Loosing a Job & How to Handle the Associated Emotions

Loosing a Job & How to Handle the Associated Emotions is terrain to be wisely negotiated. With barely enough jobs to go around, job-losses are at an all time high.

In December 2019, one of the financial institutions in Nigeria held a lifestyle event that shut down the city of Lagos. Both staff members and guests had a great time and the year ended on a happy note. Fast-forward to the first week of January 2020, a cross-section of their staff were asked to leave.

Knowing that a downsizing is imminent at your place of work gives room for preparation. However, loosing a job out of the blues can be a big kick in the gut regardless of it having anything to do with your performance or not. One thing i want you to keep in your mind is simply that success in all our lives isn’t measured solely by opportunities but rather by how we respond to obstacles and challenges. How job-loss is handled becomes more important than the job loss itself. If not handled properly, it could trigger a range of emotions such as self-pity, resentment, failure, humiliation and anxiety. This affects your finances but the hardest-hit zone is your sense of self-worth and ego.

Many employed individuals loose a sense of personal identity and let the job envelope everything about them. This is the major reason job-loss victims get hard-hit.

There is always some positive lessons to gain from every situation, even a job loss and this is usually recognized in hind-sight. Some of the important things a job loss could teach you are;
  • An opportunity to teach your children about budgeting
  • An opportunity to spend some extra time with your family
  • An opportunity to take a deeper look into your existence
  • An opportunity to change your career path
  • An opportunity to figure out what matters the most
  • An opportunity to re-evaluate your entire life

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What happens after a job loss?

This is almost like other types of losses and it causes a grieving period. You need to be honest with yourself, accept the situation and then plan to move forward. .

1. Denial and Isolation

In circumstances where there were mass retrenchments like a company going out of business or bank downsizing, the victim of a job loss still feels like they are the only one affected. It’s an alone moment that makes you want to stay away from everyone.

2. Anger

After all the effort and sacrifice you put in, it could be quite deflating to feel that your contribution was not appreciated. This gets victims of job-losses angry.

3. Desperation

After a job loss, your next instinct may be to quickly go and begin searching for another job. My honest advice to you is to give yourself at least 2 weeks of reflection to see what went wrong, how you helped the company grow and if this is the time for a career change. Instead the desperation job loss victims feel push them to quickly start searching for a job. Sometimes applying to jobs they are under or over-qualified for.

4. Depression

This is the make or break emotion. The depression that slowly freezes you, keeps you away from networking opportunities and confines you on the couch. This is the time destructive self-criticism takes hold of the victim. They question their skills and worth. At this stage, the antidote is simply remembering the value you added to your last employer and then psyching yourself up to do more the moment your next job arrives. This keeps you sharp and positive. Try it, it works wonders.

5: Acceptance

It’s nothing to be happy about but accepting the fact that you lost your job gives you closure and opens a new resolve to move forward. Change is the only constant in life and a job loss is a kind of change. For family men and women with dependants, this is the point i advice you to inform anyone who depends on you of the situation and request for certain financial adjustments that will help everyone through the period.


Never stay on what you could have done better, said more but didn’t. This will only trigger destructive emotions that make you et angry, pity yourself and feel hopeless in the scheme of things. Looking towards the future will help you figure out how best to budget your finance, locate who to approach for a new job or improve your skills.

C) Take Care of Your Health

It’s easy to loose all sense of direction after a job loss. Many individuals whom i have spoken to after a job loss said their first impulse was to engage a cycle of self-pity, unhealthy eating or excessive drinking. This is not what is required at this moment because it is the time for mental and emotional resilience. However, to be resilient emotionally and mentally, you need to be physically sound. Exercise is the key at this point. Go outside for a walk, run around the block, start doing things that lift your spirit and you will remove all the negative emotions that can terminate your passion to commence job-hunting.

D) Stay around positive people.

The people i choose to have around me will determine how i see myself and my situation. Select where you go to hang out and avoid people who may want to drag you into a pity-party. Read books, watch movies and do things that inspire because your support system are watching you. You did not choose to be in this situation but you are confident that time and strategic effort will get things moving again.

E) Start networking again.

Many people who loose their jobs like i already mentioned above are tempted to isolate themselves but this is the time to tap into your existing network and put in efforts to expand your network as well. As much as i don’t advice you go around telling everyone you’ve lost your job, it’s important that you inform more trusted people as you can of your plight. Since most of the job openings aren’t advertised, do not under-estimate the power of your network because your network is indeed your net-worth.

F) Volunteer

When you are in need but still give your time to helping others, it makes you feel good and appreciate the point you currently find yourself in life because even in your situation, it would become all too obvious to you that there are still a lot of people who would wish to be where you are. Most importantly, this shows potential employers that you are not sitting around waiting for a job but instead, you are making the best use of your time. This is also good for your health because acts of kindness release a chemicals in the brain the same way anti-depressants do.

As always, i hope this piece helped someone somewhere.Loosing a Job & knowing How to Handle the Associated Emotions will save you time and reduce the stress associated with this.Job loss in itself is usually a form of re-direction in most of the cases I’ve handled. How you decide to see it determines how well you handle it. Knowledge they say is power but i say in it’s right application lies real mastery.

Written by Obike Temple

A Counselor, psychotherapist, brand-Sage and entrepreneur who has counseled over three-hundred couples, individuals, substance abuse and grief-stricken clients.

For more information on related issues and to schedule an appointment with “Temple’s Counsel”  visit our counseling page, chat us up via our website or send a whatsapp message to +2348109055475.

International Appointments are scheduled within 24 hours when clients make payments via this link here and then sending an email with the receipt of payment to templescounsel@gmail.com.


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