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Overcoming Job Loss: Do You BELIEVE?

Mar 19, 2019 08:02AM ● By Laurie James

A client of mine was recently released from a prominent position with a high-profile local company. As the family breadwinner, he was devastated. With a stay-at-home spouse, this was a blow to their income!!

I told him to imagine the situation as a great opportunity!! Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I dared him to dream of what career he might be open to, if money were no object. With the financial constraints off the table, he shared his desire to move closer to his sister in another state. She had been pleading with him for years, offering the great job opportunities and culture change of her city. Long story short, he took the leap of faith and has been pursuing his true dream with great success!!

Do you know someone who recently lost their job? Reach out to that person with a comforting ear and a patient temperament, because they need your helping hand now. Aside from the obvious financial loss, a likely roadblock is dealing with the emotional grief cycle. Losing a job can be like losing a loved one, and that territory comes with separation anxiety, among lots of other emotions. The career defined him/her by giving a daily purpose and a reason to succeed.

Help a loved one, friend, neighbor, colleague or family member by breathing belief back into that person …this might be the best Valentine gift you can give this year!!

B – Be a listening ear that shows compassion and positivity for the job loss process. It’s emotional and can be devastating on many levels. We were given 2 ears and 1 mouth; we experience the best results when we use them in the 2:1 proportion!!

E – Encourage by asking what proactive steps he/she has taken to move forward. Has he/she updated their résumé? Has he/she customized the perfect cover letter? Has he/she updated that LinkedIn profile? Is he/she too scared to see what’s out there or too embarrassed to admit a lack of readiness to move forward? Since encouragement might not have been doled out on the last job, encouragement will be a vital ingredient for the process to work!!

L – Love him/her by offering a helping hand with job opportunities or volunteering efforts that might help ease the pain of the loss. Volunteering is a sure-fire way to get those creative engines flowing and keeping things heading in the right direction!!

I – Invest in him/her. Surely someone has invested time, money, effort for you, right? It’s time to pay it forward!! Through love, you can give your gifts of time, talents and treasures for the good of other people. When we give, we receive!!

E – Enlist your network to see how you can help!! Do you know someone in their industry who would open up a door? Do you know someone who knows someone? What if the roles were reversed? Would you be able to ask for help? If not, you can see how reluctant they might be to ask. Be assertive with your talents for others!!

V – Validate his/her feelings of loss, but don’t validate any unworthiness that he/she may feel. Listen with both ears and look for the obvious signs of negativity and grief. Then help him/her identify a next step!!

E – Endorse that person!! If appropriate, ask if you can serve as a great reference!! By assisting in their job search, you may be the key that unlocks a promising future!! Your endorsement may be just what the doctor ordered!!


By: Laurie J. James, MCD, CCELW, CDCC


About the Author: Laurie J. James is one of the only 12 Master Career Directors globally. She co-founded and presided over the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association from 2000-2004. PRWRA rebranded to Career Directors in 2005. Laurie has created 10,000+ job-winning resumes in her career. She is a credentialed resume & LinkedIn profile writer, seasoned public speaker and award-winning career image coach. Visit her at