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?

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