“Your job is being eliminated!” Those are words you never dream you’ll hear … but this is reality and you are really hearing, “You’re fired.” Your first thoughts are of shock. Why are they eliminating my job? I don’t get it.
“Your job is being eliminated!” Those are words you never dream you’ll hear … but this is reality and you are really hearing, “You’re fired.” Your first thoughts are of shock. Why are they eliminating my job? I don’t get it. I work hard, get here on time, play nice with the other girls, and MY job is the one being eliminated? Are they joking? We all know that the “slacker” should be canned … and that’s not me!
Have you had that experience? You know to what I am referring - the total surreal feeling that happens when those words are uttered. Things go in slow motion around you. They keep talking, but you can’t really hear them or follow what they are saying. Let me explainwhat happens…
Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross called it the “5 Stages of Grief.” These stages are transferred into losing a job, because that is a loss … and it’s a BIG one! Here are the stages and how they pertain to you…
First … DENIAL. This is when you refuse to believe that you heard what you thought you heard. This happens when you get bad news. You don’t really hear what happens after those words are uttered. Their mouths keep moving, but the volume has been turned off. You are in shock. “This can’t be happening to me,” is the thought that keeps running through your mind.
Second … ANGER. You argue, “They have it ALL wrong.” “They got the wrong person.” You need to talk to the dentist to get to the bottom of this. Obviously, the office manager has it in for you and you need confirmation you are going to be “tossed to the streets.” (Hey, that is what it feels like … as if you are being throw away or kicked to the curb or abandoned.) Do they know who they are dealing with? They better fix this and quick!
Third … BARGAINING. You try to negotiate with God or anyone who can give you a second chance. “If I am nicer to that ‘witch’ of a boss, they’ll let me stay on,” you think to yourself.
Fourth … DEPRESSION. We are all familiar with this one. This is when the bottom drops out of your life. You hit the figurative wall and just want to stay under the covers at home and hide. You feel like a loser and don’t know what your future will look like or even if you will have a future. This is a dark period in your life that saps all your strength and hope. Some may need medical help to get through this stage… and that is ok. Do whatever it takes to get through this difficult time.
Finally … ACCEPTANCE. I am out of a job. Liking it isn’t the issue. I have to accept it and just move forward. I have no choice. If I want to survive and keep my house, I need to keep my head on straight and find a job.
These stages are not necessarily independent of each other. You can go from denial to anger to denial to acceptance. Most go through these stages, but just because you got through one of them doesn’t mean you have “aced” that stage (just like morning sickness…it can come back in the third trimester without warning). In fact, not everyone gets to acceptance. This is a grueling process. We can only hope to deal with it and move on.
So what do you do? How do you deal with this kind of news? Do you go through these stages? My advice is … don’t fight it. When my job was eliminated last month, I was in such shock. How could that happen to me? I worked my derriere off … but life happens. I could sit there and get mad, depressed, or try to bargain my way back onto the job … but I had to pick myself up, brush myself off, and move forward. The key to all this is just keep moving forward.
If you have been fired or had a job eliminated, write me and share the experience at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just remember, we understand. We’ve been there and done that. You aren’t alone!