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Surviving Job Loss
Career Maker

Processing Grief After a Job Loss When You’re Over 50

One of the biggest challenges of surviving a job loss after the age of 50 is dealing with the emotions that come with unwanted change. You may not be experiencing a job loss, but chances are you know someone who is. Emotions such as shock, disbelief, anger, sadness and anxiety come easily when processing grief and impede the ability to determine the next move. Not properly dealing with grief can greatly influence future opportunities. There are three steps that can help create a positive emotional state:

1. Acknowledging and Taking Responsibility for Emotions

The best way to take responsibility is to acknowledge the grieving emotions. As in Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran“The difference between the real winners is how long they take to feel sorry for themselves. My winners feel it, but they come back up and say ‘hit me again.’” Processing the emotions means allowing yourself to really feel them so that you don’t carry any bitterness forward and infect the next work opportunitySome helpful ways to do this include journaling and seeking counsel through talk therapy. These types of exercises will greatly assist you with getting to a better place of acceptance.

2. Acceptance of the Current Circumstance

It is an active, conscious decision to accept circumstances and then move forward. Sometimes it takes awhile to clear the negativity and it doesn’t happen overnight, but there is power in processing grief and accepting the circumstances. The goal is to emotionally get to a place where there is excitement for the next opportunityFinding this happy emotional state takes work and time after a loss, but getting creative with the grief process is essential in preventing negativity and bitterness that can sabotage future job searches.

3. Finding Creative Ways to Get Happy Again

There are several creative ways to a happier emotional state. Indulging in simple pleasures such as personal hobbies, volunteering, fun outdoor activities, visiting with family and friends or listening to music are ways to actively participate in the healing processAll of these activities uplift and relieve the mental stress of lossIt is important to find joy in life because it radiates a positive energy to others. People want to hire someone who is able to be a productive team player with good vibes.

The grief process that comes with a job loss should not be done on your own. Getting help with the process will expedite your job search greatly. Processing the many grief emotions, accepting the circumstances and creatively engaging in activities that bring joy will change your emotional outlook. It is a difficult period of time especially for job seekers over 50 who have lost a long-term permanent job.

Applying these steps can reduce emotional baggage and free up the psyche to be open to the next successful work opportunity.

If this article does not apply to you, be thankful, and then share with someone you know who may be going through a job loss. It may just be the best gift you could give them.

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