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When You've Lost Your Job

Perhaps you are reading this because you have lost your job or someone close to you has been laid off. If that's the case, the first thing you should be certain of is that no one needs to go through this trial alone. Others care about the pain you are experiencing and want to help you get on your feet again.

It Hurts, Huh?

When you lose a job, for whatever reason, it hits you hard. Your self-worth, identity and direction are challenged. You begin to ask yourself who you really are and what is your value. Do others really care? Does God? Everything you do gets filtered through these lenses. As a result, you may not be the easiest person to be around at times.

It is tempting just to run away and hide. As hard as it is to face yourself, it is even more difficult to retell the story of your job loss to others. But resist this urge to escape. Being open about what happened is the first step in dealing with loss. Surprisingly, others are likely to play an important role in the healing you need.

Communicate right at the start what you want from others. Let them know what you are feeling and don’t be ashamed of it. If you do this at the beginning, it will go a long way toward heading off misunderstandings and hurt feelings. A strong network of relationships will be vital to keeping you encouraged and focused. Family, church and work contacts will help you feel that you are not in this alone. You are going through a process that is different for each person, and those who know you best will be sensitive to that.

Even more important, keep your communication channel open to God. That means daily prayer and, yes, venting honestly about what you are thinking and feeling. He can handle your frustrations, fears and disappointments better than anyone.

Losing a job is one of the most humbling experiences one can have. It cures a person of any egocentrism in a very short time. When your professional title, job responsibilities, meetings and calendar are taken away, who is left standing? That is the person whom your friends and family will now encounter — the person God knew all along.

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