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Getting let go from work is like getting hit by a bus.

And like getting hit by a bus, people who get fired, laid off, or asked to leave often experience PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-syndrome). I see it more often than you might think.

The symptoms show up in one’s work history:
–extended time off
–private consulting
–gig work
–sudden or serial entrepreneurism
–underemployment

A common behavior amongst people with Job-related PTSD is complete and total avoidance of an intentional job search — like a batter avoiding the batter’s box or a veteran avoiding loud noises or a driver circumnavigating busy intersections.

It’s understandable. It’s a smart reaction to a bad experience: the brain saying “hey that sucked. Let’s not go through that again.”

But it abbreviates your life. It makes you take U-turns that keep you from certain roads.

To break free of job PTSD, you have to confront it. (Ghosts hate it when you give ’em a name.) Talk about it, replay the crap-ending to someone who loves you and supports you. No need to deconstruct it or overanalyze things, just pull it into the light and let your emotions go where they go; you’ll probably cycle through quite a few of them.

Then go back before that ending and remember the good stuff too. And if it was always bad at that job, go to the one before it.

You’ve got victories; you’ve just forgotten about them. They’re obstructed. The ghosts are in the way.

Once you get them to move, you’ll see all the roads again. And the intersections will be clear.

top 30 September 2021 | Career Transition, COVID-19, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Mature Workers, Navigating Work Stress