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Job loss means time off



It’s been over 30 years since Johnny Paycheck sang, Take This Job and Shove It.  You know, “Take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more.”  To rewrite the lyrics for today, we might sing…”I’ll take any job.”  Or, “Take this job and shove it, oops…just kidding.”  Wow, what a difference a recession can make. 


Maybe we haven’t had it as tough as the country hit implies, but time off gives us time to ourselves, time to reflect on the job we had.  It’s a sobering change of perspective, not to mention the loss of salary and what we do with ourselves for 40 hours or more each week.

The one thing we have been left with in the recession is, time.  This indefinite period of time off, between jobs, out of work, excessed, recessed, downsized, outsourced or whatever you call it, leaves us with one thing, time.  We have time to reflect on our past educational pursuits, past employment, past career moves, past co-workers, past supervisors…the way things were. 

Time, is a funny thing.  When we were busy at work, we may have longed for fewer hours, less demands or less stress so we could have more “me” time.  We desired more free time, more vacation, more time for family and more time to do other things we wanted to do.  Now, here we are…no job, but we’ve got time!  Though, it’s not how we pictured it.

Now with time on our hands, we have time to think.  Time to reflect.  Time to dream.  Time to worry.  Time to play.  Time to recreate our career path.  Time to hurry up and wait. 

The music is playing in my head again, and I am singing the Jim Croce’s song, Time in a Bottle.  Croce sang, “If I could save time in bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…  Okay, now it’s your turn to join in.  What would you like to do during this time of unemployment?  For many of the clients that I coach, we have moved through of the seasons of snow on the ground to frying an egg on the sidewalk and now raking leaves.  No one had really planned on still being here.

Are you making the most of your time?  There is time to catch up on projects, read the books you had on your list, play with the kids, walk a few miles a day, clean the basement, fish, sew or sketch.  There’s time to take a class or return to school.  What’s on your list?  There is time to review your career path and your career goals.  Take time to talk with a professional and keep networking.  Keep your resume updated along with your interviewing skills.  Don’t go “professionally dormant.”  When you interview again, the interviewer could ask what you have been doing to stay competitive in the job market. 

Next question, how’s your motivation?  Without short-term goals, your time will be wasted away.  We often procrastinate or avoid what is uncomfortable for us.  Maybe you are avoiding yourself and not taking a look at the stuff that is hard to be with during this time.  I encourage you to establish your goals, write them down and schedule the goals, activities or projects on your calendar.  Be accountable.


For more information on coping with job loss and other career/life issues, visit: