Reemployment assistance claimants are required by state law to report for reemployment services at their local One-Stop Career Centers to remain eligible for reemployment assistance benefits. Often times, claimants are not aware of this requirement to report and receive the notice from an appointment letter that arrives unexpectedly in the mail. In the midst of dealing with their job loss grief and now, an appointment for services, claimants may prove to be difficult to work with during their reemployment appointment. This presentation will discuss the stages of job loss grief as well as how staff may utilize One-Stop Career Center services to move claimants through the stages of grief and into gainful employment.
Federal and state laws require claimants to attend reemployment services to remain eligible for benefits. This reporting requirement was developed as a means to provide claimants with immediate services that would help expedite their return to the workforce and reduce their claim duration.
Before assisting a customer deal with grief, you must first define it. Grief may be described as a reaction to a major loss that may be experienced as an unhappy and painful emotion. A response to grief may be a psychological, physical, emotional and social response.
Swiss American psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, developed a stage model which describes the stages of grief. Initially developed through studies of death and dying, Kubler-Ross’ model has been expanded to encompass other areas of loss across the lifespan.
According to Kubler-Ross’ model, the five stages of grief are: denial, acceptance, depression, anger and bargaining.
When working with customers regarding the stages of job loss grief, one must realize that the stages of grief are not sequential in nature. There is no one particular starting point or order of grief and a customer may not experience each stage of grief.
One of the stages of grief is denial. Denial can be described as a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information or reality relating to a situation. Denial is a natural defense mechanism that is deployed to protect the body and mind from reaching extreme levels of stress.
Another stage of grief is anger. Anger may manifest in different ways and may be expressed internally or externally. When in the anger stage, one is looking for someone or something to blame for the current situation.
Bargaining is the process of negotiating, typically with a higher being, for positive outcomes. Customers may begin bargaining in an attempt to regain a balance in their lives that no longer exist. This is rarely a sustainable solution as, with job loss, the dislocation or separation has occurred and is unlikely to be restored to the same state again.
Depression is a stage in which emotions such as sadness, fear, regret and uncertainty are experienced. Depression may cause the customer to retreat into a state in which they don’t want to conduct a job search, isolate themselves from family and friends and giving up hope that things will get better. These expressions begin to reveal themselves once the customer has begun to progress toward acceptable of their current situation.
Acceptance is an indication of an emotional detachment and objectivity to the loss. Once a customer reaches this stage, they have recognized that a loss has occurred and are beginning to transition into the next steps to start a new beginning. This stage may be displayed in a committed job search effort and new found self-esteem.
Shown here are few phrases a customer may say that can help you identify which stage of grief the customer is currently experiencing.
To remain eligible to receive reemployment benefits, claimant’s are required to attend the mandatory reemployment appointments at their local One-Stop Career Center. These appointments, often times, come as a complete surprise to the claimant who may not have an idea 1) what a one-stop career center is and 2) why they have been identified to report for services. These factors coupled with their recent job loss and subsequent grief may cast a shadow over the reemployment appointment even before it begins. The following strategies and techniques can assist staff with addressing the claimant’s grief while turning the reemployment appointment around.
When claimants are selected for reemployment services, they are identified early in their claim so that the One-Stop can begin the implementation of services as soon as possible.
This early selection process has proven to have a positive impact and reduces the customer’s claim duration by returning them to the workforce quickly. One-Stop staff should utilize the orientation service to their benefit to begin the process of encouraging the claimant who is experiencing grief as a result of their job loss. The orientation service is typically the initial service provided to claimants and provides staff an opportunity to change the focus from a claimant’s unemployed state of grief to a reemployment focus. Staff have an opportunity to begin engaging the customer and marketing the benefits of utilizing the one-stop’s services. This initial “buy-in” is a key factor in utilizing other strategies of coping with job loss grief.
Remember, change is inevitable, but with change comes opportunity. This is an important message to give your claimants to keep them uplifted during this process. It is equally important to listen to your customer so that you are able to recognize which stage of grief they may currently be experiencing. Validate the customer’s feelings and remind them that everything they are feeling is completely natural and you are there to help. To gain the best understanding about what stage of grief your customer may be in, keep your eyes open for physical and verbal cues, ask them open ended question and don’t pass judgment on the information they may reveal.
Encourage the jobseeker to take advantage of all of the resources that are available to them. It is fundamental in finding satisfying reemployment for the claimant that they identify their interests, skills and values. Provide them with a formal assessment to help you identify their deficiencies, strengths and potential. Follow up with the claimant to discuss their assessment results, keep them engaged, discuss the next steps, and the One Stop resources available to address what was uncovered in the assessment. Creating a written plan will also help guide the customer, in a systematic fashion, toward their goal of reemployment.
Talk openly with your customer about the importance of creating a daily routine. Although they don’t have the obligation to wake up to report to work, they still have a job to do. Encourage them to make their job search their new full-time job. Discuss the commitment it will take for them to return to the workforce and encourage them along the way.
Networking with others can work wonders for your customer’s. Refer them to a social networking workshop at the one-stop to help teach them how to network effectively and appropriately. Additionally, encourage them to reach out to their family, friends, friends of friends, former roommates or past associates to discover what opportunities may be available to them.
1. The Letter Said I “Had to Report Utilizing One-Stop Career Center Services to Cope with Job Loss Grief
2. Federal and State Authority• On November 24, 1993, the President signed into law the Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993 (P.L. 103-152) which added requirements States must meet as a condition of States receiving UI grants.• Florida Statutes 443.091(1)(b) requires claimants to report as directed by the Regional Workforce Board (RWB).
3. What is Grief?• A reaction to a major loss. It is most often an unhappy and painful emotion. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002497)• A multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grief)
4. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross Model• Swiss American psychiatrist who studied death and dying• Developed a model of adjustment, known as the five stages of grief• Kübler-Ross’ model has been expanded to incorporate loss in other areas of the lifespan
5. Kübler-Ross ModelFive Stages of Grief
6. Stages of GriefIt is important to recognize:1. The stages of grief are not sequential, there is no defined starting point.2. The stages of grief are not experienced in any particular order.3. Everyone may not experience each stage of grief.
7. Denial• A conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc. relating to the situation• A natural defense mechanism
8. Anger• May manifest in different ways – Outbursts – Blaming behavior – Detachment from personal relationships• May be self directed or expressed externally toward others
9. Bargaining• Negotiation, typically with a higher being, for a better outcome• Attempt to regain a prior state of homeostasis or balance that no longer exists• Rarely provides a sustainable solution
10. Depression• May be viewed as a “dress rehearsal” for the acceptance of the aftermath of the loss• Experience of emotion such as sadness, fear, regret, uncertainty, etc.• Expression of emotion shows the customer has begun to accept reality
11. Acceptance• An indication of some emotional detachment and objectivity to the loss• Recognition that the loss has occurred and a transition to the next steps• May be viewed as the customer “turning the page” to write a new beginning
12. How May Grief Sound? Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance• “This isn’t • “Who is to • “I’ll will • “I’m so sad, • “It’s going happening blame?” give away why bother to be okay.” to me.” all those looking for • “Why me? new suits I a job.” • “I can’t• “I’m still It’s not bought change going to fair!” if…” • “I’m not what has get dressed good happened and go to • “Dear God, enough to in the past, work I promise if work for I might as tomorrow.” I get my anyone.” well job back, I prepare for will never the future.” run late again.”
13. Utilizing One-Stop Services to Address Job Loss Grief
14. Early Identification• Claimants are identified for reemployment services by the fourth week of their claim• They are scheduled to report to the One-Stop no later than the seventh week of their claim
15. Early Identification• Use this early selection process to your benefit• Provide a thorough orientation to the One- Stop and available services• Focus on reemployment versus discussing the current unemployed state
16. Strategies to Cope with Job Loss Grief1. Acknowledge the claimant’s stage of grief and validate their feelings – Look for verbal and physical cues to let you know what stage of grief they may currently be in – Ask open ended questions – Allow the claimant to speak openly about how they perceive their job loss without passing judgment
17. Strategies to Cope with Job Loss Grief2. Get them connected to one-stop services that will help them obtain employment – Provide them with an assessment service to gauge exactly where they stand – Discuss the assessment results with the claimant to keep them involved – Develop a plan to help them move forward
18. Strategies to Cope with Job Loss Grief3. Discuss the importance of creating a daily routine – Remind the claimant to treat their job search like a regular job • Wake up early to begin to their job search • Commit to their efforts • Stay motivated
19. Strategies to Cope with Job Loss Grief4. Refer the claimant to take advantage of networking opportunities – Refer them to a Social Networking Workshop – Encourage them to reach out to their existing contact network • Family, friends, friends of friends, former roommates or past associates
20. Resources• Unemployment Job Loss Stress Coping – http://www.helpguide.org/life/unemployment_job_loss_stress_coping_tips.htm• Job Transition Manual – http://www.jhu.edu/~hr1/human-serv/JobTransitionManual.pdf• Kübler-Ross Model – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model