720.370.1800 - Intl 844.331.1993
Select Page
How Are Layoffs Like Breakups?

How Are Layoffs Like Breakups?

The Painful (and Helpful) Overlap Between a Layoff and a Breakup

I’m a career coach with a sub-specialty of helping people who are changing careers, sometimes after an unexpected job loss or layoff.  [Check out my article, “Got Laid Off? Here’s How to Deal”] When Allie Volpe, a freelance writer contacted me to ask whether I might be available as a resource for an article she was writing for The Cut called Getting Laid Off Taught Me How to Cope with Breakups, I had a mental forehead slap: Duh! Of course, there’s so much in common between these two topics – why hadn’t I written about it myself?!

I often liken a job search to dating, but now, thanks to Allie, I have another paradigm that, after she connected the dots for me, I can’t stop exploring in more detail.

Take a look at the article that Allie wrote about breakups and layoffs because it includes details about her own anguish and search for answers following her layoff and how she recognized the connection to a breakup. She seeks input from several professionals who touch on the turmoil that disruptions in habits bring, suggestions about bouncing back, mourning, and harvesting lessons.

Painful Similarities Between a Layoff and a Breakup

Both breakups and layoffs can have the same flavor, including:

  • If you don’t see it coming, both a layoff and a breakup can be like a sucker punch to the gut and make you question your worthiness.
  • After a layoff or a breakup you’ll likely experience an emotional cocktail, including grief, anxiety, self-doubt, anger, hope, and more. [Read: “Getting Over a Breakup? How to Cope With the Pain“] It can be intense and sometimes seem disproportionate to the event because it may dredge up old wounds and past losses. 
  • As with any loss, both a layoff or a breakup may lead you to experience grief bursts, which is an unexpected wave of emotion that washes over you with a strong force. An offhand comment or an article or an email rejection notice can trigger tears or anger that seems to come out of nowhere.

Helpful Similarities Between a Layoff and a Breakup

The good news about the often-difficult experiences of either a layoff or a breakup is that we can look to each of them for wisdom and insight for healing for the other. What may seem insurmountable and spiral us into deep despair can shift. Here are some suggestions for moving through both struggles:

  • Find a Way To Process Your Emotions. It can be very helpful to get professional support or use a mechanism such as journaling to make sense of your inner experience so that your emotions don’t bleed into your interviews. One of my favorite coaching teachers told me, “Your mind is like a dangerous neighborhood. Don’t go in there alone.” The same is true of a breakup – if you can harvest the emotional dimensions of your split and process them, they’re less likely to cloud your next relationship.

 

  • Whether a Former Employer or Lover: Don’t Bash Your Ex. Anger and resentment are normal and often very reasonable responses to both a breakup and a layoff, so it’s important to attend to these emotions. A budding romantic relationship may not bear the weight of bitterness from a recent partnership. And when you’re in a job interview, it’s important that you speak professionally about your former employer. No matter how much of a mess it was at your former workplace, it’s not helpful as a selling point in marketing yourself for your next job if you detail or even hint at the problems you encountered there.

 

  • Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk. Are you blaming yourself for not seeing this coming? Don’t judge your younger self for missing cues or bypassing exit opportunities. There’s a great quote from Maya Angelou that fits here: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” If your self-talk has an unworthiness theme, that’s important to process, too. Just because something didn’t work out (even something that you invested deeply in) doesn’t mean that you won’t find fulfillment and fit in your next chapter.

You’re not alone in your worries and pain as you move through a breakup or a layoff. The universality of the fallout from them offers a small element of comfort because, as with any loss, strong emotions tend to surface – that’s a tough part of being human. If you find that you’re not able to pull yourself out of either one of them or if you’d just like some extra support, we have experts on our team who specialize in both career coaching as well as breakup recovery work. [Meet Our Team]

All the best,

Maggie Graham, M.Ed., LPC, CPCC

Schedule Your Free Consultation Session

Meet in Person

Colorado • California • Texas

Meet Online

Across the US and Internationally

Top 5 Best Reasons For Leaving Your Job

Top 5 Best Reasons For Leaving Your Job

5 Ways to Determine If It’s Time to Leave Your Job

Most people daydream about a change in jobs now and again, but here are 5 ways to determine if it might be time to take the leap.

1. Make a list of all the things you like about your job.

No matter how unhappy my career coaching clients say they are in their current job, one of the first things I have them do is list the things that they enjoy, even if it’s a very short list and they can only honestly say, “the free coffee in the break room.” If their list of things they like is solely related to having a great boss, great benefits, and/or good co-workers rather than the actual work itself, that is very telling. Loving their work but not loving the corporate mission or its leadership is also important to figure out. Make an honest list and then keep that list in mind if you decide to go job-hunting, so you can recognize the things you like.

2. How do you feel on Sundays?

If you find yourself already dreading Monday’s return-to-work on Sundays, it might be time to rethink what you are doing. One of my executive coaching clients told me he started to feel that dread on Saturdays, because he knew he only had one more day before he had to return to a job he didn’t like. The ultimate goal is to be happy about what you get to do each day, and that your weekends are a time to truly relax and renew yourself. Keep in mind that it’s normal to have some ambivalence about jumping into the work week after an amazing weekend of fun, friends and family, but that’s different than the experience of actual dread.

3. You frequently browse jobs on places like Indeed and Linked In.

I get this one a lot from career coaching clients. They aren’t exactly sure what they’re looking for but they just want to “see what else is out there.” The problem is that if you don’t first clarify what you want, you end up with the “different job; same crap” problem and you’re back to job searching soon after. If you take the time to sort out what you really desire in your next job, you will be happy you took that time in the long run.

4. You keep hoping things will get better.

Sometimes, waiting things out is the smart thing to do. For instance, if you love your job overall, aside from one or two things, such as an overwhelming project, bad boss or annoying co-worker, it makes sense to give things a chance. Projects end, co-workers move on, and bad bosses may (hopefully) get fired. The key is to figure out where that tipping point is and your overall satisfaction. Did the project that ended get replaced by something equally undesirable; are you working too many hours per week despite being told things would “slow down,” or does your bad boss seem like they are settling in for the long haul? If the “waiting it out” is to the point that you feel you’re in danger of an ulcer or drinking problem, it might be time to leave.

5. You have thought about getting a career coach.

Many of my clients say they had considered getting a career coach at some point in the past due to work dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, too often people wait until they are really miserable in the jobs, and only look for a coach when either they feel they can’t take it anymore, or their work stress is impacting the quality of their relationships with their spouse, friends, and family. Ideally, you want to have a positive work/life balance, where you have plenty of energy and attention to give to the people you care about outside of work hours.

Is it Time to Make A Positive Change?

Think about the number of hours you spend each week at your job (2,080 per year for full-time work), and how many hours that adds up to over your lifetime. Life is too short to waste on something you aren’t passionate about, so if you are unhappy in your current job, do something about it. Many people don’t need a career coach if they already know what they want to do and how to get there, but others need more guidance or desire career assessments to determine their next path. Whatever you do, decide you want to be happy doing it, and get started!

Advice From a Career Coach: 5 Ways to Win at Work

Advice From a Career Coach: 5 Ways to Win at Work

What will really get you ahead in your career may surprise you…

Career coaching is a billion dollar business for a reason: How good you feel about your professional life is extremely important. You’ll spend more of your waking hours on the job than doing anything else. Feeling fulfilled, happy, and like you’re getting ahead in a career you love is essential.

But there are so many things that can throw you off track professionally: Difficult working relationships, problematic communication, constant stress about getting things done, or feeling emotionally disengaged from your work can all drag you down. It can start to feel hard to get out of bed on Monday mornings. You might even start to question your career choice, and fantasize about chucking it all and starting over. (Listen: “What to do if you hate your job?“)

If you’ve been feeling “meh” about your job lately, here’s some free advice from a career coach to help you get your mojo back and start turning things around.

  • Be Positive: As I recently discussed with Mic.com’s “Payoff,” (read “Smart brain hacks to help you feel and project more positivity at work”) few things are more important to your professional success than your attitude. When you’re focused on opportunity, solutions, and possibilities — as opposed to problems, criticisms, and obstacles — you’ll not just feel happier, but shine professionally. Projecting positivity to others enhances their perceptions of your competence, adds value to your contributions, and enhances your authority as a leader.

 

  • Prioritize Relationships: When it comes to being truly successful, the actual work you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as your ability to form positive working relationships with your colleagues, bosses, customers and subordinates. While you should certainly strive to perform your job to the best of your ability, never do so at the expense of the people around you. Even the most incandescently talented or supernaturally productive workers will be let go eventually if everyone else hates working with them.

 

  • Set Boundaries: Many people struggle to function and complete day to day tasks in work environments that interfere with their ability to focus, and manage their time. In the era of open floor plans and constant SMS pings from coworkers, it’s essential to set boundaries with others to protect your time, and your attention. Furthermore, you may need to set boundaries with yourself so that can prioritize effectively, stay on task, and get things done. Even more importantly, you may need to create boundaries around your non-working hours in order to create healthy work / life balance.

 

  • Find Meaning: No matter how great your work environment is, and how well you’re doing in your career, you’ll still feel hollow if your professional life lacks meaning and purpose. For some people, it’s important that the actual work they do is linked to their values. For others, their meaning is found not through the work itself but in the life and relationships that their work supports.  What’s your “why?” Make sure you know, so that you can stay connected with your higher purpose as you move through your work day.

 

  • Cultivate Emotional Intelligence: Research consistently shows that the most successful, high achieving people are the ones with the highest emotional intelligence. Too often our education and professional experience trains us to perform tasks and solve problems, and neglects teaching us the “soft skills” that matter most. Your ability to manage your emotions in stressful situations, to keep your own anxieties and insecurities at bay, to communicate effectively, and to be sensitive to the feelings of others is what matters most when you’re on the job.

 

Now, back to work! 🙂

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

Advice From a Career Coach: What To Do If You Hate Your Job

Advice From a Career Coach: What To Do If You Hate Your Job

Do You Loathe Your Career?

Do you struggle with “Sunday Evening Blues?” Do you slap your alarm fifteen times to postpone the inevitable waking up, into another day of stressful / boring / annoying work? Do you feel like you’re screwing up at your job? Do you struggle with office politics? Do you feel like you’re wasting your life?

If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions — you’re in luck today! On this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast we’re talking about how to handle it.

Listen now and get career counseling advice on how to:

  • Figure out whether you can make changes with the job you have to make it better (or whether you need to quit and move on).
  • Figure out what your true calling is (FYI: It may involve mermaids).
  • Use strategic tests and assignments to understand what type of career you’ll be most happy with
  • Manage on-the job stress and anxiety, and challenging work-relationships
  • Make a practical plan to start a satisfying new career

 

 

What To Do If You Hate Your Job

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: “Take This Job and Shove It,” by The Dead Kennedys

Subscribe to the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher. Please rate and review if you enjoy the Podcast!

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast is Now on Stitcher!

TRANSFORM: Discover Your Truth

TRANSFORM: Discover Your Truth

Sick of your job? Longing to change your career?

Why now is the time to get to work.

As I write this article, it’s still August. The green leaves out my window are swaying in the breeze. Later this afternoon I will go to the pool with my kid and splash around enthusiastically in my dorky goggles, pretending to be a giant squid. Then I will make dinner and eat on the patio with my Adventure Husband, next to the increasingly scary jungle of ripening tomatoes that we planted too close together this year. I will likely go to bed while it’s still a little light out, because that is how cool I am. It’s summertime.

But fall is speeding towards us my friend. It’s right around the corner.

Summer indulges us — we get a pass on things like “maximum productivity” and “100% focus” and “pointy shoes” and “personal achievement.” We ditch our career-goals for a little while it in favor of pools and patios. But as the fresh air of September touches the leaves with cool, golden fingertips, things start to get serious again. Its time for new beginnings, clean slates, and grand plans. Harnessing the natural motivation built into this season can lead to excitement and motivation, and life-changing energy…. or make you feel helpless and confused if you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, but don’t know how to change your career.

Linking Your Career Success to Your Values

Many years ago, the end of summer was a hard time for me. I was not in a career that was meaningful to me. The achievement-oriented back-to-school isles with their crisp, virgin notebooks and rows of un-chewed pencils seemed to look at me, disapprovingly, as I slouched past, prepared to waste another year of my life in a career that I did not love.

The coming of fall made me feel tired, and a little depressed. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing more with my life.

But one fateful and tragic fall — nearly fifteen years ago now — something different happened. I woke up one early one bright blue September morning because the Adventure Husband had turned on the TV. Loud. As I walked into the living room prepared to tell him how annoying and inconsiderate he was being (this was before we went to marriage counseling together) I saw on the screen an airplane plowing into a glassy building, high above New York City.

I didn’t know it at the time, but found out shortly thereafter that I’d just watched my cousin Jimmy get killed. He would have been sitting at his desk on the 104th floor of the World Trade building, probably booting up his computer and sipping coffee, minding his own business…. right up until the moment that a plane piloted by maniacs crashed through his window.

That day changed me in many ways. But in the midst of my shock and grief and trauma and fear one message stood out to me clearly: “Your time here is short and could end at any moment. Stop screwing around and do something more important with your life.”

The most important, and meaningful thing I could imagine doing was being of service, somehow, to other people. Connecting with that inner, core value was the spark that sent me to graduate school to become a counselor. That drive motivated me through many years of getting a Master’s Degree and then a PhD as I evolved into “Dr. Lisa.” It is still the reason I sit here now, on this August day, writing this love letter to you.

You Deserve To Have a Career You Love

I don’t want you to have to do through tragedy or trauma to get connected with your inner values — the lighthouse, the compass that will carry you forward towards your ultimate destiny. But I DO want you to feel satisfied with your life, and your career. You deserve to be happy. Your life is too short, and too precious, to waste one more day in a career that is meaningless, frustrating, joyless, or boring.

Working people spend more time at their jobs than doing any other single thing. Your job gets more of your time and attention than your marriage, your kids, your friends and your personal interests. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your passion, your meaning, and your reason for being was linked — somehow — to your career?

When you are in a career that suits your personality, showcases your natural talents, ties into your interests and your passions, and creates meaning and value for you, you stop having “a job.” Your career is woven seamlessly into the fabric of a happy, and satisfying life.

Dissatisfaction = Motivation

If the drums of autumn approaching are making you feel tired, guilty, or simply aware that you should be doing something else, I’d like to invite you to view this as a good thing. Feeling dissatisfied is the engine of change. This is an opportunity to harness your motivation (motivation is the secret gift of your dissatisfaction) and do something productive with it. Like using it as energy to create a new reality.

You can look around months from now, or years from now, and either be sitting in the same exact place — or the brand new reality that you designed. I know, because I’ve lived it.

As the seasons shift, you can too. Channel your dissatisfaction into life changing motivation. Seize the power of this transitional period, and let it inspire you to shed your old leaves and plan a new season in your life, too.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, LMFT, BCC

 

 

Dr. Lisa's Blog & Podcast

Dating After Divorce

If your last relationship ended painfully, it can be hard to think about dating again. Here’s some compassionate advice from a dating coach to help you move forward, when the time is right.

Building Better Relationships

Healthy relationships = A happy life. Learn the relationship skills and strategies to make your good relationships great, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

How to Leave a Toxic Relationship, With Dignity

Even if you know that your toxic relationship will only cause you pain and misery, it can still be very hard to walk away. Learn how to take your power back, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Financial Therapy For Couples

Don’t let fights about money ruin your holidays. Learn how to use empathy and understanding to get on the same page around finances.

Getting Through Hard Times, Together.

Going through hard things like grief, illness, infertility or job loss can take a toll on your relationship — especially during the holidays. Learn how to support each other emotionally, and grow together instead of apart.

Healthy Boundaries: The Holiday Edition

The key to having genuinely happy, stress-free holidays? Healthy boundaries. Learn where to stand firm, and where to flex, on this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Feeling Invalidated By Your Partner?

Does it seem like your partner doesn’t understand you feelings, or worse yet, that they don’t care? Here’s some down-to-earth relationship advice that will help shift the emotional climate of your relationship to one of acceptance and emotional safety.

More of Dr. Lisa's Articles & Podcasts

Growing Self Counseling & Coaching
Growing Self
Loading...