Have you ever loved a job so much so much, that it becomes everything? The air that you breathe, the reason you wake up and the sweet thought that helps you fall asleep? What happens when that jobs is stripped away. Will you still have a reason to smile, laugh…live?
This post is going to cover the difficult but VERY real and relevant reality of redundancy, losing one’s job or having to retire early. Many factors can lead to these unfortunate outcomes: economic crisis, your employer cutting costs, your skillset/contribution no longer being relevant or ill health meaning that form of work is no longer suitable for you.
It can be a very testing period, not only financially but mentally. “Employment status is linked to mental health outcomes, with those who are unemployed or economically inactive having higher rates of common mental health problems than those who are employed,” Stansfield et al 2014. Furthermore Linda Blair, Telegraph mentioned, “while some redundancies are handled with greater sensitivity than others, losing your job nonetheless represents a huge blow, not only financially but psychologically as well. The effects are so distressing that some researchers have likened the process we go through after job loss to that of bereavement.”
I believe what could contribute to the rise in mental health issues following unemployment links to loss of identity. Some people can place their worth and self-value in their job so when that’s taken away, they lose a sense of self and no longer feel like they have a place in the world anymore. The questions “who am I?”, “what do I do now?” or “what next?” may pop up. And without a strong anchor such as your faith or a supportive community or a strong understanding of who you are, it is easy to spiral deeper into depression and in the worst circumstance, commit suicide. Although it is a period of uncertainty and instability, it could also be a chance to unveil something new about yourself and be exposed to better opportunities.
So as I end this post, I have 5 golden nuggets to share:
Be honest with yourself and loved ones about your situation.
Process your emotions but don’t allow yourself to be consumed by them.
Your job was the fruit but you carry the seed, that seed can bear fruit again. Sweeter and Juicier!
Your job doesn’t define you neither is it a measure of your self-worth.
It is important to know that you CAN go on after losing your job, you CAN start again. It can be seen as a rebirth, the beginning of a new season because the same way there is death, there is also NEW LIFE.