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Unemployment Phases

Revised 07/28/2016
The Emotional Phases of Unemployment
 Unemployment Phases 
  The impact of unemployment is well
  documented in terms of impact to the
  individual, to members of the family, to
  groups the family participates in and to
  the community they live in.  Sometimes
  it is used by business for questionable
  reasons.  Other times it is a necessity for
  survival of the company and saving some
  employees.  The end result is painful.

  When it impacts others it is at least an unfortunate event.  For those impacted it can
  be emotionally and financially devastating including risk to the family unit itself.

  This section is not going to save any jobs but it can help those impacted by job loss
  to have a starting point to plan for their unfortunate journey through career transition
  and for their eventual return to gainful employment.  Without a plan you have nothing
  to work from.  Success comes from planning and the determination to succeed.

The acronym above represents the first stages of your career transition that you
must successfully pass through before seeking your next job.  This is a period of
high emotion, often anger, sometimes threats of or actual physical violence due to
your sudden and often unexpected unemployment.  Ladies, when your husband or boyfriend mentions S.A.R.A please remain calm.  Gentlemen, explain S.A.R.A. to your family so they understand what it is you are going through.  
Communications within the family, friends of the family and people you know is always important in a job search!  You never know who holds the key to your next career opportunity.

S.A.R.A is an acronym for the first four phases of the first stage in your transition.
Shock             Your separation often comes as a surprise but you may have
                       seen "signals" such as restrictions on entertaining or travel,
                       suspending new classes, working longer hours, perks you
                       had reduced or cancelled, work slowing down, new projects
                       being delayed or postponed if not cancelled.  You may have
                       noticed managers were less available due to new meeting
                       they had to attend.  Human Resource team members are no
                       longer staying in their area of the building.  More security
                       people may be on duty, but now with side arms.

                       In most cases, you had little to no opportunity to turn this
                       around.  Often it is from reduced sales, increasing costs that
                       could not be passed on to the customer, threats of a group
                       taking over the company, to just bad management.

                       While painful these actions are often beyond your control.
                       It will take some time for you to get through this initial phase
                       so you can progress into the next phase, Anger.  Do not try
                       to skip any of these phases as these are part of the process
                       towards the last phase and you searching for your next job.

                       Do not attempt to hide this from your spouse or other adults
                       close to you.  Children will not understand what has happened
                       and can cause damage in your relationship with them later on.
                       Attempts to hide the loss of a job and income only creates
                       greater problems and can result in the destruction of your
                       marriage, relationships, break-up of the family and worse.
                       Communication from you to those old enough to understand
                       as to what happened, why, and that you are creating a plan to
                       find a new job are essential.  This also helps them understand
                       the need to work closer together and reduce family costs.

                       Attempts to skip these steps and immediately begin your job
                       search are very tempting and many are tempted to do just
                       that and show their former employer how stupid they were.
                       Chances are your anger will surface during discussions with
                       friends, with people who could help you or in interviews and
                       leave you marked as "Damaged Goods" and not being fit for
                       re-employment.  You do not want that label on your head. 

Anger             Often within 30 to 60 minutes your life has changed, what was
                       told to you a total blur and you may have been escorted by an
                       armed guard from the building and property like a criminal.
                       You were not given access to your personal items but told
                       they will be returned to you at some undetermined date.
                       Items that were to be returned to you before you leave do not
                       arrive and may never be returned.  You are not given any
                       opportunity to speak except to acknowledge you understand
                       what was communicated to you while in a state of shock.

                       Of course you are angry with every right to be so.  This is how
                       a bad company operates and you should be thankful you did
                       not spend any more long days, nights or weeks working there.

                       Now is the time to recognize many companies have done you
                       a big favor as you may not have left voluntarily.  And this is
                       not just your opinion but often that of others who looked back
                       at their career there and reached the same conclusion.              

Rejection      The Anger is gone but you really dislike or even hate those who
                      did this to you after all your loyalty, unpaid overtime, and
                      taking on special tasks to help the company.

Removing Anger and Resentment will take time, but the time
                      required depends on the strength of the individual.  And to
                      not attempt to view yourself as a "John Wayne" kinda guy who
                      can immediately come back from a major fight.  You are not
                      John Wayne and you most likely can't do this anyway.

                      To validate the departure of your anger, talk to people close to
                      you or members within The CT Groups about your past job.
                      Doing this with others in a "safe" environment is important to
                      catch any problems before seen by employers or recruiters.

                      Allow the person(s) you request help from to ask pointed
                      questions that interviewers may ask.  This should include what
                      you did, about the people you worked with, workload, what was
                      expected from you, how you achieved, long hours or weeks you
                      had to invest, and how you felt about leaving the company.

                      If after 15 minutes you have remained calm and not spoken ill
                      of the company or others, you are most likely ready to move to
                      the next phase.  DO NOT try 
to short-cut this phase as you do
                      not want the label "Damaged Goods" on your head, ever!  Let
                      this phase 
run including responding without anger or any
                      signs of hostility to former employers or people for your full
                      successful recovery.

Acceptance    At this point your mind and emotions are resolved on what has
                      happened and you are prepared for your departure 
                      S.A.R.A.   What happened is now in the past, and while you do

                      not have to agree with the decision, it is in your past and fully
                      put behind you.  Employers will see a stronger candidate with
                      no "bags" being brought forward and a fresh "can do" attitude.

                      Now you are able to focus constructively on your planning
                      which needs to include:
                           -  your household expenses and ways to cut
                           -  expenses that must remain for house and/or car debt,
                               medical/dental/vision/life insurance, maintenance
                               medications, maintenance costs, car costs (gas, oil, tires,
                               maintenance, etc.), electricity, natural gas, water, sewer,
                               sales tax, income tax, state tax (if any), property tax, etc.
                           -  Unemployment benefits (you must file for these)
                           -  Additional income from other family members
                           -  Available Savings Accounts
                           -  Odd Jobs you may be able to do while in your search

Healing         Officially this marks the end of the journey.  We leave Healing
                      out of the discussion above as everyone needs to heal in the
                      manner and way that works best for them.  A person can move
                      forward at the end of Acceptance in a career transition but the
                      hidden pains may linger during the healing for some.