Prayers For Job Loss

Depression After a Job Loss: Statistics and How to Cope

Prayers For Job Loss

For many people, losing a job not only means the loss of income and benefits, but also the loss of one's identity.

A recession can exacerbate unemployment as more and more people experience downward mobility and income volatility. Job loss for people in the United States — a country where many people's work and self-worth are interchangeable — can be an extremely traumatic experience, often leading many to despair and depression.


The longer one experiences unemployment in the United States, the more ly they are to report symptoms of psychological unease, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The poll also found that one in five Americans without a job for a year or more report that they have been or are currently undergoing treatment for depression.

This is roughly double the rate of depression among those who have been without a job for fewer than five weeks. 

According to research reported in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, unemployed people are twice as ly as employed people to suffer from psychological problems (34 percent to 16 percent).

Blue-collar workers are more distressed by unemployment than those who've lost a white-collar job.

Additionally, middle-aged men and women, especially those who are unemployed, experience the highest levels of psychological distress.

In some cases, the psychological distress of joblessness leads to suicide.

According to a 2012 report by the Samaritans suicide prevention group, the suicide rate for middle-aged men is higher than that of any other demographic group.

Risk of suicide also increases among those of lower socioeconomic status, according to the Samaritans report. The suicide rate among men of lower socioeconomic status was reported to be 10 times higher than that of affluent men.

The increasing mechanization of production and shift toward a service-oriented economy has put many working-class men, who have traditionally held specialized jobs in manufacturing, work. Men who are without work sometimes view themselves as expendable and often describe the loss of a job using terms such as “catastrophic” and “devastating.”

Coping with Job Loss

It's perfectly normal for a person to grieve the loss of a job. It's important to remember, however, that a career is not an identity.

Separating one's self-worth from one's job is especially important in the United States, where employment volatility has been on the rise for more than three decades.

The stages of grief in the wake of a job loss are much the same as the model of key emotional reactions to the experience of the dying developed by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying. They include the stages of shock and denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance and moving on.

It's particularly important for the recently unemployed to realize they are far from alone and to reach out for support from friends and family, a counselor or therapist, or a support group.

A Special Note About Stay-At-Home Dads

In the wake of a job loss, many men today find themselves in the position of being a stay-at-home dad while their wife becomes the “breadwinner” for the family. This reversal of traditional roles can be particularly difficult for some men.

A big part problem is social isolation. The best solution may be to connect with others. Joshua Coleman, co-chairman of the Council on Contemporary Families in Oakland, California, recommends joining, or starting, a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) support group. The National At-Home Dad Network can help you find SAHD groups near you.

Symptoms of Depression After a Job Loss

People who've recently lost a job are at special risk for developing major depressive disorder (MDD), a serious condition that requires treatment. According to the National Institutes of Health, each year about 6.7 percent of U.S. adults experience MDD, with the average age of onset being 32. Women are 70 percent more ly than men to go through depression.

It is difficult for those with MDD to imagine a positive way to overcome their employment woes. Symptoms of MDD include:

  • feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, or guilt
  • feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • fatigue or chronic lack of energy
  • irritability
  • difficulty concentrating
  • loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities such as a hobby or sex
  • insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
  • social isolation
  • changes in appetite and corresponding weight gain or loss
  • suicidal thoughts or behaviors

In the most severe cases, people may experience psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.

Suicide prevention

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Sources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Diagnosis and Treatment for MDD

A doctor or other licensed mental healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Questionnaires are usually used to help determine the severity of the depression.

Treatments for MDD typically include antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), cognitive behavioral therapy, or both.

More serious cases of depression may be successfully treated using electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If psychosis is involved, anti-psychotic medications are typically prescribed.

Even if psychosis is not present, sometimes your provider may prescribe antipsychotic drugs to make antidepressants work better.

There are also several no-cost or low-cost ways to help cope with depression. Some ideas include:

  • establishing a daily routine to help you feel in control of your life
  • setting reasonable goals to help motivate you
  • writing in a journal to express your feelings constructively
  • joining support groups to share your feelings and gain insight from others struggling with depression
  • staying active to reduce stress and stay healthy

Suicide Risk

Anyone who experiences thoughts of suicide or harming others should immediately contact 911, go to a hospital emergency room, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Prayer Points For Job Breakthrough

Prayers For Job Loss

Are you in need of a breakthrough in your job search? Are you ready for God to open doors for you related to a new career? Powerful prayers that work for your job search are those that you pray with faith, believing that God can perform miracles and invite God or his messengers to do so in the situation you’re facing. The Bible tells us, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). You can call to God through prayer.

The Lord has endowed us all with some talent, and wishes us to express those gifts that He has given us for the good of all. Saying prayers for employment also affirm our understanding of our own inner talents and abilities. Here are six prayers points for job breakthrough:

Command the spirit of confidence to command the interview:

We know that when we’re sitting at the interview table we are supposed to be confident, or at least appear as if we are. But anyone who has been on the job hunt for a long time knows that it’s easy to lose your confidence in the face of rejection. It’s important that you command the spirit of confidence and trust in God’s power as you walk into that next interview:

Dear God, you know how much need a new job – both for financial income, and the opportunities it would provide to use the talents you’ve given me to help make the world a better place. You also know God, how hard I’ve tried to find a job. But so far, all the hard work I’ve done during my job search hasn’t led to any job offers.

I’m frustrated, my confidence has been shaken and I’m worried about my future. God, please send the miraculous breakthrough I need to get a new job soon. Guide me to opportunities to network with the right people, learn about the right hob openings to apply for, and figure out how best to develop my skills so I’ll be prepared for my next job.

I believe that there are no limits to what you can do for me. Amen.

Command the spirit of failure at the edge of breakthrough to die in the name of Jesus:

Our Heavenly Father gives us the courage to face any fear, doubt or uncertainty in the power we have been given to accomplish great things. If you’re in need of a job break through, command the spirit of failure to be gone in Jesus’ name:

Dear God, You know I have always struggled with insecurities and this is becoming especially difficult now as I search for a new job. I have a warped perspective of who I am.

It has been so challenging for me to disregard those thoughts of insecurity and lean on your truths. I ask that You would rewire my mind and eliminate the spirit of failure that is trying to claim my heart.

I know that all things are possible through you.

Thank God for His provisions and every good thing He has done for you:

It’s Important that we thank God for His goodness and faithfulness in our lives. As you search for a new job, trust that He is leading you into a new land, a spacious land filled with blessed and opportunity:

Dear God, as I search for a new job, I admit that I am nervous and fearful and worried about failing. But I choose to stand and keep my eyes on You as You lead me forward in Your purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Claim the power to overcome and excel among all the job competitors in the name of Jesus:

It’s not always easy being too confident when you walk in the job interview. That’s why it’s important to keep God at the center and call on His power to help you stand out next to your competition:

Dear Father, thank you for the wonderful skills and gifts You’ve so freely given me. I surrender all I am to You. Come guide my path as I look for new work. Help me to stand out among all the job competitors. If it is Your Will, I know it will be done. I claim it in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Claim miracle breakthrough power in your daily life:

Often, when we pray for miracles to happen in our lives, we are also praying for healing to happen in our lives as well. We see countless examples of healing happening in Scripture through Jesus’ healing power. The same is possible in our daily lives:

Lord Jesus, heal me. Heal in me whatever You see needs healing. Heal me of whatever might separate me from you. Heal my memory, heal my heart, heal my emotions, heal my spirit, heal my body and heal my soul. Lay Your hands gently upon me and Heal me through Your love for me. Amen.

Be more cognizant of God’s miracle power in all circumstances:

Miracle power testifies that God’s touch is always a heartbeat away. It’s important that we are conscious of God at work in our lives daily. Miracle power can happen in your life when you have faith and trust that miracles can really happen. Are you ready to unleash that miracle power? This prayer will guide you:

Heavenly Father, I open my heart wide to receive the love of God. As I receive God’s love as universal supply, all my affairs are healed.

I realize and accept the healing power of the Universe as love, and I allow the healing power that is love to penetrate my life. I readily accept the healing power of love in my life and I know that as love, God is my limitless and abundant supply made manifest.

I feel the outpouring of God’s love in my body and mind. I feel God’s love in my affairs, and I know all is well. Amen.

Claim the power to not be limited and the spirit of confidence to step your comfort zone:

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15 Powerful Prayers for Job Loss and Employment

Prayers For Job Loss

Losing a job can leave you feeling vulnerable and worthless. These powerful prayers for job loss and employment will encourage you to keep trying and working towards achieving long term stability and security.

Prayer #1

Lord, I trust in you as I look for new work. Lead me to the right job. I rest in your goodness and give you all I have. Help me as I seek to find, apply and interview for each position. You know the skills I have, and the things that I enjoy. Lord, I ask for more than a wage.

Lead me to a position where I can really feel valued, respected and part of a team. Please watch over me and my family in this waiting time. Help me to be confident in knowing your will. Open the right doors for me, please come and direct my path. I put my trust in you completely.


Prayer #2

Lord, I am coming to you today with a very heavy heart filled with regret over the past and what has happened. In all honesty, I am anxious about the future. I am work, and my finances are in a lot of trouble. I have made many mistakes.

Help me to forgive myself, and others, so that I may make amends with all concerned in this matter, and in other matters as well. Grant me peace of mind, so I can fill my life with Your goodness and grace.

Guide me toward a good job where I may fulfill my needs as a better and wiser person. I ask these things in Your name. Amen.

Prayer #3

Dear God,
You know my needs. You know my desire for a job, for work I enjoy doing, for the next step in my career to present itself. I pray that you would guide me as I continue on this job hunting journey.

May I focus first on your will for my life, putting your desires and your plan above my own wishes and wants.

Open doors to new opportunities that you desire for me, and equip me with the skills, knowledge, and wisdom I need to take steps forward in this process.

As I craft my resume, write cover letters, submit my applications, connect with new companies and potential employers, and go on interviews, give me the words to speak and the courage to share who I am and what I can do.

Give me confidence that can only come from you, and give me humility too. I trust you, Lord– my life is in your hands. Your will be done. Thank you for being near to me every step of the way and thank you for always providing for my every need.

May this all be for your glory.

In your name,

Prayer #4

God, we pray for all those who have suddenly lost employment. There are many. We ask you to first give them peace and a settled confidence. Their natural response is to shock and then fear, and to begin questioning their abilities, the past accomplishments and their future prospects.

Give them your encouragement today, and do so through surprising ways, both directly from your Spirit and through other people who come across their path. Build them up, as this situation has torn them down. Remind them of past victories, and awaken new dreams for their future.

Give them – today – divine appointments with people who may be key in opening a new future for them.

Give them hope; lighten their step; lift the anxiety from their body; give them sleep and an unexpected joy. God, you intend us to have a purposeful life.

You give us work assignments to accomplish because you designed us to help you create and sustain your creation. We are not made for idleness or sloth. We need meaningful work.

So for all those who have lost a job, today bring them one step closer to a new direction.

Let nothing stand in the way of your purposes in the lives of those who, without your assistance, cannot find their next course. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Prayer #5

Lord, I feel confused about life at the moment I’m not sure I’m in the right place Thank you that wherever I am You have gone before You turn the night into day Sadness in joy And mourning into dancing Help me to live in this place And through my serving Bring daylight, laughter and rejoicing


Prayer #6

Precious Lord, I place my humble needs before You today. I ask that You help me meet my responsibilities in the world, and that I may fulfill what I am meant to do in this lifetime with Your guidance.

Please show me the way to the perfect opportunity to do what I love, to do what I can do well, and what will fulfill my needs mentally, spiritually, and financially.

Thank you for trusting in me Lord, as I trust in You.

Prayer #7

Lord, I am coming to you today with a heavy heart filled with regret over the past, and anxiety for the future. I am not work but a major cut in pay, and my finances are in deep trouble.

I have made many mistakes. Help me to forgive myself, and others, so that I may make amends with all concerned. Grant me peace of mind, so I can fill my life with your goodness and grace. Guide me toward a good job where I may fulfill my needs as a better and wiser person.

Thank you Lord, for listening to me and helping me today. Life is not always easy, but I will strive to remember that You are always there to help me. As you are right in this moment. Amen

Prayer #8

You have blessed me with so much in my life, and I am grateful. I have a wonderful family that I love and cherish. I thank you for Your love and devotion, but today I must lay a burden of mine at your feet. Father, You know about the promotion that I am looking to receive. Lord, it would be a huge blessing to receive it.

I am not putting my faith in money, but there are bills to be paid, mouths that need feeding, other expenses on my plate. If You will allow me this promotion, I will use it faithfully as You see fit.

I will be responsible with it and pay off existing debts. Father, I am giving this completely to You, and whatever Your decision is, I will thank You because You are loving, gracious and generous even in poverty.


Prayer #9

Dear Heavenly Father, You instruct us to give thanks in everything (I Thessalonians 5:18), and as difficult as it is to do that during a time of job loss, please give me the grace to obey.

Please let me not become so focused on my circumstances that I neglect Your blessings. I pray that You would increase my faith and draw me closer to You than ever before during this season.

It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.

Prayer #10

You are abounding in grace and mercy for Your children, myself included. Lord, work is getting very stressful because of the environment I am in. There are many people who hate You there, and they make my life miserable because they know that I love You.

We just don’t see eye to eye on many issues, but it is hard for me when it comes to how You are viewed in the eyes of others. I trust in James as it says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2). I realize the benefit of being persecuted for believing in Jesus, and I gladly accept whatever comes my way, anytime.

Please soften the hearts of the people I work with. I will keep planting seeds, Lord. Thank you. Amen.

Prayer #11

Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer #12

Lord, I know the pain and confusion my close friend is going through right now. Losing a job isn’t easy and they are probably feeling a failure right now. Please show them that they are anything but. Help remind them of the amazing qualities you blessed them with when you created them.

They are strong, beautiful and can get through this pain. With your arm stretched around them, please provide comfort and stability during this difficult time. I pray that you help them battle the overwhelming stress that has come with this loss. I know with your help they can do anything.


Prayer #13

Losing a job can be hard on the entire family, from spouse to children and even the dog, if money is tight and even the smallest costs cause stress. Please let my friend’s family be lifted up during this difficult time.

I pray that they have the strength to remain calm and hopeful even as things seem to be falling apart. I pray their children are fed and clothed, and please give my friend the courage to let me know if these basic necessities are not being met so I can provide help.

I pray that the children are not affected by this loss and it resolves itself so quickly that they never knew anything tragic happened. I pray that their spouse is supportive and caring during this time and that their marriage grows stronger because of it, and not farther apart.

I give my heart to this family and ask for You to give them the love and peace they need at this time.

In Jesus’ Name I Pray,

Prayer #14

God, our Father, I turn to you seeking your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment. I need your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in this quest.

I wish to use the gifts and talents you have given me, but I need the opportunity to do so with gainful employment. Do not abandon me, dear Father, in this search, but rather grant me this favor I seek so that I may return to you with praise and thanksgiving for your gracious assistance.

Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #15

Heavenly Father, I do not know how to provide help to my friend during this difficult time. I am offering an ear to listen and keeping my eyes out for new job prospects but I feel that none of this is enough.

I don’t have the extra money to provide them with the help they need to get through this time. So, God, I turn to You and ask for Your help. Please bless this family with good prospects and help me keep my eyes open for blessing and opportunities.

I cannot help my friend out right now, but with Your hand guiding me I hope to offer them more than they could ever ask for. Give this family the miracle they deserve right now. Shine your light down on them during this difficult time.

Please give my friend the strength to turn to you and ask for help as well, so that he is also filled with hope.


Everyone experiences a set back at some point or other in their life. This video from Pastor Rick Warren talks about how to handle a setback that seems irreversible.

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9 ways to cope with job loss Islamically

Prayers For Job Loss

The news has been dire lately, with millions jobs lost in the United States every year. If we aren't among the newly unemployed, then we most certainly know at least one person who is.

There is excellent advice available about how to handle job loss financially, psychologically and emotionally. However, coping at this stage also requires a spiritual perspective that is not as easily accessible. Here are a couple of ideas on how to handle it Islamically.

1. Remember Who is the Real Provider of Everything You Have

It's easy to get caught up in the fear of ?how will I provide for my family??. While there are programs and unemployment benefits that can help you through the first months after a job loss, a broader view helps.

Reminding ourselves that one of God's 99 Names is The Provider (Ar-Razzaq) will give us the comfort and confidence we need to remember that He is the One Who provides for us in all circumstances.

Even when we were employed, it was by His Mercy and generosity that we had a job in the first place.

It would also be helpful when making Dua, to use this name of Allah (Ar-Razzaq) when calling on Him to help financially at this difficult time.

2. Revive the Practice of Daily Dua

In busier times, squeezing Dua into our day may have been difficult. Now, with more time available, it's critical to not only keep up our daily prayers, but to make? long, deep Duas for Allah's forgiveness, mercy and help.

Pour your heart out to Him, express your fears, worries, hopes and desires in a way you never have, knowing that He can and will answer? your prayers.

Sustained, concentrated Dua gives us a critical coping mechanism that helps deal with a major life stress job loss.

3. Meet Once a Week After Juma with Other Unemployed Muslims

A number of newly unemployed Americans across the country have started or joined informal job loss groups that offer support and networking opportunities. Start something similar in your neighborhood or among your friends.

After Juma prayers is a good time because those who attend are gathering as it is and you could easily step into a neighboring library, coffee shop or park to just check in with each other, offer spiritual advice and make a collective Dua for one another.

4. Encourage Your Masjid or Islamic Center to Start Its Own Unemployment Support Group

This would be a more formalized version of idea #3 above. It could include weekly spiritual pep talks by the Imam about the need to be steadfast in difficult times and trust in Allah, for example.

It could also offer counseling to Muslims struggling with the emotional and psychological aftermath of job loss.

Each meeting can end with a collective Dua by the group leader or Imam to help members and everyone who is suffering financially or otherwise during this difficult time.

5. Give Small, Steady Sadaqa

It's tempting to think that the only donations that matter are the large ones we can easily make when we've got a steady job and a large bank balance. But consider this: it's the small donations by hundreds of millions of nonbillionaire Americans that fuel most of? this country's nonprofits. In 2006, individuals accounted for about three-quarters of donations.

This is in line with the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him's saying: “the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even though it were little” (Bukhari).

It could be just a dollar a week, but do give it away in charity.

If you and your family have cut an expensive habit to save money, consider giving a small percentage of that to the mosque charity box for the hungry next week.

6. Don't Neglect Non-Monetary Charity

Giving charity has an interesting psychological effect: a sense of empowerment and upliftment. Most of us feel great giving but embarrassed asking from others, even in need. But don't think that being charitable is limited to dollars and cents.

? The Prophet, in response to a question about how to fulfill the Islamic obligation of giving charity daily, answered: “The doors of goodness are many…

enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one's legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one's arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.”

Volunteering of all kinds to help those in need, even as you are in need, will not only help fight depression, but it will help you regain a sense of empowerment.

7. Reconnect with Your Family

With more time on your hands, use the hours and minutes you are not looking for another job to reconnect with your parents, spouse and children in a way you could not when you were employed.

Call your parents everyday, thanking Allah for the blessing of their presence in your life; drop off and pick up your kids from school and strike up interesting conversations with them about the meaning of life; take on bedtime story duty; start praying the five daily prayers together as a family; go out with your spouse to a free activity; plan a one-day getaway to a free, local attraction with the whole family. It is especially important to reconnect in difficult times. Otherwise, the stress can lead to a negative family atmosphere that kills love and mercy between spouses, parents and children.

8. Be the Birds

The Prophet said “If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs” (At-Tirmidhi).

Trust in Allah, and keep relying on Him through Dua and good deeds. Even with bad news upon bad news about the economy, remember His Mercy and His ability to provide for you from means you could never have imagined (Quran 65:3).

9. Make Dua for Others Coping with Job Loss

The Prophet said: “The Dua of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial Dua for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same'” (Muslim).

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Reflections on Job Loss

Prayers For Job Loss

You are never more yourself than when you are between things be it between one job and another, one home and another, education and working life, work and retirement, and so on. Cherish, nurture, and be kind to yourself in these times of revelation through transition.

—Paraphrased and amended from my friend Susan Dimaline’s words to me years ago.

Whether we suspected it was coming or were taken completely by surprise, we have lost a job and we are ly stunned. In most cases it is not because we did something wrong and are being punished.

Remember that each of us has worth and deserves dignified treatment. Losing a job does not actually change who we are, although it can feel that way, at times. Thankfully, we are still ourselves. Each of us is a blessing.

Remember that everything changes and that this stage of life will give way to a new one.

Our job meant income, status and gave us part of our identity—part of who we are. Suddenly we are cut loose from those moorings. We are not quite the same person any more, because part of us has changed: the part that went to work and interacted as we did. It can leave us feeling angry at the time of leaving and fearful about the future.

One of the most helpful things a friend said to me in a time of transition was that each of us is the most ourself when we are between things. We are not shaped by an organizational culture at such times, but rather are the most “me” we ever are.

This time can yield a fruitful experience of taking stock and making room for who we have become at this point in our lives. We were so busy working that we may not have noticed our own growing and changing. We need to grieve our loss and to recognize our feelings of anger and fear so that we are able to reap the benefits of reflection.

Personal Story

I was doing a great job at my position, which I loved.

My job was terminated and a part-time position replaced some of what I did, with others taking on the rest, as I had already done for those who had been laid off before me.

The person who let me go knew I would be in shock. I knew it too. As is the case for many, my being let go was nothing personal. I was not disd nor was I incompetent. I was told that it was the economy.

I went home to my husband, who was facing his own first day of unemployment. That’s right, he was laid off two weeks before. So now we were both a job, with three kids and an elderly parent to support. I was angry, disillusioned, and fearful of how we would manage.

And yet I somehow felt that even though I loved my job, I was going to find something even better. I don’t know where that came from but it was irrepressible.

As Richard Bolles notes in What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-changers, the Chinese character for danger also means opportunity.

Remember, if you enjoyed your job, no one can ever take away the time you had nor the friends you made. If you can and want to, stay in touch with people you know from your former workplace and get together outside of the workplace. You need not lose those friends.

I knew I would feel odd not going to work daily, so I resolved to do an errand each morning just to get out. This made me feel more in control. I actually didn’t end up following this plan but just having a plan helped me.

I was taking stock and assessing my own needs and being serious about caring well for myself. It was spring and I worked in my garden. A friend suggested that I plant a perennial in affirmation of my growing self. I planted a rose bush and it thrived; a symbol of my own thriving. I determined to keep reaching out and not to shrink inward a snail. I made lots of social plans.

A therapist suggested that our family try an exercise to boost our confidence in coping with this tough time.

She said ask each member of the family a list of questions: for example, “Ever been through a parent’s job loss before?” “Ever had less money and had to choose which things you were going to buy?” and so on. All questions were designed to show that we had to cope before, and managed just fine.

You might find it valuable to talk with a religious professional who will listen to you talk about your grief and hopes. Among other feelings I felt angry, and I still am at times.

There is a fork in the road of choices I make in which I feel angry and allow myself to experience those feelings, and yet I decide not to go down the road of anger as my choice of action.

I only let myself imagine that road.

It is key to reflect alone and also to reflect with others. We need to be able stay upbeat and not wallow in self-pity. The company of constructive-minded others is invaluable. I took a course on balance in work and life to help identify what I would do next.

The course content, the company of other participants, and the leader were all very valuable to my identifying and taking next steps. In these tough economic times there are groups to help you stay upbeat and to help you move through a process of letting go and starting anew.

You can even start a small group yourself, as I did.

We must value our deepest selves and our highest abilities and also be held in community. This is both the formula for how we can deal with our grief and loss and the formula for how we will move into a new job. We need to take stock, take inventory of ourselves, our abilities and our needs, and also to connect with others for fun, positive reinforcement, and connections that lead to a job.

A Prayer

You can either speak or, if you’d to, sing “I Know This Rose Will Open” by Mary Grigolia, hymn #396 from the UU hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition.

This song can be a comforting prayer in times of fear, discernment, waiting, and hope, after we have done what we can and await the actions of others. The rose symbolizes the onset and flourishing of our hopes and dreams.

Singing in times of trouble can be particularly powerful and comforting. Sing or speak the words as you prefer. The words are:

I know this rose will open,
I know my fears will burn away,
I know my soul will unfurl its wings
I know this rose will open.

Implied in these words is the truth that we will help the “rose” to open and also that a certain amount of help outside ourselves will be needed.

A Spiritual Practice

I have found that I need both the “reality check” of processing my transition with others, and the practice of private reflection.  With others, I have attended a careers small group that I started, a larger networking group which meets at the library, and a course on career directions.

By myself, the inward-looking process of journaling has been very helpful. Some possible themes to journal on are “what do I want to do most?” or “Who do I want to be?” or “What do I want more of in my life?” You might even to create a vision board to focus your sense of self.

Alone and together, these processes combined to help me in leaving my job—a process leaving familiar shores and rowing out into the water, exploring myself and working towards another shore, near or distant, where I find my next adventure. Journaling and group work can help in thinking through the combination of work and personal life to perhaps get a better insight on a better balance in future.

Paula Cole Jones taught me the words of Episcopal bishop, Barbara Harris, “The power behind you is greater than the task before you.” When I remember this it causes me to sit up and to remember my actions matter.

 “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

—Howard Thurman

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