Our feelings around the loss of a job can be complex – fear, shame, anxiety, relief, and a sense of excitement can all play a role.
These feelings can seem especially intense today since, in our society, it is common to have what we do for a living be a major source of self-esteem. This can be healthy, however when our identity becomes overly tied up in what we do vs. who we are, it can become destructive.
Alice Miller writes, “Self Esteem is real when it comes from the authenticity of our feelings and not from our accomplishments or qualities.” John Bradshaw puts it equally as well when he says that we need to remember we are “human beings” not “human doings”.
Related to our view on where we derive self-worth, is our relationship with money and material possessions. While there is clearly practical concern here on supporting ourselves and our families, often this relationship can become problematic. Money we earn can sometimes come at a significant personal cost – including health, relationships, or overall happiness. A trained therapist can help us recognize our cognitive biases and potentially destructive thought patterns around work, career and financial matters. What happens in our professional lives is often very much intertwined with all of our other thought patterns and behaviors. Often, by working through the many layers of the “why”, we can uncover insights that lead to a healthier, better life. Rather than doing it all alone, working with a skilled therapist can help us deal with the many different feelings that may arise related to a job loss or financial troubles.