May 4, 2009

The Psychological Aspects Of Losing A Job

Kathy Borrelli recently was a guest speaker on The New England Job Show where she spoke on the psychological aspects of losing a job. This article is a followup to that presentation. She has a Master's in Psychology. During the past 20 years she have combined her clinical background with her consulting experience towards helping organizations manage change, leadership development, team building and strategic planning.

For more information: visit Kathy's linkedin profile:

The Psychological Aspects Of Losing A Job
By Kathy Borrelli,

Pretty much anywhere you go you will run into people freaking out because
1- They’ve just been laid off;
2- They are afraid they will be laid off;
3-They’ve been laid off for a while and can’t find a job.

Most of us went off to work in an age where we thought that if we did our job well, we’d get promoted again and again; and then someday retire with a nice paid-up retirement plan. Clearly, the game has changed. That sense of security and control ended abruptly not too long ago.

Getting laid off is traumatic. I was recently laid off from a job I had held for barely 10 months. I knew I was doing a good job under very challenging circumstances, so when I was told without notice that I was working my last day, I was stunned.

My first reaction was to call my boss to try to find the reason. The response I got was something like the wording on credit card notices that states that “times have changed, and we have had to make adjustments”.
Obviously that didn’t explain much nor make me feel any better.

I felt helpless, rejected, betrayed, lost and very soon, depressed.
It should be noted that therapists rank job loss among the highest in stress-causing situations – right up there with divorce, serious illness and death in the family.

We are so identified with what we do. ”What do you do?” is one of the first things we ask someone - even at a social event.
It’s easy to lose your identity in a job, so when you lose a job, along goes your sense of self, your self-esteem. It may be hard, but you have to remind yourself that your job is only one aspect of who you are. You are also someone with friends, interests, family, ideas and feelings. You still have all those things even when you lose a job. After losing a job (or even in anticipation that it could happen) it’s critical to reinforce your sense of personal identity and control in your life.

Martha Finney, who wrote the book “Rebound” reminded me that “It’s time to define yourself by what impassions you, not who employs you”. Job loss or threatened job loss can be an impetus to reaffirm personal values and a sense of purpose. Finney goes on to say” Your identity is expressed by your values, life’s purpose, and the activities you do to support those things.”

If you have lost your job( or are afraid that it will happen soon), try to keep in mind the following:

You are human. It’s natural for humans to have feelings. Losing a job can make you feel scared, angry, confused, helpless; lost. These feelings do NOT mean you are crazy.

Remind yourself that you have just endured a major loss and you need time to recover before you move on. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time and support to heal.

Force yourself, if necessary, to continue and increase doing the things that you love and make you feel good about yourself. Be a friend. Take care of your body by exercising and eating well. Enjoy those activities that you’ve been too busy working to enjoy -like reading a good book, or taking your nieces to the zoo.

Stay connected with people who can support you and whose company you enjoy.

Take a long look at what inspires and energizes you and give yourself permission to fantasize how these activities might translate into a job or new career.

Reaffirm your dreams and ambitions. Use this time to clarify what’s really important to you.

Remind yourself again and again that even though you may feel battered and rejected by your job loss, there are people and situations out there in the world that will welcome what you have to offer.

Then, there are practical things that need attending to.

1. Assess your financial situation. How long can you live on your savings? What can you cut back on? Do you have resources to borrow from?

2. Check out your unemployment status and your options for health insurance.

3. Consider a career change and investigate subsidized educational and retraining options.

Above all, be gentle with yourself!

Times have changed and we will all need patience to adjust to the new outer insecurities of this new world.

March 31, 2009

How to find a job when no one's hiring...

I just picked up this article on Yahoo news. This is some pretty logical advice so be sure to click here for the story.

March 1, 2009

It's all about personality

Ever wonder why some people seem to excel at a job while you or others flounder? Maybe your job doesn't fit your personality. I for one seem to fall into this category and this link will help you channel your personality towards a better fitting career. What's your personality type?

February 16, 2009

The Art of Schmoozing

Here's a interesting article that merrits a post. The Guy Kawasaki Theory of Schmoozing version 1.0 is an interesting overview that has particular importance in the new job markets.

Read more about: "How to Change the World: The Art of Schmoozing" -

February 7, 2009

Coming To A Cable Station near You - How To Get A Job

The Merrmack Valley Rotary is sponsoring and creating a television show to help people who are unemployed find work.

The show will be manned by people who are unemployed and will feature experts in the job hunting process giving valuable tips on the challenges that the unemployed face. The show will also give individuals who are unemployed the opportunity to give a 30 second free commercial about themselves in the hopes that an employer will find them and hire them.

The show will be taped locally and will be shared with cable stations throughout the area. There will be two half hour shows each month that will be aired several times throughout the month.

Shown is a picture from the first planning session at the Chelmsford TV studio, where the show will be produced. Matt Scott, station manager, is shown giving the crew an overview of TV show production.

For more information contact