we deal with a huge loss in our lives. Experts today say our emotional reaction to a sudden job loss or change is similar to our reaction to the loss or death of a loved one. If you are feeling lost and unmoored after a sudden career change, you are not alone. Take a look at the five stages of job loss depression below:

  • Shock and Denial
    Even if you were expecting a job loss, the news might come as a shock to you. Many people need time to fully comprehend what has happened, and may not fully accept it until some time afterward.
  • Anger
    It is natural to experience anger after a job loss. This might be directed towards the company, yourself, your family and friends, or even your coworkers who were not laid-off.
  • Resistance
    After receiving the news of a job loss, you may think you can do something to change your circumstances. Perhaps working longer hours or taking a pay cut will keep you from getting fired. Often, this is not a viable option and will not change what has just happened.
  • Sadness
    When the reality of your situation sinks in, sadness and depression is normal.
  • Acceptance
    Eventually, you will accept your situation and move forward.

It is important to note that not everyone will go through all five stages, nor will they necessarily be in this order. Working through grief is unique to each individual. Some may recover faster than others. There is no one “right way” to experience grief at a job loss, and if you’re feeling particularly stuck, you might want to seek professional help.

Above all, job loss is not the end of your career. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can move forward and still find happiness and fulfillment in your future employment. If and when you feel ready to move forward, Don’t Dread Monday is here to help. You can buy our book here and contact us here. We are here for you, ready and willing to help you find your footing and follow your passion.