1 Corinthians 12:18 - But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
Each of our lives are made up of different pieces. There’s your service to God; who you are within your family – daughter or son, sister or brother, mother or father; your marriage, wife or husband; and your job and career.
All of these pieces are important. They make up our identity. Who we are and how we feel about ourselves is impacted by all of the pieces. But when one of those pieces is missing, the puzzle doesn’t look the same.
The effects of losing a job can affect all of these areas. And it can make you feel like you’ve lost a piece of who you are.
Our jobs not only provide for financial stability. They affect how we see ourselves and how others treat us. Why you lost your job is equally important in how it affects your identity.
If you lost your job because a plant shut down that would affect you, but you wouldn’t feel it was your fault. The same thing applies to layoffs, unless you’re the only employee who’s laid off.
The greatest effect on your life would be if you were fired. This can leave a stigma over you for years as people ask why you lost your job. Yet even if you were fired, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can use what you learned through the loss, and it can help you succeed more in your future job.
I went through a season of job loss when my doctor took me off work for health reasons.
While I was working people told me how proud they were of me. Some for the first time. My family developed a deep respect for me and how I was handling the many facets of being an apartment manager. My older friends couldn’t believe I had even been offered the job and was seemingly thriving in the midst of the many things I was called on to do. While working I also made many new friends who appreciated me and told me so by thanking me when I was able to help them.
But when I was no longer working, I crashed and burned. Gone were the encouragements, praises for a job well done, meeting new people and making friends, and finally feeling like I’d found a place where I belonged. In effect, I lost a piece of who I am.
Thankfully, I had some of my most trusted friends help me through the deep waters. And it was partly because of my job loss that I was able to devote time to what I’d always wanted to be – a fulltime writer. I have been able to take the pain I went through and use it to lift a hand to someone who has also experienced pain and loss. This website has been one of the results of not staying down but lifting my eyes up and moving forward with my life.
Helpguide.org in their article, “Job Loss and Unemployment Stress,” sheds light on job loss and its effect on your life and provides some suggestions to moving forward. One way to start is to grieve over your loss. Don’t rush forward without first taking stock of your life, ways you can improve your chances of getting a new job and accepting the reality of where you are in your life. Another suggestion is to reach out to those around you. You may feel like withdrawing from life but seeking help will increase your chances of moving forward. Also stay positive as much as you can. Create a job search plan and focus on what you can control not what you can’t control.
God stood beside me each step of the way and took the pile of stones of my life that were scattered and used them to pave a new path for my life. He can do the same for you.
Remember, even with the loss of a job or the end of a career, God knows every part of us and we’re just the way he wanted us to be. He still believes in you and will help you regain that piece of who you are that you lost.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.