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The Grief Process

"Grief" Cycle

Changes are losses and need to be recognized as such. As with any loss, you may experience varying degrees of sadness and grief. Trying to move on without recognizing and dealing with the feelings and emotions that arise will make your job search very difficult. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has researched what happens when people suffer loss. She has identified five stages of grief. The stages apply to a job loss as well.

Denial"I know they will call me back. They will find out how much I contributed and realize that they can't continue without me."
Anger"It's all the company's (or the manager's) fault. I have the right to be really angry about what they did to me. In fact, I was treated so badly, I am going to stay angry for a long, long time! I'll show them that they can't treat me like that!"
Self-Blame"If only I . . . It's all my fault that I'm in this predicament. I'll never get another job. I don't have enough education. I am not good enough. I am too slow."
Depression"I am so worthless. I can't do anything right. I don't even want to get out of bed today. I don't know what is wrong with me. No wonder I can't find a job!"
Struggle"I guess it is time to face the reality that I may need to lower my wage and job expectations. I haven't had much luck finding jobs that will pay me what I was making before and the jobs in my field seem to have disappeared. When I do get an interview, something always goes wrong. I try to be positive but it is so hard. Sometimes I just don't know what I am going to do."
New Hope"What can I learn from this? I accept the facts as they truly are and I'm ready to move on."

One thing to remember is each person experiences the grief process differently. The time spent in each stage will vary as will the sequence of the stages. No matter how the process plays itself out in your life it is the right process for you! Also remember that "this too shall pass" if you allow yourself the time to deal with each stage.

Job Loss

New Job


New Hope




Although this is called a cycle, more likely than not, the emotional ride is that of a roller coaster! You may experience all these emotions or any given number of them. Each person's process is unique to them. So the way you handle this "curve" is up to you. Just remember you must handle it before you can move on with your job search.

Roller Coaster Graphic

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This page was last updated on April 17, 1997
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