Submitted by:Mike Doody, CCC Career Coach Volunteer, CCC Board Member and Retired Executive Search Consultant

So, you’ve lost your job. You always through it could never happen to you. It’s something you read about – or hear about a friend of a friend – or the lazy brother-in-law of a friend. But never you!

Layoffs, downsizings, take-overs and acquisitions have resulted in many of us, who thought we were safe, finding ourselves out of work and looking for a job. So what do we do?


First, even those who feel secure in their jobs should give thought to what they would do in case they suddenly found themselves out of a job. There are things one can do to be better prepared for that unwelcome eventuality. For example, personal financial planning including plans for an economic crisis; maintain contact with professional colleagues, old classmates, former employers and employees, keeping your contacts current; joining and remaining active in your associations and professional societies. In general, don’t burn any bridges!


Losing yoru job is a serious and difficult expereince. It can have a dramatic impact on your and your family. But, it is not the end of the world. And, it doesn not change your value or self-worth. It is your job, not your ego that has been lost. In fact, losing your job can be a growing experience. It may be the thing that gets you thinking about that new career track or going into business for yourself. It can be a positive experiece, if you control the situation and maintain a positive attitude. For me, this period of time provided an opportunity to think about my career, to identify future career choices, and to evaluate the positive aspect of my career.

One of the best pieces of advice I received early in my job search was to keep a sense of humor!


You don’t have to go through this experience alone. In fact, you don’t want to go through it alone. Talk with your spouse, family and friends about it and how you feel. If you’re lucky enough to have children, be sure to explain the situation and circumstances with them. They can sense something is going on. You want them to hear about it and what it means to the family from you, not from someone else. Be sure you are honest with them – don’t whitewash or sugarcoat reality.

As the experience continues to unfold, keep your family and friends apprised of unfolding events and how you are feeling about dealing with them. Know that you are going to have ups and downs in the process – they can be great support for you, especially when things are in a down mode.

One thing I found is that I welcome people asking how things are going. Some, however, were reluctant to ask, because they didn’t want to “rub salt in an open wound”. For some, you may have a to “give them permission” to ask how things are with you.

Next week, I will continue to discuss “what to do” when you’ve lost your job, focusing on:

-Being forthright
-Getting in touch with your feelings

Previous Page