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When You Lose Your Job

You’ve spent many years building your career and establishing a place in the corporate world and feel secure about your future and the future of your family. But what happens when it ends abruptly behind the euphemism of downsizing, reorganization, job redundancy or recession and you find yourself in your forties, fifties or even sixties without a job?

This is obviously a major blow to your ego and fragile self-esteem. The reality is that you are no longer identified by your job since your job defined who you were. Then there’s the loss in your way of life and the security it brings. You may wonder how you will make ends meet when there’s no money coming in except for a measly unemployment check. Probably, you are feeling numb and in disbelief. Concept

Coping with job loss is devastating at any age, but even more so when you are older. It is especially compounded when you are close to retirement since it is a forced departure, unexpected. In addition, how do you redefine who you are at this stage of your life?

Women and men experience their job loss differently. Women are more relationship oriented and may find the loss of daily camaraderie and corporate team building very difficult to adjust to. So when women lose their job, they mourn not only the loss of their livelihood, but also the loss of connection with other people. Men, on the other hand, are trained to be more independent and to not put as much emphasis on their relationships for success. Men are task-oriented and their loss of status hurts their ego, their feelings of competency and well-being.

As with any loss, you have choices. You can stay fixated at the same devastating point and wallow in your misery or choose to move on. What seems to be a terrible setback, financially and emotionally, can actually be a catalyst for a hopeful new future and a new beginning.

What can you do to make the transition easier?

1.Identify your skills, interests and abilities. Perhaps this will enable you to find a new career or direction that will be even more fulfilling than the one you had before. Don’t let fear and procrastination sabotage your incentive to find or create new work.

2. Develop your support or networking system, letting everyone know that you are looking for a job. In fact, never stop networking even after you have a job, since it’s important to stay current and in touch.

3. Update your list of accomplishments. Be sure you have at hand your performance evaluations, newspaper write-ups, honors and awards, published material and accommodations. The more you’ve done, the better you can sell yourself.

4. Make a conscious mind shift to create a new destination. You don’t want to sit idly by, waiting for things to unfold. Rather, create numerous connections, because it’s the relations you know that will encourage, support and guide you to be courageous in your new endeavors. You never know who amongst your acquaintances will have the best connections or advice. Plus, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Get the guidance and support you need from friends, relatives or professionals who can encourage and empower you during these most difficult times.

5. Learn to take ultra care of yourself during this time and you’ll be renewed with hope and energy. What seems to be a terrible setback, financially and emotionally, can actually be a catalyst for a hopeful new future and an exciting, new beginning.

Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” With enthusiasm, energy and perseverance, you can move through this transition easier because the secret to victory is consistency and purpose. With added patience and a strong commitment, your future will show great promise and success.

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2 Comments on “When You Lose Your Job”

  1. #1 Gail
    on Dec 29th, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for keeping this wonderful site going. On the subject of job loss, my dear friend Joan lost her job at age 63 last May (2012). I encouraged her all the way, telling her that a door had simply closed and that another would open soon. Joan networked, applied for jobs online and went to job fairs. Nothing clicked and their was that “age ghost” hovering in the background, constantly reminding her that she was past 60. “Who will hire you?” the ghost constantly taunted. Then, two weeks ago she felt a nibble followed by a series of interviews. The hiring manager made an offer – at her former salary! She accepted and will start her new job on Jan. 2. Joan’s experience shows that age discrimination does not always enter into the picture. She was told that people in her generation have a stronger work ethic and are not “married” to their electronic gadgets. Fear not if you have lost a job. It happens to the very best of us – forge ahead and take on the world and show it what you have to offer! A big surprise is awaiting you! And remember – Joan, almost 65, was offered this job even though thousands of people are still losing theirs!

  2. #2 Amy Sherman
    on Jan 24th, 2013 at 10:30 am

    The lesson in all of this is to never give up because the possibilities are endless.

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