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Journal Article
Brewington, J. O., Nassar-McMillan S. C., Flowers C. P., & Furr S. R. (2004).  A Preliminary Investigation of Factors Associated With Job Loss Grief. Career Development Quarterly. 53(1), 78 - 83. Abstract
"Involuntary job loss has far-reaching effects on the well-being of individuals and families (Bejian & Salomone, 1995; Leana & Feldman, 1994; Turner, Kessler, & House, 1991; Vinokur, Price, & Caplan, 1996). Job loss can result in loss of identity, social contacts, and self-worth (Amundson & Borgen, 1992; Beehr, 1995). Coupled with economic loss, the emotional toll can be devastating."
Carlson, R. (1998).  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work.
"Ed worked for a bio-technology company for five years. Part of his job was to consolidate, cut costs and help his company become 'lean.' He told me something so awful I almost didn't believe him. 'I hate to admit it, but I used to get a thrill out of firing people. I didn't think of myself as a horrible person or anything like that, but cutting costs meant more to me than the effects it had on the people involved. That's how I measured my effectiveness, and that's how I was judged. The fact that these people were scared and didn't know what to do, or that they had three children to support and rent to pay, had no effect on me whatsoever. Then, one day it happened to me! Out of the blue, I was fired, or "let go" as they put it. I'm sure many people were happy and thought I deserved it. I suppose I did, but I can tell you that, painful as it was, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me—it opened my eyes to my compassion. I'll never treat people like that again.'" (p. 196)
Westhues, K. (1999).  Eliminating Professors: A Guide to the Dismissal Process.
Quoting from a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada:
"A person's employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self-worth, and emotional well-being. Accordingly, any change in a person's employment status is bound to have far-reaching repercussions. The point at which the employment relationship ruptures is the time when the employee is most vulnerable, and hence most in need of protection. When termination is accompanied by acts of bad faith in the manner of the discharge, the results can be especially devastating." (p. 164)
Galos, J. - B., & McIntosh S. (1997).  Firing back: power strategies for cutting the best deal when you're about to lose your job.
" may already be convinced that your co-workers, likable and helpful souls as they may have been during good times, are not really part of your protective, extended family. When the bad times came, many of them disappointed you. Either they weren't there for you or they weren't able to solve your problems. If they felt threatened themselves, they were running for cover. Even if they thought they were safe, they were probably showing you a side of themselves you hadn't seen before: a cold, distant, suspicious, or cruel side. But what made you think you were all part of a great big family?" (p. 207)
de Becker, G. (1998).  The Gift of Fear : Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence.
"The loss of a job can be as traumatic as the loss of a loved one, but few fired employees receive a lot of condolence or support." (p. 177)
LaFevre, J. L. (1989).  How you really get hired: The inside story from a college recruiter.
"I am not a soapbox person, but I have seen so many employees mourn the loss of a job with the same feelings experienced with the loss of a loved one—guilt, frustration, anger, and finally acceptance. Americans often make the mistake of transposing who they are into what they do. You are many things: friend, spouse, neighbor, church member, card carrying ACLU member, co-worker, parent, advisor, and...Marketing Manager. The essence of you will never be reflected in your job title." (p. 188)
Iacocca, L. A., Novak W., & Iacocca L. (1984).  Iacocca: An Autobiography.
"Everybody has lost good people who have simply been in the wrong job and who might have found more satisfaction as well as greater success if they could have been moved to another area instead of being fired." (p. 49)
White, W. L. (1997).  Incestuous Workplace: Stress and Distress in the Organizational Family.
"It is only proper that I should conclude by examining how to respond effectively to the victims of professional distress, for it was precisely the concern over such casualties that compelled the studies and consultation work that served as the foundation for this book. In the process of conducting those early studies, I had the very disquieting experience of listening for many hours to workers who were caught up in the incestuous dynamics and role conditions I've described here. I interviewed workers whose health self-destructed from sheer physical exhaustion, workers whose marriages were only memories, workers who fell victim to the self-medicating effects of alcohol and other drugs, and workers who fell apart emotionally. Nearly all of these individuals either left or were extruded from their work settings under conditions of extreme emotional pain. Many continued to struggle years later for emotional closure on their work experiences. They continued to seek some rational understanding of what happened to them and others in their organizations. Many of those leaving health and human services agencies received less respect, concern, and support than would have been extended to any client seeking services in the agencies in which they had worked. Such exiting workers often became the pariahs and untouchables of our field, and those of us who remained continued in our blindness or arrogance to see ourselves as immune, believing that what happened to them could not happen to us. If there is any message that collectively emerges from the stories of distressed workers, it is that we are all potential victims of these processes. Today's respected worker may be tomorrow's untouchable." (p. 297)
Eliot, R. S., Breo D. L., & Debakey M. E. (1989).  Is It Worth Dying For?.
"The most obvious stress threat is unemployment. Losing a job can feel like being hit by a truck...
Take time to mourn the loss of your job, just as you would grieve over the loss of a loved one. Feel and express your anger and sadness, and realize they may be with you for a while." (p. 209)
Kusnet, D. (2008).  Love the work, hate the job: why America's best workers are unhappier than ever.
"Although [Dan Pink] did cite the use of long-term temporary workers at companies like Microsoft as examples of a problem, not a promising new trend, he exaggerated the extent to which short-term employment and self-employment were voluntary. After all, how many downsized executives, professionals, and technicians describe themselves as 'consultants,' rather than as job hunters, because admitting they were laid off sounds perilously close to labeling themselves 'losers'?" (p. 53)
Publishers, B. A. (1990).  The Minneapolis Job Bank, 1991.
You are not the first and will not be the last to go through this traumatic experience. Thousands of professionals are fired every week. Remember, being fired is not a reflection on you as a person. It is usually a reflection of your company's staffing needs and its perception of your recent job performance. Share the fact with your relatives and friends. Being fired is not something of which to be ashamed....
Avoid mentioning you were fired while arranging interviews." (p. 31)
Buskirk, R. H. (1974).  Modern Management and Machiavelli.
"The discharged employee is hopefully restrained from doing a great many things that he would like to do through fear of what it might cost him in terms of pay, good recommendations, and the law." (p. 168)
Duffy, M., & Sperry L. (2013).  Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace Aggression and Bullying.
"Work is a basic need, and its threatened loss, especially as a result of mobbing, results in primal fear."
Mackay, H. B. (1993).  Sharkproof: Get the Job You Want, Keep the Job You Today's Frenzied Job Market.
"So you got fired.
You can take the hurt and anger you feel and use it constructively. To prove they made a mistake when they let you go. Think. And do. Prove those critics wrong, wrong, wrong. Keep the vision of their pinched little faces handy, where you can get at them when you need them. Make them eat their words. Show them your stuff. Get mad. Get going. Get even.
Payback time is coming." (p. 248)
Welch, J., & Welch S. (2005).  Winning.
"The legacy of a firing lasts a long time—for you, your company, and, most of all, the person who has been fired." (p. 131)
Westhues, K. (2005).  Winning, losing, moving on : how professionals deal with workplace harassment and mobbing. (Ursula A. Falk, Gerhard Falk, Ed.).
"In our western culture people are judged by their achievements, their earning power, status directly related to employment, and ability to climb the ladder of success. That is the reason it is especially tragic and emotionally damaging when one is robbed of his achievements without just and rational cause. The individual thus affected tends to lose his spirit, ambition, will to fight—ultimately his identity." (p. 174, Falk and Falk)
Twerski, A. J. (2009).  Without a Job, Who Am I?: Rebuilding Your Self When You've Lost Your Job, Home, Or Life Savings.
"Logically, there is no reason to feel either guilt or shame when one is laid off. However, as we have seen, shame is an all-too-common reaction. This irrational feeling might be easy to overcome were it not that it acts like a booster shot and recalls the distressing feelings of shame that one experienced in childhood. Just as the body reacts with a huge output of antibodies, the mind, too, remembers and may react with a great deal of shame." (p. 18)
Ciulla, J. B. (2001).  The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work.
"fear is the oldest way to get people to work. Explicit fear, such as knowing that we will be fired, has limited benefit because it can depress, paralyze, debilitate, or infuriate us... Employees may eventually burn out or self-destruct, but they will put in more work, for a while. Today's company men and women work longer hours and tolerate greater pressure than Whyte's organization man."1 (p. 162)
Boulanger, G. (2011).  Wounded By Reality: Understanding and Treating Adult Onset Trauma. 207. Abstract
"The loss of a job or the prospect of a divorce suddenly evokes terror that existence will be extinguished; the patient believes she can no longer exist without these defining relationships." (p. 34)

See also: unemployment, burnout, disposability

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: job_loss
    • preferred: job loss
    • alternate: laid off
    • alternate: pink slip
    • alternate: fired
    • definition: involuntary loss of one's employment and its psychological effects
    • related: unemployment
    • related: burnout
    • related: disposability
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-190
    • linked content:
      • sense: can
      • sense: dismiss
      • sense: displace
      • sense: fire
      • sense: force out
      • sense: give notice
      • sense: give the axe
      • sense: give the sack
      • sense: sack
      • sense: send away
      • sense: terminate
      • displace
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position; "The boss fired his secretary today"; "The company terminated 25% of its workers"
      • hyponym of:
      • synset id: 202402825
  • W3C SKOS spec
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