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Emotional Trauma and the Threat of Layoffs

For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has made job insecurity the new norm. Gone are the days of “stable” fields like health care, education, and many others. A recent Gallup survey says that 25% of currently employed workers will be laid off sometime over the next year.

If you suffered a job loss before, you may still have emotional trauma from it. Living in a constant state of worry and fear can cause emotional trauma as well. Take the time now to prepare for the possibility of a future layoff, so it will be less of a shock if it happens.

Recognize Your Trauma

Your brain has not gotten the message that nothing has happened yet, so there is nothing to grieve yet. It’s very difficult to carry on with your normal routine when you are in a constant state of worry and fear. Normally, when someone gets laid off, it is that person’s problem.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has the same problem and few jobs are truly safe. If your spouse is also afraid of being laid off, you are likely experiencing double the emotions. If you were laid off before, these emotions can be even more severe.

Focus on your current emotions, not any residual trauma from the last time you were laid off. Hopefully, you will see that so many others are in the same boat and that you can and will survive these emotions.

Connect with Management

It may help ease your worries if you are getting regular updates from your employer. If your employer has a company website, see if the founder has made any updates about the fate of the company. If possible, stay connected with your manager and let them know to update you if anything should change.

Keep your eyes glued to any emails, phone calls, or text messages your employer may send you. Most employers cannot tell you what the fate of the company will be in the long term, but getting some sort of weekly status may help calm you down.

Have a Post-Layoff Job Search Plan

Even though you may still have your job now, prepare for the possibility that you may not have it much longer. Think about what you can do and the connections you have. You can use this as an opportunity to find similar work in a different firm, gain more knowledge to improve your resume, or choose a different career path altogether.

The world is in chaos right now and having to find a new job can bring out more anxiety. Instead of thinking about the trauma you endured the last time you were laid off, think of how much better off you will be now that you have a plan.

The fear of being laid off and experiencing those anxiety-filled feelings all over again can be debilitating. Don’t let the trauma of a layoff, or even just the threat of one, negatively impact your life. At The Guest House, you can receive academic and career counseling to help you get on the right track and speak to a therapist about any traumatic symptoms you are going through. We’ll help you get through this. To learn more, call us today at (855) 483-7800.