This post has been prompted because there have been several announcements in the last 2 weeks about job losses across traditional media of broadcasting and print journalism. The BBC and The Guardian specifically.
I will not be telling you how to find another job. No. This is about understanding what you are feeling right now, and what you might do to feel more in control of what you are going through. it will help you prepare for the future, whatever that may be.
Like grief, there are several – seven in this case – stages to experience when you are facing uncertainty such as losing a job.
- DENIAL & SHOCK – you knew it was coming and that it might affect you, but it is still a shock.
- PAIN & GUILT – why me? What did I do wrong? How could I have done things differently?
- ANGER & BARGAINING – they are wrong. It should not be me. I do not deserve this. What can I do to make it not me?
- DEPRESSION – there is no hope. I will not find another job within the organization. I will not find another job elsewhere. I am rubbish. I have no skills. I will never get anywhere.
- THE UPWARD TURN – Losing my job is hard because I love it, but I need to evaluate it and work out the pros & cons to work out what I might do next.
- RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH – I need to identify my skills and my values and work out what industry or job I might move into. It does not feel as bad as it did.
- ACCEPTANCE & HOPE – I have a lot to offer another job. I must find it, and it may even be better than the last one.
We are all individuals and you will experience these feelings at different times to your colleagues and friends, but you are still highly likely to experience some, if not all of them.
It’s quite normal to also feel panic, uncertainty, fear particularly if you’ve worked at a company for a long time, you are passionate about what you do and you have never had to give any thought to what you might do next.
On top of this crap news, we are in uncertain times. Understanding how you are feeling can help you start the process of feeling more in control about your future. Take it one step at a time. Look out for the different stages. Sit with each stage, acknowledge it and observe how you are feeling. You might then be able to move on. As I say, one step at a time.