Getting Fired Can Feel Worse Than a Break Up, Study Finds

And it can take longer to recover from the fallout too.
Getting Fired Can Feel Worse Than a Break Up, Study Finds
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Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

When so much of our self worth is wrapped up in our work, losing a job can be a real blow.

According to a recent research review conducted by the University of East Anglia and the What Works Center for Wellbeing in England, getting fired can actually be more painful than divorce or the death of a spouse.

That might seem a bit much, but when you account for the fact that one of the most common first date questions is, “so, what do you do?” it starts to make sense.

Related: Improving Company Culture Starts With Wellness

And while meeting someone new can help the hurting person heal, looking for a new job can throw the pain of being let go into starker relief, according to research conducted by Freie Universitaet Berlin.

The researchers at East Anglia found that for British men, their emotional well-being returns to normal two years after the death of their partners and four years after a breakup with their significant other. Men's emotional states continue to decline even after four years after losing their jobs. Additionally, men were more affected by losing their jobs than women. Some good news for extroverts: they recover better.

Tricia Curmi, the head of communications for the What Works Center for Wellbeing, explained to Bloomberg why being let go makes such a long standing impact: “To have meaning in your life in this society means to be working, contributing and to have that status.”

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