For many people only bereavement or divorce is more devastating than losing your job.

As with bereavement it can be common to move through stages such as shock, anger, denial and depression.  Our responses are often highly emotional and, depending upon how the company handles it, the emotional effects can last for years.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Grief describe:

Denial – for some this is an initial reaction, a natural defence mechanism. A conscious or unconscious refusal to accept the facts.

Anger– anger can manifest in different ways, anger at others, at ourselves, towards our families.

Bargaining– an attempt to reverse what’s happening, appealing or bargaining to a God, the universe or higher being; “please don’t let this be true… I’ll do whatever it takes”

Depression– feeling sadness, hopelessness, regret, fear, uncertainty.  This may demonstrate an acknowledgement of the situation.

Acceptance – an understanding of the facts, no longer looking backwards.  It’s not say we don’t feel the pain of the loss but we become ready to face the horizon.

These stages are not linear, we don’t move in sequence from one stage to another, we oscillate between the stages as we process the loss.

The impact of redundancy often leads to many questions such as “what will I do if I can’t find another job?”, “how will I cope financially?”, “who am I if I’m not working?”, “will another prospective employer see my skills?”

How employers handle the process of redundancy plays a part in our we may respond.  Some classic errors employers make include a failure to communicate with their employees about the situation and the reasons why redundancy seems to be the only option.  Neglecting the wellbeing of employees being made redundant and not re-engaging remaining staff can be commonplace.  The outcome is that those staff leaving the company do so feeling angry and unsupported and those left behind are unmotivated, fearful of their own livelihoods and untrusting of their employer.

It’s not only the financial and social effects of redundancy that we feel, it can cause severe psychological distress.  People who experience redundancy describe losing many things; their role, being part of a team, financial stability, their self-worth and self-esteem.  Sometimes shame and humiliation can be felt and these strong emotional reactions can impact upon family members too.

At the Career Development Centre trained professional Counsellors, Psychologists and Career Development Practitioners are available to support you to navigate your way through the emotional turmoil of redundancy and job loss, help you to draw a line under your last employment and guide you to make decisions about your future career. 

For an appointment call (07) 33 55 66 88 or visit for more information. 

Sources:  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross – Grief Cycle Model – 1969