The Separation Shock


The Separation Shock happens all at once. I walk into the noon meeting knowing something is amiss and my worst fears are confirmed when next to my boss I see the new woman from HR. Yes, this is it. My stomach turns. I don’t really register what they are saying. It’s an out-of-body experience. I knew this would happen one day, but can it really be happening now?

Or maybe my latest contract ended today. 4:30pm rolls around and I find myself shaking hands with people I don’t really know despite working with them for months. I slowly head out to the parking lot for the last time. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, though something about this project always felt fleeting and superficial – like I was never quite able to find my flow.

And now what? The dread creeps in as I realize I’ll have to start that terrible cycle all over again: selling myself, the inevitable rejection, the eventual acceptance of the less-than-ideal next gig. And it all happened so fast. Yesterday I was working – a productive member of society – and now? Now, I’m unemployed.

what you may be feeling

  • Shocked

  • Sad

  • Angered


  • Not taking time to grieve and process

  • Avoiding telling loved ones and friends

  • Jumping too quickly into the tactical aspects of the job search

Chris Rudnicki