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Leaving a job can be traumatic...and transformative.

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Leaving a long-term job can feel like divorcing a spouse after a long, mostly successful marriage. It didn't work any more, it had become dysfunctional, you were bored and unhappy, but still. It was yours. Familiar. Secure. Suddenly you don't have to be anywhere tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., nobody's relying on you to finish up a project, and now what? Is it really possible they can get along without you? And how dare they? Really. How dare they fire you?

I can't tell you how common it is for clients who lose a job to report feelings of hopelessness, even despair. That's one of the constants I've noticed over all these years -- even when they actually didn't like their job any more and resented co-workers; even when they were slightly relieved when shown the door, or urged to retire early. It's our nature: we don't like to be told it's time to go.

The other constant I've noticed over the years is that without exception -- nope, can't think of one -- every single client who grieved reported feeling better within eight weeks or so. Some people are so relieved to be released from the shackles of an unhappy employment relationship that within a very short period of time they find themselves planning career changes, or going on long trips, or just not working for a while, and that feels good. Several clients have dropped out of their professions entirely and gone on to much happier ways of making a living. One former lawyer I know became a bead maker. Someone who worked for the defense industry left a job and started buying and selling old trailers. One of my clients bought several small houses and became a landlady after her employment lawsuit settled. I always ask, and I always hear the same answer. After six months, the answer is always "No. I do not miss my old job. Not one bit."

You will discover talents, skills, and strengths you didn't know you had. That's a promise on the other side of losing a job.

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