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Career Transition

Experiencing Job Loss - Crisis or Opportunity

Job loss can be a life altering event for many individuals. People can have different reactions to this sudden change in their lives.

For younger people, this may be the first time they have experienced anything of this magnitude.

Life Experience Matters

People with more life experience may have undergone other major life changes, such as divorce, death of a loved one, relocation or a previous job loss. They will have a frame of reference for how they have handled significant change in the past, and know that even though career transition may be difficult, they have survived and even thrived when meeting past challenges.

I have worked with clients who rejoice at finally being out of a work situation that was not a good fit. They may not like that the decision was made for them, but they are tremendously relieved that it has been made. They now have the opportunity to get on with their life and create the life of their choice. They may decide to spend more time with their children, go back to school, or take the summer off for the first time in 20 to 30 years.

Other Factors

Of course other factors, regardless of age or life experience, affect how a person deals with job loss. Financial difficulties, having children about to go off to university or college, a recent house purchase, ailing parents, planning a wedding – can all create challenges going forward.

Many people really love their job and the people they work with and fear they will not be able to recreate a positive work experience. For some, their sense of self-worth and identity is tied up in not only their job, but where they work; it becomes a case of: “If I don’t do this, then who am I”?

Attitude is Number One

How you cope will also depend on your view of the world. Is it a cruel, unjust place or one filled with possibility? Everyone grieves for their loss, but how long you stay in that place of grief will be a choice you make. Once you choose to go forward, opportunities will appear that you could not have seen from your previous vantage point. Attitude is your number one ally in your job search. It will draw people to you and they will want to assist you in any way they can.

Imagining the Possibilities

Some people take a very straightforward approach. They simply want to find another job as quickly as possible. Others realize that this is a great opportunity to reflect upon where they are in their life, vs. where they want to be. They may decide to spend some time looking at what their options are. This may involve a rediscovery of past interests, returning to school, pursuing a lifelong dream or reinventing themselves in order to live the life they chose. For more mature workers, it may involve a life style decision to work part time, do contract work, retire, perform volunteer work, or a variety of other options.

Whatever the choices, certain elements must be taken care of regardless of the next step. These include: communicating with others; financial planning; obtaining legal advice; career planning; resume development; interviewing and job search. Planning for success in your next role also needs to be explored and mapped out.


Contact Jennifer Carter Career Services > for more information.