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Coping with Job Loss

by on June 26, 2013

When thinking of a topic for this week’s blog post, I experienced a bout of “writer’s block.” They say to write about what you know, so here goes.

Last week I was laid off from my job as a library assistant at a high school. The challenges in the library job market are not new.  Regardless of library type, hours are being cut or librarians are being let go altogether. It is a frustrating and scary state to be in. How could I know that composing my last post on INALJ would soon necessitate taking my own advice? At the forefront of my mind is how and when will I find another job? While I could not predict my current situation, for now I am feeling okay about it.

Am I happy about losing income, health benefits, and supposedly not qualifying for unemployment compensation due to my former employer’s “non-profit” status? No. While I will miss some of my colleagues, I cannot help but think, in some small way, I have been given an opportunity to expand my options and reevaluate my goals. My fate was a symptom of budget concerns that lead to staff reductions. Perhaps one reason  I was able to keep my emotions in check when given the news was that I sensed this could happen, although I did not expect its suddenness.

So what now? I will take a summer course to further advance my MLIS degree. I am looking into volunteering at a local library. (This arrangement is pending, but hopefully will be finalized soon). If that first option falls through, I’ll pursue volunteering leads at other local libraries. I will try to brainstorm and explore all options. Additionally, this Forbes article’s advice says, “It’s not your fault.  It never was.”[1] Being a worrier makes it hard to turn off my brain. However, there are forces at play that we cannot anticipate. Feelings of guilt or inadequacy do not help. This is just another chapter in life that can be overcome with hard work and a loving support system. For anyone else in this situation, it is worth remembering your dedication to librarianship, and knowing that you have valuable talents to bring to the table. Do you have any helpful strategies for coping with a job loss?

[1] Victor Lipman, “An Open Letter to Anyone Ever Laid Off,” Forbes, June 15, 2012, accessed May 30, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2012/06/15/an-open-letter-to-anyone-ever-laid-off/2/ .

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