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The Empowered Job Seeker Series, v.1 - Helping George to understand his emotions following job loss

#careertransitionprogram #careertransitionprograms #careertransitionservices #employmenttermination #hr #hrcanada #hrmanagers #hrsupport #humanresources #jobloss #outplacement #outplacementcanada #outplacementprograms #outplacementservices #terminationmeetingsupport #theempoweredjobseeker Jan 24, 2024

When we first spoke with George as he joined our outplacement program, he was quiet and fairly despondent having just been told of his termination the day before.  He had worked as a customer service manager for a retail group for the past 15 years.  I learned from the HR Manager that he had a strong performance record, that he was highly involved with a number of committees within the organization and was always the first one on site each morning.

His termination, I was told, came at no fault of his own and was simply the result of a merger with a larger group based in the States.  However, that didn't seem to resonate with George at the time.  And as he began to open up during that initial conversation, it was clear that all he could see was the fact that he was singled out and fired from a job he truly loved.  He couldn't understand it and had not even told his wife about what had happened!

During our initial conversation, it was my job to help George understand his emotions and his reactions.  I explained to him that what he was experiencing was completely normal and was part of the painful process of managing his grief and personal loss.  In our culture, our careers are so engrained in our egos, that losing them can sometimes be just as significant as the loss of a loved one.  

We talked about the emotions of shock, fear, anger, shame and despair and that he should expect each of them to raise their ugly heads from time to time as he healed.   

In addition, by helping George to separate himself as a valued human being from his role as an employee and the uncontrollable situation he found herself in, was helpful in changing his mindset and perspective on this temporary episode in his life. 

I encouraged him to have compassion for himself and to be open with his wife, who had always had a track record of being supportive - and as it turned out, reacted with care and concern.  Having her support along with that of us at CMS was tremendously helpful in George’s healing and enabled him to start leaving the past in the past, and start focusing on his future, and all of the contributions and value he could bring to new career opportunities - exciting opportunities that he had never considered before! 

Our HR Colleagues - when we meet your former employees for the first time, whether that be during the termination meeting or shortly thereafter, we are well prepared for a variety of emotions that they may express to us and helping them to understand and manage those emotions is a mandatory first step in helping them to develop the resiliency and the perspective necessary to take control of, and find optimism for their futures. To learn more about our outplacement services, please connect with Louise Hack at [email protected]