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
by their relationships, while men tend to identify themselves by
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
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
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
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.
Have Him Commit
to a Deadline
The higher paid
he was, the longer it will take to find another job paying
If he hasnít found a comparable
job after being unemployed for a number of months, at some point he'll
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,
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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