How to handle emotions after losing your job

When you lose a job, you’ll experience an array of feelings and emotions unless you volunteered for a package or planned to retire anyway. When it comes to how to handle emotions after losing your job, you need to deal with these four biggies:

The first of the emotions to pop up is rage as you wonder “why me.” Then comes anger as you think, “after spending twenty years with this company look what they did to me.” Fear is next on the list of emotions as you wonder if you’re too old to find another good job. Finally, you’ll feel embarrassed which is the feeling of guilt and shame.

It’s normal to experience range, anger, and fear when you lose a job. But you need not become embarrassed over getting canned. Embarrassment—that sense of being humiliated—is a disconnect between you and what you think you should be. You’re thinking it shouldn’t be you who got the axe.

It’s useful to hold on to some of your negative feelings. Take anger. That emotion can drive you to victory. But embarrassment is a useless emotion because it makes you feel degraded.

You can cast out embarrassment by presenting this alternate image of yourself:

There’s a dignity in struggling with a difficult situation. And you are one of the multitudes who have been shown the revolving door during the last few months alone. So it’s not your fault.

Even so, you need to be prepared to answer this, the mother of all interview questions—“why was your job eliminated?”

When you answer that and other commonly asked interview questions, look your interviewer straight in the eye and say, “It was a business decision to eliminate my position and I was told it had nothing to do with performance.”

You’ll learn how to answer this question in other ways, along with other typical interview questions, in the chapter titled, “Interview Questions—How to Answer the Toughies and Strategic Questions You Should ask,” in Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach. Click here to order from Amazon.

Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.