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Make Job Loss Work for You – Book Review & Giveaway

job loss1 Make Job Loss Work for You   Book Review & GiveawayLosing a job can be difficult if you don’t have a game plan. Authors Richard S. Deems, Ph.D. and Terri A. Deems, Ph.D. address the emotional stress of losing a job as well as how to create a plan to get your next job and get back on track in Make Job Loss Work for You: Get Over It and Get Your Career Back on Track.

Dealing with the Emotional
This book does a fantastic job of addressing the emotional side of losing a job. The authors have what they call the Job Loss Cycle, which parallels a lot of the general grief process. It includes:

  • Shock and disbelief: Feeling like you’re in a fog. Might also include relief. May last hours or days.
  • Anger and resentment: Due to the lack of control you’re feeling, you may direct your anger at the person or company that let you go, or you may keep it internal.
  • Denial and bargaining: You may be unable to accept that you no longer have a job.
  • Self-doubt and put-downs: You may begin to doubt your abilities and skills.
  • Withdrawal and depression: You may be reluctant to start looking for another job.
  • Acceptance and affirmation: Finally, you’re ready to move on to the next phase of your life.

Getting into a New Routine
The authors stress the importance of finding a new routine during your job hunt. They say you should structure your day to mimic what you did at work. Richard’s example is that he read the Wall Street Journal each morning at work, so once he was unemployed, he continued reading the newspaper every morning.

They suggest spending four to eight hours a day (five days a week) searching for a job. Break that up with other routines, like exercise and spending time with your family.

Look at Your Skills and Goals
Your next job will be a great opportunity for you to use the skills you’ve learned at past jobs. This book has some great worksheets that help you identify what you’ve done well in the past, as well as determine what you want in your next job.

During the Job Hunt
The authors stress the importance of staying organized while you’re looking for your next job. They suggest keeping a spreadsheet of all jobs you apply for, as well as tracking interviews and communications you’ve had with hiring managers.
Some great tips included on how to beef up your cover letter: For example, using bullet points to highlight your qualifications in your cover letter makes for an easy scan.

The authors also provide five JobGetting steps to help:

  • Research the position: Find out who is in charge of hiring, and contact them.
  • Research the organization: Go online to learn about the company. Read press releases and social media updates.
  • Evaluate your strengths and interests: Determine whether this job would take advantage of your skills and interests.
  • Design your positioning strategy: Decide how you will position yourself to be the most sought-after candidate.
  • Implement: Deliver your application, and follow up after a few weeks.

Conclusion
Most job seekers wouldn’t think about buying a book to help them find their next role, but this book does a fantastic job of making your work easier. It’s well worth the investment in Make Job Loss Work for You: Get Over It and Get Your Career Back on Track. And one lucky winner will get my review copy! Just leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner randomly on January 18th, 2012.

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8 Comments - Add yours!

Mark H (January 4th, 2012)

Good column, as always. For applicants, there is a tremendous fear that your former employer will make the transition to a new position difficult, or give a bad recommendation. I learned quickly to keep my emotions in check, and to recognize that future employers would hire me based on what I could do for them in the future, not necessarily on the past.

Pamela Rosen (January 4th, 2012)

This is a really important book. As a Silicon Valley marketing professional, I’ve known more than my share of layoffs. They never get any easier. People always tell me, “Well, you should be used to this by now,” but I never do. It’s always an emotional roller-coaster. There have been times when the emotions over the job loss have been so bad that it contributed to a more prolonged unemployment. In the moments following a layoff, I’ve made some near-fatal mistakes. In this age where all employment is temporary, everyone should be trained on what to do when they’re laid off, and how to recover.

Barb Buckner (January 5th, 2012)

Actually – this is sound advice both for those out of work and those that took “less than ideal” positions after a layoff and are trying to get back into a better position. I know as someone who did the later, I still go throught the same range of emotions (anger, doubt) from when I was laid off to now taking a less than meaningfull position. This market has taught employers and job seekers alike a lot of valuable lessons – the biggest being, what worked in the past doesn’t work anymore…realize that and reset your mindset and you’re good to go!

Rob E (January 9th, 2012)

Great article, it is important to get refocused without pressure, and to have things layed out clearly and compassionately. An easy read that feels like a friendly discussion is more important than a book that yells and commands. Self doubt and uncertainty creep in especially after repeated incidents. When do you just chalk it up to finding lousy bosses? I haven’t yet found an interview that focused on the past negatives.

Great job and all the best !

Monica (January 10th, 2012)

This was a great and motivational read for me, since I was just laid off before the holidays from my first job out of college. It’s been pretty rough to deal with considering the time of year. Now that the new year has begun, I’ve found it more difficult than ever to keep positive. This post definitely helped me! Thank you!

bn100 (January 10th, 2012)

Thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds like it would be very informative and helpful.

John S. (January 17th, 2012)

Having been recently downsized, I have determined to make my next job my best ever.

Despite my optimistic objective, I have had a lot of emotions related to the job loss. Feeling that my efforts in my career have been wasted is probably the most difficult to deal with. It has been difficult to get good sleep at times. Remembering expressions of appreciation from customers and co-workers helps A LOT !!!

The recommendations given in the column above are great ones. I see them in my outplacement reference materials. Review of my accomplishments and associated skills has helped me to see that I have done good work and have a lot to offer (besides providing the bullet points that go into the resume).

Best of luck in your careers !!!

Stephanie (January 18th, 2012)

After being recently laid off from my first job out of college, many of the points listed above truly resonate with me. Although I am doing my best to stay positive during this second leg of my job hunt, I have recognized the ease in which the negative emotional aspects associated with job loss and unemployment tend to arise. This book sounds like a truly inspiring and helpful read, as it addresses some of the most pertinent aspects related to the job seeker’s mental and emotional concerns.

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