Career and Workplace Counselling: Coping with the Grief and Loss associated with Employment Termination, Separation and Redundancy

Career Counselling - Coping with the grief and loss associated with Employment Termination, separation and redundancy

How we lose a job is not really as important as how we cope with the loss.

Katherine Foster, Blu Ripples Founder, 18 Sept 2010


A long time ago, probably close to 16 years ago, a wise individual shared with me an eloquent acronym for grief and loss associated with loss in general however one perceives it to be pertinent in this situation.  The acronym is SARA.

SARA is defined as the following experiences: –

S Shock or Sadness
A Anger or Annoyance
R Revenge or Rejection
A Acceptance

SARA Stages – What to Expect

Stage 1. – Shock

When one first learns of ones unplanned job loss they may have the propensity to feel sad or be in a state of shock as the event came out of the blue.

Stage 2. Anger or Annoyance

The 2nd phase will see the person potentially displaying or feeling anger or annoyance at the situation, even possibly at the company or the individual who terminated their service.

Stage 3. Revenege or Rejection

The 3rd Phase is Revenge or Rejection.  That is you may be feeling like you want pay back (trust me this is not worth it) or perhaps you are withdrawing from life and taking the situation on board as a personal insult – that is, you may be feeling worthless because you have now been excluded from your work environment and/or team.

Stage 4. Acceptance

Finally, Phase 4 is Acceptance.  The process by which you accept the situation for what it is and move onwards and upwards with your life.  However, it should be noted that some people can get stuck in this phase, if this is indeed the case one reminds you not to focus on what you have lost (negative) but on what this change can do to improve you life (positive).

Blu Ripples – “Helping you through life’s ripples” ®

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Sydney NSW.  Katherine is a member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia (ACA); has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.