Job Loss

Losing your job can be a very difficult experience involving both practical and emotional concerns.

Emotionally, having your employment terminated is very stressful. The initial loss is an emotional shock and can produce strong reactions, which can include anger, anxiety, withdrawal, panic, denial and dispair. Some people may experience sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Disruptions in family life and other relationships are common. These are normal reactions to many kinds of losses, including losing a job.

For most people, work is an important aspect of their sense of self. People can feel somewhat lost without their usual work. Their sense of self-worth can also suffer. They may begin to feel that the loss of their job reflects on their personal value.

Having a sympathetic friend to talk with about your feelings and reactions is important. Since family members may themselves be affected, they may not always be able to be as supportive as a friend can be. If reactions are severe, troubling or prolonged, professional counseling can be helpful. The personal counseling program (0203 James Hall, 718.951.5363) can provide free, confidential advice and referrals for services.

Practical concerns include dealing with loss of income, health insurance coverage and other benefits; applying for unemployment compensation; and beginning the search for a new position.

The Magner Career Center (1305 James Hall, 718.951.5363) offers free, confidential support groups and job search skills training, including information on the current employment market, résumé preparation, networking and interviewing skills. Even if you think that you will not need help with your job search, stop by to see what is available in case you need help later. Take advantage of these resources.