What to Say to Someone Who has Been Fired

job loss Losing a job can be almost as traumatic as losing a family member for some people. After all, most of us spend more time at our jobs working than we do interacting with loved ones, and a job often defines the way we feel about ourselves and how the world views us. When someone you know is grieving over a job loss, you don't want to take that lightly.

"People are very uncomfortable when they try to comfort someone who is grieving. If you say the wrong thing, you can actually make matters worse," said Aurora Winter, founder of the Grief Coach Academy, and author of 'From Heartbreak to Happiness,' a free ebook.

If you are at a loss for words, there is nothing wrong with being authentic and simply stating, "I don't know what to say," Winter says.

Here are some tips that will give you some ideas on how to talk about it, and keep you from saying the wrong thing:

Do say:

  • You're not alone -- I'm here.
  • I can't imagine how painful this must be for you.
  • My heart goes out to you.
  • What specifically can I do to support you?
  • Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss.

Don't say:
  • Don't feel bad.
  • Be grateful you had the job so long.
  • At least your husband/wife has a job
  • You're young. You can get another job.
  • It just takes time.


"Time alone does not heal," says Winter. But talking about the loss can. Just listening can be a tremendous help. Winter suggests that listeners a) acknowledge their feelings and the situation; b) listen without fixing; and c) give hope and encouragement.

"Healing is a process, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel," Winter says.

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mizdiz2002

I was unjustly fired by a crazed bipolar boss,(CEO) who targeted me a our xmas party, told me i was evil and the devil, i didn't like her and never speak to her, mind you i'm looking at this person like what the hell is going on, anyway i was fired and thrown off the property in the cold.till this day i still dont know why this all happen.

January 26 2011 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary

you dunb ass. what'd you do wrong ?? can't you keep a job ??

(this usually helps motivate)

January 26 2011 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pinkkitty626

How bout "I hope you don't lose your home and have to live in your car, that's what happened to my friend."

January 25 2011 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pinkkitty626

LOL!!!! JOKING!!!! I hate when people make that idiot comment!!!

January 25 2011 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pinkkitty626

"It was God's will"

January 25 2011 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MIck

Yesterday my coworker/friend and I got an email stating that I was to train with him to do his job since he was being layed off in a month. What are you suppose to say and do in that situation?

January 25 2011 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

Gang, most of the time they are pulled to the office and let go through the front door and not able to say good bye to workers....as they are being told usually someone is getting their stuff together unless laid off and then if you are smart do not say anything because we already know who should have been laid off before you....

January 24 2011 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mskjd

I suffered the experience of being fired from a job I had been on for years. After being told what a great work I'm doing, the so called co ceo went around looking for reasons why she wanted to let me go. Other employees were asked what my department looked like. All responses were negative according the the so called boss. While in the process of looking for work, I was told by an ex coworker to apply at a thrift store or juicer. Sometimes people like to see you have undue struggles. But through it all, I do have a better paying job in the transportation industry. But every now and then, I think about the deceitfulness of my termination.

January 24 2011 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
druid0621

Don't say: "Wanna borrow my gun?"

January 23 2011 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to druid0621's comment
LasVegasX

Dang. Well, I guess that option is out. Just kidding.

January 26 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Revered Jim

How about saying lets get even with the SOB? Workers are exploited in this country. The destruction of unions and the brainwashing of the public against unions is the greatest threat this country faces. The influx of illegal workers for the benefit of corporations and small businesses has got to stop. American workers need representation and solidarity. The middle class is disappearing and will soon be replaced by an owner/worker slave state. The rich will own everything and the rest of us will work for them or die. UNITE FIGHT RESIST or DIE!!!

January 22 2011 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Revered Jim's comment
druid0621

Unions are a large part of the reason we're in this mess - teachers unions, public sector unions - they all think they're owed a living. Union do little but protect the incompetent and institutionalize mediocrity.

January 23 2011 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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