There is life after a job loss, even a more abundant life as the realization grows that one’s identity is not defined by work and that there are many job options when the constraints of one’s history and assumptions about life are removed. When my position at Exxon was eliminated, my identity was closely linked to what I did to make a living, but as I started to look at what was really important in my life, I rediscovered the centrality of my family. My identity with work started to fade, and work became less important. In addition, when I stopped trying to get another job just like the one I had left, many options opened up, and as a result I joined a start up company that offered a totally new, exciting experience.
The loss of a job can provide a fresh start with greater focus on what is really important.