WorkWise Q&A: How to get past emotional impact of job loss

culp@workwise.netMay 27, 2013 

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I lost my job to outsourcing. It’s embarrassing that the company didn’t value my work enough to keep me on, especially since employees with similar functions are still there. When people in social situations and interviews ask about my work, my stomach turns. My face must fall, too. How can I get over this? Emotional

A: Dear Emotional, Of course you are. Being let go is the ultimate turndown in the workplace. The fact that it’s hit you hard puts you in good company with a lot of other people.

Understand that people will respond more negatively toward an employer who outsources than an employee who lost his job to outsourcing, which has a very bad reputation in this country. When you tell people that you’re not working now because of outsourcing, your listener will let you off the hook.

Pretend you’re on the other side of the layoff desk. Your former employer may have had to let you go and keep others after searching globally to find a person to replace one of you. The replacement might have been the best fit for your job, not the job of your co-workers. Barring new evidence, you’re due self-respect. mlc

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I keep losing jobs to other people. Employers tell me I do well in interviews, then end up hiring another person. This has happened about four times. What can I do to make certain that the next time I have a good interview and someone is hired, I’m the someone? Baffled

A: Dear Baffled, The only way to determine why, when you interview well, another person is chosen is to do the essential follow-up calls to get the information you need. Get the interviewer or other decision-maker on the telephone and mention the feedback you were given. Then ask if you were missing anything.

The job might have changed between the time you applied and a decision was made. You might have asked for more money. The other people might have had a skill unidentified at the outset but a real draw once it surfaced in the interview process. If you hear about that skill twice, be sure to get it or search at companies that won’t need it.

You’ll never know any of this until you research the reasons you were passed over, analyze them and see how they can help you conduct a better job search. mlc

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