The Search: Accentuating the Positive After a Layoff

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Career News and Advice

AFTER a layoff, your self-esteem and personal relationships may take a hit. Your bank account and quality of life may both spiral downward. You may not even be sure you can pay your mortgage or rent.

Sean Kelly

And now you’re supposed to go out and convince employers that you’d be a great hire?

Desperation, hopelessness, depression, anger — these are not useful feelings to bring to a job search. Yet after a layoff, it is normal to experience some or all of them.

And the longer joblessness lasts, the greater the emotional toll it can exact. Ford R. Myers, a career coach, author and president of Career Potential in Philadelphia, says it is taking his clients 20 percent to 25 percent longer, on average, to land a job than it did before the recession.

If desperation levels could be measured, they would surely be higher, too. And “if you’re feeling desperate the employer can smell it a mile away,” Mr. Myers said.

Now, a certain amount of acting more confident than you really feel may be in order at interviews, but there are ways you can genuinely take the edge off your negative emotions.

It’s important to work through the negative feelings you experience because of a layoff, said Nancy Molitor, public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association and a psychologist in private practice in Wilmette, Ill.

Being laid off “is a profound loss,” Dr. Molitor said. It can lead to feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, sadness, guilt and frustration. And if you are supporting other people financially, a host of other powerful emotions and worries can be released, she said.

Consider, too, that a layoff removes people …

Read the original article at NYTimes

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