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    Reduction in Staff - Coping with Job Loss

    stress You knew there were budget issues and heard rumors there might be staff reductions. You are a hard worker and had given the company your best. You never thought you would be facing this black day. How can you accept this event and move on with your life?

    Stresses of Layoff
    Security is essential to life. Your security came from being paid money and receiving respect for your contribution. You were able to provide for yourself and your family’s food and shelter. You will now have to deal with the unemployment lines and services which you thought would never touch your life.

    You probably received a lot of self-worth from your job and you may feel “I am what I do.” The more you feel this way, the more crushed you will be.

    Once you are no longer working, you may feel bored and not know what to do with your time. If your spouse is home, you may bump into each other all day. You may also avoid social situations so that you don’t have to reveal your change in job status.

    The stress may be enough to make you physically ill. Your family has been affected and your life seems out of control.

    If you begin to feel the effects of stress, don’t take it lying down. Fight back. You may not be able to remove the causes immediately, but you can do things to make its impact on your life and family smaller. The best way you can combat stress is to take care of your physical and emotional health. It is important to eat healthy food, get adequate rest and stay physically active. There are also relaxation exercises you can do to help alleviate stress. Join family and friends in a social support network. Don’t isolate yourself.

    Where to Seek Help
    Your company’s personnel department and the unemployment office will tell you what benefits you have coming and can help with your next move. Many companies will extend your Employee Assistance Benefit when you have been laid off. Get your support network active, even though that may be the last thing you feel like doing. Talk to friends, clients, mentors, your union officials or workers in an employee assistance program. While insurance lasts, seek treatment for any physical and emotional ills. Social agencies can help when money is short.

    A professional counselor can be vital. You have suffered a loss. In losing a job you may go through the same stages as people who are dying. Acceptance of the situation comes through grieving your loss so that you can make positive life changes. With help you may eventually see this as an opportunity. You are free to go back to school or you may find a better job.

    Counseling will also help get rid of any negative substitutes such as overuse of alcohol or other drugs and overeating. These substitutes can lead to more health, financial, and emotional problems. If your job search goes on for more than six months, seek additional assistance.

    Ask for support from your family and friends. You may feel like clamming up and suffering in silence but this is the time to talk. Acknowledge your fears, disappointments and other feelings.

    If you have children, talk to them about what happened and what you are going to do about it. Assure them that there will be food on the table, but let them help you figure out some ways to conserve expenses.

    Keep busy constructively. Take care of your health with diet, exercise and rest. Use your time to get closer to your family.

    Try not to take the layoff personally. See if the personnel department at work can give you constructive criticism on how to improve your strengths. Take time to assess yourself and acknowledge your gifts. Set new goals for yourself. Believe in yourself and your positive attitude will make you happier and more employable .

    Suggestions To Help You Cope

    • Plan your days, set goals
    • Make a schedule
    • Keep in touch with friends
    • Take care of yourself
    • Stay on top of finances – make a financial action plan
    • Look into taking classes, brush up on skills

    Make Your Job Search More Effective

    • Spread the word
    • Expand your job search
    • Use a job search service
    • Prepare for job interviews
    • Be persistent
    • Keep in touch with co-workers