Has anyone heard of Kubler Ross? She wrote a book called “Death and Dying”. She presented the stages that people go through when they or a family member are dying. To this day they are still very relavent and used by care takers that are working in this field. She goes through the stages of grief that people go through when they are dying and that families go through when a loved one is dying. It, also, holds true for family members that have suffered the sudden death of a loved one.
When I was in college I had to write a paper in a sociology course that I was taking. I used Ross’s theory when talking about divorce. After the professor had graded them, he came up to me saying he wanted to talk to me about my paper. I thought, “Oh, no”. I thought for sure I was in trouble. The truth was that I got an A. He said that the paper had so much meaning for him as he was going through a divorce. I did not know this and probably would not have written the paper if I had known. He was not aware of her theory, but he said that what I said in relating divorce to death and dying was absolutely on target and it had helped him so much.
I think that her theory is relative to any kind of loss, and the loss of a job or career definitely qualifies. A person that has lost a job needs to go through the mourning or grieving process in order to move on, as does the person that just lost a loved one.
The stages of grief are denial, (sometimes bargaining), anger, depression and resolution. Think about it as it pertains to the loss of your job, or especially your lifetime career. First you are in denial. You can’t believe that this is happening. Even if you retired and wanted to retire, it is still a tremendous change in your life. You no longer have to get up at a certain time and get ready for work and go to work. Your whole routine has changed. You have nothing to do, and maybe at first that is great, but it doesn’t take long to realize that you have nothing to do or to look forward to anymore. If it is a sudden termination, you just can’t believe it, as you feel when someone dies suddenly.
The reason bargaining is in parentheses is because if it is a sudden death you don’t have time to bargain, so it is not relative to all cases. If someone is dying the next stage is bargaining. Often the bargaining is done with a higher power. ” If you let him live until Johnny graduates, I will ______.” Or the bargaining might be with the dying person—-“Hold on until_____; Marion needs you to get through such and such.” This can be done with a job, too. ” I will do such and such if you give me one more chance.” Even when someone retires he may question whether he should retire or not. ” Maybe I should wait for a couple of years longer.”
The next stage is anger. Family actually get angry with the dying or dead person for leaving them. They, also, may get angry with God, although most do not want to admit that. You are not supposed to get angry with God. Of course, when one loses a job this stage is very obvious. ” The boss is a jerk. How dare he fire me. I have given him my all and this is how he treats me?” The person may be angry with himself. If he is dying, he may hate himself for not taking care of himself better. “It’s all my fault. I shoud have eaten better or gotten more rest.” With the loss of a job, people can really come down hard on themselves and blame themselves for all and everything.
Then comes depression and the depression is very profound. The person can not do anything. He doesn’t eat or sleep or he does the opposite and gains a lot of weight and never gets out of bed. He doesn’t do anything all day. He doesn’t call or talk to anyone. He is seriously depressed. He really feels the loss of the person or of the job if this is what we are talking about. This is a very difficult stage to get through.
Finally the person reaches the stage of resolution. He can understand better what really happened. He is no longer angry at everyone, nor is he debilitated by depression. He has accepted the loss. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t miss the person or job, but he is now able to function and move on with his life.
How long does it take to get through the grieving process? There is no set time table. Everyone progresses at his own rate. Does everyone get through the whole process? Sometimes not and sometimes one stage lasts longer than another and sometimes one goes back to another stage, but if we allow ourselves to grieve, we will get through them all. If not, one may have a delayed grief. It is important to let oneself mourn. This is a normal process. It is not something one wants to go through, but it is important to do.
What’s next? What does one do now? Is there a life after this?
How can Wealthy Affiliates help?
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So once you have managed to get through the tremendous loss of your job and/or career and completed the grieving process give this a try. It is your new job and career. You can do it.
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If you have any questions or comments below.