Did I lose my job, or my dignity?

When I lost my job I was excited.  Really.  I had been talking about leaving the company for quite a while because it just wasn’t the right place for me to work anymore, but I never acted on it.  I was too comfortable working there and not really excited about starting a job search.

Then I got laid off, and the decision was out of my hands.  In addition to being excited, I went through a bunch of other emotions… scared, depressed, etc.  Little did I know.

The emotions changed from excitement after the first couple of weeks to less-fun emotions as my job search was unsuccessful.  I did my own resume and made a mistake I hadn’t heard of before, but I’m guessing is fairly common.  It was enough of a mistake to keep me out of interviews.  And not getting interviews was very discouraging.

When my wife and I went out with friends (dinner parties, etc.) I felt like the odd-man-out.  I was the only person in the room unemployed, with no idea what I was going to do.  I couldn’t beg myself into a job, which was quite different than being a general manager (which is the job I got laid off from).

Indeed, I felt I had lost all my dignity.  I had lost my status in society, and this was weird/scary.

I’ve since learned that I was still a professional, just with a different temporary status: unemployed.  No reason to lose dignity, or self-respect.  Especially now, when so many people are in the job search, getting laid off, etc.

Have you felt that you have lost your dignity when you lost your job?  Did something happen later to help you recover?


  1. Sharon Wilson on March 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    That’s a difficult pit you don’t want to fall into when you are laid off. It’s important to keep a positive attitude. People need to look at being laid off as an opportunity to start over possibly in a new career.

  2. Roland on April 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I’m not so sure that others are judging you it might just be your perception. It’s critical to changes this way of thinking otherwise you’ll be going into the job market on the backfoot. Staying positive and focused is key to moving forward.

  3. Nawar on October 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    me too. I lost my job.I really depressed.There is something heavy on my chest. all i can do now is getting up in morning and running and reading. I am trying to keep my head straight. The bad ideas are killing my head. i stop thinking and i try to do baby steps.

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