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Three Things You Should Do If Someone You Love Loses Their Job



Author:   Glenn Shepard
Date:   June 17,  2014
Category:   Motivation




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Dear Glenn,


I am fairly new to management and have not had to ďfireĒ anyone before, do you have any recommendations on what are doís and doníts of letting people go?


- Mary in Quincy, IL


Dear Mary,


The answer to your question is so big that it fills up entire books.

    But the first thing to keep in mind is to keep the conversation as short as possible. There's nothing left to discuss, and you're likely to say something that can be used against you if you talk too much.

    An Indianapolis labor lawyer who attended my seminar a few years ago explains it to his clients like this: "The more you say, the more you'll pay".

   A gentleman who attended in Davenport, IA told me the first time he fired someone, the only thing he said was "I'm sorry, but I have to let you go". It cost him $10,000 in legal fees to get the case dismissed. His lawyer said "You paid $5,000 for 'I'm', and $5,000 for 'sorry'. Don't ever use those words again when firing someone!"

     Thanks for your question.


- Glenn in Nashville, TN

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In over two decades in this business, Iíve counseled many, many people who were laid off or fired.


From executives that made millions a year to a custodian that made $16,000 a year, there's a consistent trend: Women handle job loss better than men.


While losing a job isnít easy for anyone, it's generally harder for men because it's so much more than a loss of income. For men, it's often a loss of their identity.


This is because women tend to identify themselves by their relationships, while men tend to identify themselves by their careers.


The first thing two women who've just met will ask each other if they're married and how many kids they have. The first thing men ask is what the other does for a living.


People mistakenly think that the more successful someone is, the more self confidence heíll have, and that will help him better handle a job loss.


But the opposite is true.


I first learned this when a friend of mine left a high paying position on Wall Street in the eighties and moved back to Nashville because his wife didn't like New York City. The only thing more amazing than how fast he spiraled downward was how far down he went.


I've seen it over and over again since then.


It happens because in addition to more income, high achievers enjoy more respect, power, prestige, and status than the average person. But those are attached to the job, not to the person.


Once that all goes away, most men start to unravel within six weeks.


If your husband, son, brother or father loses his job and you want to help, here's what you should do to keep them from starting down a slippery slope that can lead to depression, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, divorce, and even suicide.



1. Keep Him Moving and Donít Let Him Lose Momentum

Donít let severance pay or unemployment benefits become an excuse to put off the job search. Most people don't get really motivated to find a new job until those temporary income sources run out, and are then shocked by how hard it is to get back up on the horse.


Most people use their newly found free time to run errands like going to the dentist, getting the oil changed, and other things they never got around to when they were working 60 hours a week. While that sounds reasonable, it's a form of creative avoidance. What they're really doing is procrastinating by finding excuses to put off the unpleasant task of starting a job search.


Time is the enemy when someone loses a job, and every minute counts. Make sure they hit the ground running and don't come up for air until they have job offers.



2. Hold Him Accountable on a Daily Basis

When someone loses a job, their full time job should be looking for a job. Most unemployed people say theyíre spending 100% of their time looking, but most are lying. Posting a resume at 3 or 4 websites a day is NOT looking for a job full time. Working the phones 12 hours a day until you're hoarse is. Going from office park to office park and knocking on 50 doors a day is.


Have him show you proof of how many employers he's talked to on a daily basis.



3. Have Him Commit to a Deadline

The higher paid he was, the longer it will take to find another job paying the same. 


If he hasnít found a comparable job after being unemployed for a number of months, at some point he'll have to get over his pride and take a job doing something just to get back in the groove.


No matter how much of a pay cut it may be, this will help him regain some of the confidence and self-esteem he's lost, which will pay off in a big way. Statistics show that people who do this and become underemployed find a permanent job closer to their former income sooner than those who remain unemployed while looking for a job.



To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard




P.S. In addition to handling the loss of a job better than men, women also handle the loss of a spouse better. This is why men are more likely than women to find a new companion within six months of being widowed.






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