It has been ten years since he lost his job. He still feels confused, betrayed, bitter, and angry. He even claims that if he would see his former boss while driving, that he would run him over.

Grief following Job Loss

The impact of job loss is often underestimated. It can lead to complaints that persist long after you lost your job. In fact, they can increase over time. In particular, anger, guilt and shame are persistent emotions that don’t just disappear.

My name is Janske van Eersel, I am psychologist en researcher in the Netherlands. Over the past decade, I have counselled hundreds of people who have lost their jobs. I have seen many symptoms that strongly resemble grief, only those that are not recognised as such and therefore remain untreated. As a result, many people get stuck in the grief process, hence it is much more difficult to look at the future and to keep the faith that finding a new job is possible.

This was the reason for me to start a study on the impact of job loss in the spring of 2015. I am conducting this research as an PhD student in collaboration with Prof Paul Boelen and Prof Toon Taris from Utrecht University.

Present study

The aim of the research is to gain more insight into the development, risk and protective factors of complicated grief symptoms as a result of job loss.

If you want to participate, you first fill out a baseline-questionnaire (15 min). Then, five consecutively days, you fill out a short questionnaire (5 min), in which you indicate what you have done that day and how you have experienced this. This gives us more insight in protective and risk factors, so we can better support people in case of job loss. You can read the participant information letter here.

Have you involuntarily lost your job, and are you currently not working? 
Sign up and you can start right away. 

Everyone is welcome, whether you suffer a lot from the loss of your job, a little or average. The greater the diversity, the better.

Tip: Add info@janskevaneersel.nl to your contacts list, so the mails don’t get stuck in your junk mail.

Scholar publications

  • Van Eersel, J. H. W., Taris, T. W., & Boelen, P. A. (2020). Reciprocal relations between symptoms of complicated grief, depression, and anxiety following job loss: A cross-lagged analysis. Clinical Psychologist. doi.org/10.1111/cp.12212
  • Van Eersel, J. H. W., Taris, T. W., & Boelen, P. A. (2020). Complicated Grief following Job Loss: Risk Factors for its Development and Maintenance. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.
  • Van Eersel, J. H. W., Taris, T. W., & Boelen, P. A. (2019). Development and initial validation of the Job Loss Grief Scale. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 32(4), 428-442. doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2019.1619703 
  • Van Uden, M. H. F., Pieper, J. Z. T., van Eersel, J. H. W., Smeets, W., & van Laarhoven, H. W. M. (2009). Religious and nonreligious coping among cancer patients. Journal of Empirical Theology 22(2), 195-215. doi.org/10.1163/092229309X12512584571706

She keeps wondering what she could have done to prevent her job loss. She doesn't know who she is anymore, if she can't be a caregiver. Her life feels empty and meaningless.