Chapter 2:  Coping With Job Loss--Family Impact

There is no socially acceptable way to lose your job m9.jpg

Like birth, death, and taxes, job loss is inevitable at some point in your career.

  • It's estimated that today's typical 40-year-old-white-collar worker will change employers two or three times in the remainder of his or her career, at least once involuntarily.
  • Unemployment has become the great equalizer.
Unemployment affects every aspect of your life, including family members and close relations. When you're out of work, whatever issues already exist in your household tend to be magnified.
  • At best, unemployment can become a catalyst for change and an opportunity to resolve issues that may have been simmering on the back burner for years.
  • At worst, unemployment can crack the foundations of weak families and become the eventual straw that breaks the camel's back. In the same way as you'd glimpse the rocks and sediment at the bottom of a river if you drained away the water, you often see the troubled aspects of domestic relationships more clearly when unemployment hits.
  • If you've had trouble communicating with family members in the past, unemployment will aggravate this tendency and may likely make it even more difficult to talk openly.
Sadly, some PIT members tell of family relationships imploding, where insensitivity, cynicism and feelings of superiority arise instead of empathy, support and concern. Relatives and family members may inadvertently hurt you with phrases like:
  • "Your friend is still employed, so what really happened to you?"
  • "You didn't deserve this, but this only proves what I've known for some time."
  • "Remember when told me about the fight you got into with your boss, well, you probably had this coming"
  • "Poor dear, I can't imagine what the neighbors must be saying now"
  • "You've worked for the XYZ company all of your life, how will feed your family?"
  • "I told you not to do such and such, but you wouldn't listen to me, see where where it got you, hot shot? ... and so on.
If your marriage was tenuously held together by money or by the prestige associated with your profession, and you don't take the opportunity to redefine the relationship now, your job loss may dissolve the relationship later, once and for all.

But there is help available through Professionals in Transition! 

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