First, the anger. Then, the work begins.


I never got angry when I lost my job in 2005. Or in 2008.

I had plenty of warning both times. And I worried for my colleagues, not for myself.

It’s just a job.

But I do understand the anger. If you’ve put years, decades into an organization, only to be tossed out on the street, that’s infuriating.

But it passes.

At least, I hope it passes. Anger isn’t a place you want to dwell. Not when you have a job to land, a career to rebuild, a family to support. Anger pushes out the energy needed to move forward. You have a lot to do. Dwelling on the past too long can hold you back. And with all the people out of work right now, you really can’t afford the luxury of stewing in self-righteousness for very long.

Anger also lures you into bad behavior. It may be tempting to burn bridges with your former employer or colleagues. And you may have every right: Perhaps you were underpaid, mistreated or generally unhappy with the work.

But you’re about to plunge into the world of networking, a way to stand out among a field of thousands of faceless applicants. Spiteful comments have a way of backfiring. Network long enough, and you’re bound to need a hand from someone with whom you once shared office space.

Avoid public backbiting and private carping. Do whatever you can to take the high road. Handle it like you would want others to: like a professional.

I’ve seen colleagues rail against the system, against bad bosses, against the unfairness of their lot. And in the end, they are no further along then before.

If you find yourself getting upset or angry, it’s OK. But if you can channel that ire into positive steps, you’ll find yourself in a better place much sooner.

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