The Grieving Process. For most people a job plays a key role
in their lives beyond providing a paycheck. A job provides a sense of
belonging, security, and most importantly, a sense of identity. People
define themselves by what they do for a living and by what groups they
belong to (e.g. family, company, church, civic). A person has a strong
sense of attachment to his or her job - an attachment that is
accompanied by personal feelings of control, expectation and loyalty.
Any threat to job security threatens a lot more than loss of income.
Job loss brings with it loss of income, position, power, and in many
cases, identity. The process a person goes through with the loss of a
job is much like the stages of grief when someone close to us dies.
It is normal to grieve when you have experienced the loss of your job.
- a set of reactions to loss or the threat of loss, and
- the process of experiencing the psychological, social and physical reactions to your perception of loss.
Grief is the healing process we go through after suffering a loss.
Grief includes feelings, attitudes and behaviors that exist over a
period of time. Everyone in the person's environment is
affected…coworkers, spouse, children, and other family members. A
person may move back and forth between the different stages of grief,
experiencing waves of sadness, anger and fear. Following are the three
stages of grief and normal grief reactions for each:
1. Initial Shock and Denial
shock/disbelief · denial · withdrawal ·
stunned · "if only" scenarios · forgetfulness/loss of memory · poor
concentration · feelings of anxiety, sadness, depression · hopelessness
· lack ability to cope · blaming others · confusion · pre-existing life
problems may be intensified
2. Anger/Sadness (acute feelings)
powerlessness · helplessness · sense
of injustice/betrayal · anger · bitterness · resentment · displaced
anger directed at spouse/kids · blaming oneself · pain · fear · guilt ·
shame · depression
come to terms with negative feelings
· end point after working through above phases/feelings · start
focusing on taking constructive steps toward changing one's
circumstances · searching for employment · exploring career options ·
taking better care of oneself through dieting, exercising, relaxing and
being with friends
Each of us grieves differently. There is absolutely no one "right
way" to grieve a loss. How much time it takes to move through these
stages depends on the nature of the loss, the individual who is
grieving and the overall circumstances of the individual's life. To
deal with the loss of your job requires time and effort and acceptance
of the necessary grief process. The more positive your attitude, the
more constructive your efforts, the better chance you will have of
surviving and coming out ahead. A well-organized plan and a disciplined
job search effort, which utilizes your internal resources as well as
other external resources, will be the best way to survive and win.
More Local Resources (PDF)
The Kearney Chamber of Commerce has created a website that provides helpful information.
Community Action Programs of Mid-Nebraska
- We are a non-profit, community action agency based in Kearney,
Nebraska covering 27 counties. Our mission is to help others help
The Best Care Employee Assistance Program
(EAP) provides free, short-term counseling if you or your family need
help coping with feelings about the loss of your job or in exploring
alternatives at this critical point in your life. You and your
immediate family members may use the EAP for one year after your
separation date by calling: (800) 666-8606 or (402) 354-8000.
Contact Human Resources for more information by calling 865-8426.