Losing your job is one of the 5 most stressful things we experience in life, following death, divorce, moving house and major health issues. Probably the greatest impact occurs when the job loss is sudden and unexpected, and seemingly unrelated to our work performance. The most obvious and immediate concern is having enough money to pay ongoing bills, such as rent, mortgage or loan repayments, but the emotional effects of job loss can also hit us really hard.

A lady I I know was devastated to lose the job that she’d been working in for only a short time. Her supervisor had given good feedback, and indicated on several occasions he was pleased with her progress in learning the job. One Thursday afternoon however, she was called into the office to be told her employment was being terminated at 4pm the following day.

It didn’t make sense at any level, and she wrestled with making sense of it – what had she done wrong? She was still on probation, so why weren’t they willing to provide more training support? The following few months were difficult. She doubted her abilities. Her self-esteem was crushed. She thought she’d been doing a good job, and then without warning – it ended.

Fortunately my friend didn’t allow this incident to define her. While it took quite some time to find other work, in her spare time she had started doing some voluntary work with a local community organisation. This in turn led to part time work, and career opportunities in a totally different field. Three years on, she is in her second year of study at university.

While losing your job is no doubt stressful, how you respond to it is your choice, and will impact your future. It may well even be a blessing in disguise – the perfect time to expand your horizons and consider doing something different.

BTW, my friend discovered much later that the reason she lost her job had NOTHING to do with her – turns out the company was in financial difficulty, and she just happened to be a casualty of some bad business decisions that were made long before she even arrived..

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