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August 2010
Job Search Grief
by Susan Reynolds

Many professionals have lost positions in careers which had served you, in which you had served, for many years.  Job search has not been a need or priority for you.  You were able to advance within your organization, or at least in your industry.  Your reputation and successes did the speaking for you.  You were well regarded and stable.

Now not only have many organizations closed but entire industries have declined or even disappeared.  This has left many excellent professionals “career homeless”.  These people will march through true stages of grief, just as in other types of significant loss.  Feelings of anger and betrayal are certainly normal and common, along with a drive to retaliate.  In my practice, I certainly do see some cases in which legal action is warranted, but these situations are scarce.  More often, you as a job seeker will be best served by moving on to a productive phase of forward action.

If you are an individual who has little job search experience, you might “think” that you are pursuing every possible avenue to a new position, but in fact are not following productive methodology.  You exhaust and discourage yourself, thrashing away on the Internet every day in a futile attempt to find a new career solution by pressing the “send” key.  Instead, a full scale marketing program must be researched, planned, and executed.  This is a campaign, a proactive campaign.  You must move yourself as quickly through the grief process as possible, and move on to a productive, hopeful and very active search for a new career position.

Looking backward must be restricted to identifying your strengths.  Look forward to a new and fulfilling career, with new and wonderful contributions to make!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Cover Letter Strategies: What Can You Accomplish?

Negotiating Compensation in this Adverse Economy

Job Search Follow-Up: Pest or Persistent?


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