Psychologists note that losing a job often equates to the grief of losing a loved one
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused million of people — globally — being laid off as businesses keep their doors closed to slow the spread of the deadly disease, creating a major drought in a nation’s well-being. For Filipinos, employment is really important as this gives them the means to support their families and loved ones. For some, work gives our lives meaning and purpose — this is much more than just the way we make a living.
David Blustein, a professor of counselling psychology at Boston College and the author of The Importance of Work in an Age of Uncertainty: The Eroding Work Experience in America noted that the monstrous effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt in the coming years. “This is going to be a global pandemic of unemployment.”
“I call it a crisis within a crisis.”
COVID-19: Psychologists note that losing a job often equates to the grief of losing a loved one
In an article published on BBC: Psychologists note that losing a job often equates to the grief of losing a loved one; the emotional trajectory can include any of the stages of grief, which run from shock and denial, through to anger and bargaining, and eventually to acceptance and hope.
Adam Benson, a New York-based psychologist in private practice for 20 years, clarified that this birthed crisis, aside from resulting financial challenges, also brings psychological challenges among people.
“What I have found helpful to people is to point out that they are actually going through a loss and once they realise this, they can be more compassionate with themselves and allow themselves to feel what they feel.”
Benson, then, noted that some people may not want to acknowledge the depth of their loss.
People usually get angry when they lost their jobs — but that was during their time of abundance
On the other hand, Sarah Damaske, an associate professor of sociology, labour, and employment relations at Pennsylvania State University, said that the people usually get angry when they lost their jobs — but that was during their time of abundance.
With the all the unexpected circumstances in the world right now, Damaske further explained that there will be likely decrease in anger — though still uncertain.
“People who get laid off feel fairly angry about it and upset with their employers,” she notes. “I argue that a lot of the anger comes either from feeling like you are replaceable – they found someone who was cheaper to do the work. Or, like you weren’t really part of the team after all – [they] moved the work away from the team or took people off a team they had thought themselves to be a critical part of.”
According to Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at the University of Manchester, people tend to blame the pandemic rather than themselves.
“Individuals can psychologically blame the pandemic rather than themselves,” he says. “But [what] might follow is that organisations may realise, the longer this goes on, that they don’t need as many people. That is, that technology could replace many. That will be the biggest fear and longer term consequence.”