Helping a Friend Through a Job Loss

Job loss can be a shock to the system. It affects every aspect of life and is one of the most difficult emotional challenges to overcome.

So, how do we C.A.R.E. for our coworkers who are dealing with the emotions and challenges of job loss?


CRISIS – Understanding Death + Loss + Grief

Losing a job can be completely overwhelming for some individuals, especially if the individual lacks confidence or has self-doubt in new situations and environments. In fact, research shows that getting fired or laid off from a job can feel worse than losing a spouse.

According to the research, individuals who experience job loss struggle to return to the same level of well-being based on measures of mental health, satisfaction with life, and self-esteem. And many individuals experience anxiety, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, problems concentrating, and depression following the loss. The emotional roller coaster elements of being fired include:

1. Shock – “I did not see that coming.”
2. Anger – “I was not prepared for how angry I would feel about being fired.”
3. Humiliation – “How am I going to tell people I was fired?”
4. Disappointment – “I worked so hard and now it feels like it was for nothing.”
5. Loss – “I had it all: perks, great salary, title, travel, friends…and it is all gone.”
6. Disconnection – “I didn’t even get to say goodbye to everyone.”
7. Guilt – “I wish I had handled things differently or made better decisions.”
8. Panic – “How am I ever going to pay my bills?”
9. Pity – “Why did this happen to me?”
10. Indifference – “Who cares anyway? I’m better off without this job.”

APPLICATIONPractical Suggestions for Caring

LOOK – Realize your friend, family member, or coworker may actually need time to cycle through feelings of self-pity. This is normal. But recognize opportunities to encourage them with a healthy daily routine and goals.

ASK – Sometimes individuals going through job loss need validation like, “This must be a really difficult season for you.” Don’t hesitate to ask questions like:

    • How are you doing today? What are you feeling or thinking today?
    • What do you need most from me as your friend in this season?
    • What can I do to support you as you look for a new job?

LISTEN – Be available just to listen. They may need to process their shock and devastation out loud, or maybe they need someone to listen to the dreams and possibilities of what comes next (no matter how realistic or far-fetched it may sound).

REFERENCEWhat Does the Bible Say About Death?

ENGAGENext Steps For Engaging Your Group Member

OFFER a safe place by allowing them to feel, think and say whatever they are experiencing during this time. You don’t have to fix the situation for them, but you can encourage them and help them as time goes on.

CONNECT them with other acquaintances who have been in similar circumstances or with potential opportunities. And connect them with the Hoboken Grace Care Team,

SUGGEST they take this time to discover more of their strengths, talents, and values. Whether it was a welcomed change or not, they have the chance to start over. Suggest these personality and leadership assessments as they seek a new job or career:

    • StrengthsFinder (recently re-named Clifton Strengths Assessment)
    • The DISC Profile
    • The Myers-Briggs or MBTI Personality Type – free assessment
    • Paterson Center Thinking Wave-Length
    • The Table Group’s Ideal Team Player – online assessment

PRAY for them and ask God to give you opportunities to share his love and hope with your friend, family member, or coworker going through this difficult season.


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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

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