Holy crap, I've been "let go".....

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2013 7:35 PM GMT
    Bear with me. You know I don't post often, so here goes....

    So, I go into work this morning only to find out that I've been "let go." No warning, no nothing. I got a bonus at the end of last year and a good review (with only one thing to work on). They said they were looking for someone with a different skill set and would eventually replace me with an engineer. They knew my skill set and that I wasn't an engineer when they hired me a year ago. I am absolutely shocked.

    So, I gave up my previous job of 20 years for this. Granted, this wasn't my favorite job and the people I worked with were the most quiet, introverted people I've ever seen (engineers) but here I am at almost 51 years old and don't have a job. I've never not had a job. I can't even fathom not having a job to go to in the morning. I oscillate between being shocked, dumbfounded, angry and crying within a cycle of 10 minutes. I'm thinking this is what menopause is like.

    Maybe this is a good thing in the long run, but it doesn't seem like it now. Not sure how easy jobs are to come by.

    Has this happened to anyone else out there? How did you cope? How long did it take before you found something else?

    Thanks for listening. I don't throw stuff out there very often, especially stuff that hurts.
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    Jan 30, 2013 7:55 PM GMT
    Terribly sorry to hear that!

    And I'm sorry I'm of little help on this, but I trust that many of the RJ community have been in a similar situation or are very close to someone who has that can offer helpful advice.

    Is there a desired skillset in your field that a little extra schooling could help you obtain before jumping back fully into the fray? It doesn't have to be an advanced collegiate degree, might just be a certificate or two. While you're unemployed/underemployed you may be able to secure the financial assistance to gain those accreditations and give you an extra edge in the job market.

    Did you depart under good terms with your previous employer? I can't imagine they wouldn't love to have you back, which would be great for you if you could retire with them.

    Best wishes!
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    Jan 30, 2013 7:56 PM GMT
    Hugs! The fastest I've seen is like 3 months.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2013 8:00 PM GMT
    I'm very sorry you lost your job. It must have been a shock. How long it takes for you to find a new one will vary a lot based on your profession, your location, and the job market.
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    Jan 30, 2013 8:30 PM GMT
    Oh crap... *hugs you*

    I like the idea of trying your prev long term employer. Do that as well as fire off a few resumes to other places.
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Jan 30, 2013 8:39 PM GMT
    If you've been with them a year don't they have to give you notice... so that you can find a job in the interim period. I'd look into this, as they may be guilty of malpractice. Not too sure about the states though.
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    Jan 30, 2013 9:26 PM GMT
    fable saidIf you've been with them a year don't they have to give you notice... so that you can find a job in the interim period. I'd look into this, as they may be guilty of malpractice. Not too sure about the states though.


    Nope they have "at will employment" unlike us so they can be let go without a reason and with I think 2 weeks notice. There is a Conservative party donor called Adrian Beecroft who wants it to be like that here icon_mad.gif

    On topic: sorry to hear what happened, at the moment it seems to me like how quickly you get rehired depends on what your skill set is and what your wage expectations are. Soft skills are not that sought after but things like languages and PC skills are highly valued. If the job you did for 20 years is the same job a lot of other people do at other companies, you should find somewhere very quickly indeed.
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    Jan 30, 2013 10:04 PM GMT
    Big Huggs

    "let go" = unemployment, so there's that, don't be to proud not to claim it.
    Take the time, take a breath and step back.
    Is there something you always wanted to do?
    There are programs out there and it's never to late to go back to school; keep your head up and more big hugs.
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    Jan 31, 2013 1:18 AM GMT
    Thanks everyone for the good thoughts and words of advice. It really has been an incredibly difficult day. It's kind of like being in a car accident where every time you close your eyes, you keep reliving it.

    I went from 20 years in the environmental field into Human Factors analysis. I guess I should have known but my employer assured me they'd teach me everything I needed to know. I thought I was doing a good job. Guess not.

    I do have a severance package, a letter of recommendation and two master's degrees so hopefully I'll land on my feet. I've just always felt my job and how I perform it is a reflection on me as a person.

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    Jan 31, 2013 1:32 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear this. I wish you well. Hopefully you'll find a better job.
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    Jan 31, 2013 3:04 AM GMT
    Been there, done that. I was working for a start-up and we got acquired by a bigger company. Although, we were profitable and everything was going well, our parent company was starting to get buyer's remorse. A large number of "redundant" people were canned, including myself. I was out of work for almost a year. Finally got a crappy entry level job at another tech company, right before my unemployment benefits ran out. Even though the pay was low, I had to take something in order to pay the bills. Endured that job for a year, while continuing to send out resumes and go on interviews. Finally scored better paying job at some other place.

    It was pretty tough. This all happened right when the economy tanked and no one was really hiring. Luckily, I had money saved up and I live a pretty frugal lifestyle. But it was still pretty stressful.

    My advice is to take a couple of weeks to relax. Collect your thoughts. Regroup. Then start looking for a job. Do you remain in contact with anyone at your previous job? If yes, it might be a good time to hit em up for any possible open positions. Almost all of my previous jobs were through referrals from friends and acquaintances. The old saying of "it's who you know, and not what you know" is absolutely true.

    Good luck to you. And don't let it drag you down. We all encounter some hurdles in life. Just try to keep a positive attitude and move forward.
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    Jan 31, 2013 3:33 AM GMT
    My comments in GREEN.

    snowman3 said...

    Has this happened to anyone else out there?
    You my friend are an "Encore Worker" and what has happened to you has happened to me many times. You grow to learn that it's nothing personal. It's just business. The first time is the hardest time.

    How did you cope?
    Get through the Kubler Ross stages of grief and to acceptance as quickly as you can. Utilize a therapist. Get connected with your professional association and begin to network. Granted, you should have begun cultivating your professional network before you needed it, but that's hindsight. Immediately curtail all discretionary spending. Immediately change your spending habits and tastes. Downsize if you can. Prepare for a long period of unemployment (1-2 years). Go get unemployment benefits NOW. Take stock of your marketable skills and go to your Workforce Investment Board and see if you qualify for a funded professional certification to demonstrate current, marketable skills. Get up early in the morning and hit the gym. Then, proceed with the rest of your day. This helps avoid depression and anxiety. Don't go looking for jobs through HR. That's a dead end. Don't waste time tailoring a bunch of resumes for internet job boards.

    Volunteer your time with high value professional contributions which allow you to keep "resume currency" when hiring professionals inevitably ask you "What did you do while you were on the bench?"


    How long did it take before you found something else?
    I've been "in career transition" since my last "job" ended in November 2008. I teach and consult which pays my bills and covers my health insurance (Group of 1 employer). I have started a nonprofit workforce development organization which at some point will generate enough revenue to pay me a salary as an executive director. I'm making my own job and helping others to do the same.

    Thanks for listening. I don't throw stuff out there very often, especially stuff that hurts.


    I understand how you feel, I've felt the same way, and what I've found is that you have to suck it up and march forward.

    The global workplace has changed. There is no longer "job security" with ANY company or organization. "Job security" is now all about what value you can create RIGHT NOW. It does not matter what you did yesterday, last week, last month, last year, or 20 years ago. Nobody gives a shit about what you did in the past. It's what you can do NOW and that means that you have to have differentiated marketable skills and you have to "sell" how you can create and deliver value NOW.

    Sorry for such a tough, cold message. But that's the reality. The sooner you accept that reality and adapt the sooner you will come through and thrive in a world of constantly accelerating change.
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    Jan 31, 2013 3:36 AM GMT
    Man, I'm so sorry to hear about that!

    I've been going through lots of job turmoil since 2009. I've been let go multiple times since then. I am actually an engineer, and the industry overall is totally going through crap right now.

    I used to do US Gov't contracting work for about 10 year after college, and then the economy went bad. Since then I've had a few jobs, contracting jobs for other big companies.

    The biggest downer was that I was unemployed between those jobs, which included even doing retail work... which is quite a change from being an aerospace engineer. Overall, the time I was unemployed was 2+ years worth of time, and requiring me to move home since I couldn't afford where I was living when all this crap started, which was in DC.

    Now I'm living in the freezing cold are of Rockford, IL... it's not that fun, but I've got a job, and I'm happy that I have money coming in, a roof over my and my pets' heads.

    All I can say is file for unemployment as soon as possible, take all the benefits you can right now from the city or the state, you've paid into it for your whole working life... it's time for you to get what you deserve. And, please... don't be discouraged... things do get better, it all gets better once you've adjusted. And live it up, use the time you have now as vacation time! Relax and breathe a little!

    Good Luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 31, 2013 3:47 AM GMT
    Get into cycling. As a career (noticed it on your list of sports in your profile).

    I'm considering the same career move in a few years. It's a growing sport (both road and mountain biking). The potential for advancement is endless for now. Jump on the bandwagon while it's going fast. icon_wink.gif
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Jan 31, 2013 4:00 AM GMT
    snowman,
    I'm sorry to hear that. This has never happened to me so I can't really give you any advice. *Hugs
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    Jan 31, 2013 4:33 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear snowman! I can truly empathize with you. I'm an RN and you would think that with the huge nursing shortage, hospitals would hire left and right. Nope! Not the case! There are so many new graduate nurses who cannot find a job, partly because they are expensive to train.

    However, the new grads that I have met who have jobs, never gave up and they eventually received offers. I believe you should do the same! You're very talented and frankly, I'm quite impressed you have two masters. Keep searching and you'll find an employer who will completely value your talents.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 31, 2013 4:36 AM GMT
    The worst thing you can do is to sit around and do nothing but feel sorry for yourself.

    #1--Sign up for unemployment benefits. And, make use of the job search help that you can get at the unemployment office.

    #2--Write up a resume' and start sending it out.

    #3--Forget about your age. Yes, they'd rather hire 20 year olds than 50 year olds, but Senator John Kerry just got a new job, and he's 69 years old, for heaven sakes.

    #4--Maybe you'll have to take some classes, to make you more employable.

    #5--Maybe you'll have to work in a completely different field.

    #6--Maybe you'll have to commute or even move.

    You can do this.


  • FRIVER

    Posts: 71

    Jan 31, 2013 5:05 AM GMT
    If you do not mind me asking what were you doing in the environmental field?

    I have the feeling that may be a blessing in disguise.. Things happen for a reason and not a chance...
  • camfer

    Posts: 891

    Jan 31, 2013 5:05 AM GMT
    For someone whose prior job was 20 years, getting "let go" is a huge event. You will get through it. Now is your chance to assess what you really want and make that happen. Yes, you need to apply for unemployment immediately, as there is a waiting period before the benefits begin. See what expenses you can cut back so you're not dipping into savings more than necessary.

    Next, I think you should take a break and travel. Go somewhere you've always wanted to go. How about the southern hemisphere? Go kayaking and climbing in South America. Go skiing in Colorado. You are free of commitments. Take advantage of it. Don't be too quick to take another job. Make this period between jobs a time of personal exploration. It's actually a great opportunity.

    Then when you get back from all that fun, get on LinkedIn and network like crazy. Update your resume. Shop for interview clothes. Be ready to rejoin the work force. Think about what you can do as a consultant while you're looking for work. People create their own work these days.

    Me, I was laid off from the one and only corporate job I ever had in my early 20s. The company closed the entire division and everyone was laid off. No notice, two weeks pay. It was a nice warm sunny day. I went home, stripped down to a pair of shorts, washed the car in the driveway. My roommate came home and wondered what the heck I was doing home and 1:00 in the afternoon. I grinned and said I was laid off! I never thought of it as a bad thing. I started consulting within a couple of weeks. Since then I've always been either self employed or employed at companies I've founded. There's been lean times, but I've always done what I wanted.

    Make this transition work for you.
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    Jan 31, 2013 5:08 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear about it, man. *Hugs
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    Jan 31, 2013 5:21 AM GMT
    I too was let go after 10 years of service. I too had never been without a job before. I know what you are going through. I was also going through a divorece at the time too. It took me 7 months to find a job in my field (engineeer) but I didn't mind. I hung around the pool all summer and had the best tan of my life!
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    Jan 31, 2013 5:27 AM GMT
    My two cents..

    1.) file for unemployment immediately...you've paid for it for 25 years, so use it.

    2.) contacts are the key in any situation...professional headhunters are a great reference...it's very important to interview often and never turn down an interview, whether u are over or underqualified for a position. LinkedIn can also be a good resource for getting contacts. Also keep up at least weekly on trade publications in your industry and have lunches with former coworkers to keep your name out there and keep informed on what's going on In your industry.

    3.) don't be afraid to step down your lifestyle - I had a severe career path change about 4 years ago based on my need to help care for my partner on the home front and it caused my income to fall considerably, but I grew up with little and the adjustment for me has been surprisingly easy.

    4,) Most importantly, take this opportunity to do little things you never did because you're too busy...write, read, hike, bike, cheap travel, visit RJers and sleep on their couches....in short, enjoy the time off the best you can because you'll likely be reemployed before in know it and back into the daily grind.

    Good luck and feel free to email me on here in you need any specific advice...
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    Jan 31, 2013 5:28 AM GMT
    snowman3 saidI've just always felt my job and how I perform it is a reflection on me as a person.


    REALITY CHECK: Take a walk through any cemetery anywhere in the world and I dare you to find a tombstone or grave marker that says "Beloved employee of XYZ Corp." Your relationships outside the work world are a better reflection on you as a person. As you so rudely discovered, you are just a number to the corporate world.
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    Jan 31, 2013 5:35 AM GMT
    So sorry to hear that.We wish you good luck in finding a new job.Take a few weeks to relax and get your emotions and mind together.Buy yourself some new clothes suit etc.Get a nice haircut a facial manicure so you look your best for your interviews. icon_smile.gif Ryan and Ruben
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    Jan 31, 2013 5:54 AM GMT
    Like I said already, I'm very sorry to hear about that. *hugs*
    Any chance you could use headhunters or start your own business?