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Guide to Job Loss Recovery

By Susan P. Joyce

Guide to Job Loss RecoveryAlmost everyone who works has experienced job loss.

If job loss hasn't happened to you yet, count yourself lucky and expect that -- at some point in the future -- you probably will lose a job, too.

Most of us experience job loss more than once in our careers.

With experience (unfortunately), managing job loss may get easier.

Many Causes for Job Loss

A job loss happens for many different reasons. Few of the reasons actually relate to the quality of your work.

Most job loss results from the proverbial "wrong place at the wrong time" situation:

  • You could have been in the group impacted when your employer decided to cut expenses (employees), also known as a layoff or reduction in force (a.k.a. "RIF"). Laid off employees are seldom carefully choosen "poor performers." Usually, having the wrong job in the wrong place or being paid too much (a.k.a., "too expensive") is the cause.
  • You could have worked for an employer who went out of business and just closed up shop, turning every employee into a job seeker. Another wrong-place/wrong-time situation.
  • Your employer could have been acquired by another organization that decided to close your division, department, or group because they already had employees doing what your group did. Not your fault.
  • Employers sometimes relocate all or part of the organization to another geography or location which you couldn't reach, or couldn't reach at a reasonable expense. If moving wasn't an option for you, another wrong-place/wrong-time situation.
  • You could have been fired from your job -- being terminated by your employer is not uncommon and not necessarily the employee's fault (but also not necessarily the employer's fault, either).
  • Sometimes people quit their jobs out of anger or frustration or because the work situation has somehow become intolerable. Quitting a job before having a new job (offer in hand) is usually a VERY big mistake!
  • You could even have left voluntarily, perhaps taken an early retirement, expecting to relax and enjoy your golden years, but then lost your financial security through a personal financial disaster.

One or more of these separations happen to all or most of us in our careers. Nan Russell, Job Loss Recovery Expert, was fired from her first professional job, and went on to have a very successful career which included being Vice President of a multi-billion dollar company.

I was laid off twice, and both of those job losses launched me into completely different careers. Fortunately! They led me to this job as Job-Hunt's owner and publisher, a job I love.

Successful Job Loss Recovery Is Definitely Do-able

Regardless of how or why you lost your job, you have probably felt angry and disappointed, frustrated, even humiliated. Given what you've been through, those feelings are not inappropriate.

But, getting past those feelings and learning new strategies for coping and excelling will help you to be more successful in your next job search.

That's what this section of Job-Hunt is about. Moving on. Successfully. It's not impossible - millions have done it!

Since Job-Hunt's Job Loss Recovery Expert Nan S. Russell has spent a considerable amount of time "on the other side of the desk" (as the interviewer, hiring manager, and head of HR), you'll find her insights helpful to you.

One Job Is Not Your Career

Stay tuned, and read Nan's articles in this Guide to Job Loss Recovery to move on with your career. Remember, a career is a process, not a destination. Job loss won't end your career.

Losing a job may launch a new career for you or, at a minimum, a better job next time.

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn.