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Are You Suffering From Career Grief?

Category: Tips and Advice

Are You Suffering From Career Grief? With the COVID-19 pandemic still prevalent there have been Jobs and opportunities lost; If you have been affected by this then you will almost certainly go through the 5 stages of Career Grief (Kubler-Ross)

 If you are in one of the stages, that’s okay; it is actually a natural process that we all go through during any change in employment circumstances. There are still opportunities out there and here at CTP we want to help you find a way to achieve your goals or make new ones.


The first stage is denial. This is when the change is new and you don’t want to look at the impact it could have. You will probably tell yourself that its fine, people are adapting "I still have a year left before I’m out". You will probably try to keep a positive mental attitude - and positive distractions will probably be used without even realising it – the government offering the furlough scheme, the gradual re-opening of non-essential shops, "the military have offered me a 6 month extension and it will be better by then". You need to go through this stage to move on to the next. Starting on your resettlement will help.


Anger is next, as there is a growing realisation that your expectations will not be met. Some people move into this stage quicker than others. When you hit this phase there will often be a lot of blame. “Covid came along and all the jobs disappeared!”, “I don’t deserve it”, or “the military haven’t prepared me for this”. Keep Social Media use to a minimum during this phase, as anything negative put on during this time will be remembered. Don't forget – around 80% of jobs are found through networking and if all your contacts see is negativity, they are less likely to recommend you. Try and limit the people you vent to and try to limit the time you spend in this phase – maybe a week max. It’s not expected that after a week you come back all sunshine and rainbows, but transitioning from negative to neutral thoughts is a must. Neutral thinking is when you accept that what has happened, happened, allowing you to move to the next stage.


Even with our help, sometimes you may still not be successful in getting interviews or job offers. This is when the next phase, depression, comes in. You may start wondering what is wrong with you, you might begin to feel like a failure, you might even decide to give up and stop looking so hard for employment. Again, this is natural, but going over perceived mistakes again and again can be a vicious cycle. Going into an interview with this mind-set can set you up for failure. If it goes wrong the circle of negative thinking continues. This is often the longest, and most difficult stage to get out of. A quick chat with your Career Consultant can help put things into perspective - they can even put you through a mock interview with constructive feedback for next time.


If you are struggling and decide "I can’t stay like this", then you are in acceptance. Acceptance is understanding that it happened, it can’t be changed but now the focus is on moving forward. Speak to your Career Consultant, use the tools available to work on your transition to civilian employment. Things have happened in the world, but you adapted, and are ready for the next challenge. Hiring managers and HR love asking the question “Why do you think that happened to you?” They aren’t trying to trick you or catch you out, they want to know what you learnt from the experience, how you grew from it, how are you not going to repeat that. Then you are ready for new opportunities.

These stages are flexible

These stages are flexible you can go through them in varying times, some people may be able to go through all 5 in a week, others it could take a year. Getting through these stages and out the other side is what is important. The stages are not linear, they are like a roller coaster, you will have ups and downs. Remember, you will get through it so roll up your sleeves and use the support available to you.

Denial - No matter what you think might happen make a start on your Resettlement just in case. Contact us to discuss the best way forward.

Anger - Keep off social media to express your frustrations.

Bargaining - Don't rush into anything, talk things through with your Career Consultant or Advisor, tailor your CV for every job, consider if any job offers actually meet your needs - not just the immediate needs but long term too.

Depression - Don't get into a vicious circle of rejection and low confidence. Ask your consultant or advisor to practice an interview with you and take on board the constructive feedback they give you. Sometimes it only takes a minor change to make a major difference.

Acceptance - Make the most of the employment support that CTP can offer. Employment Fairs, Live Chats, RightJob - all specifically aimed at Service Leavers with employers who have live jobs.