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Downsizing Sucks!

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Jobs and Careers
Youre working at your familys welding business during the day, and then go to your second job at night. Youre 50-some years old, working as a cashier at Target. You always said that if youre 40 years old and have a career that requires you to wear a name tag, then to just shoot you!

Not that theres anything wrong with working at Target or wearing a name tag or working the family business. Those are all honest jobs. Its just that after 20 years with your previous company, and with your education and expertise, you hadnt exactly planned on ramping up to your golden years asking customers if theyd like to save ten percent on their purchase by opening a store credit card.

You heard rumblings about the company folding. But as far as you knew, the numbers were good. At least they were good. Then competition took over and the owners decided it was a good time to bow out gracefully. You were hoping you werent going to be one of the countless main wage earners to get let go. But sadly, you were. Unemployment ran out. You sent out literally hundreds of resumes and still nothing. Your spirits are down, youre frustrated (thats an understatement) and you even had to humble yourself to get some help from a local food pantry.

Youve done all the online courses; you have tirelessly pounded the pavement and scoured the classified ads. Youve even hit up all the online sources to jobs such as www.monster.com www.usajobs.com hotjobs.yahoo.com and about 800 other job boards that you regularly surf. If one more person tells you that a door closes and a window opens or that good things come to those who wait, you think youre going to puke.

You have a family counting on you; so now what? For starters, keep plugging along. Keep on keeping on. You know a job isnt going to fall from the sky, so you need to just accept that your job right now is finding a job. You are working and youre working harder than most at this task.

More importantly you need to keep a positive outlook. Yes thats easier said than done. But if you cant control the circumstances you can control your attitude toward it. You can either look at downsizing as an opportunity to do something different or to learn something new; or you can view it by accepting that youve been dealt a bad hand of cards and now all you can do is play it out. Do not view yourself as a victim. No good will come from that attitude.

You wouldnt have advanced nor had the longevity that you did in your former career had it not been for your wherewithal and internal drive. You need to find that strength again. If youre still having a pity party, its time to get over it. If youve sent out that many resumes and exhausted what you believe to be all your leads and youre still bitter and feeling sorry for yourself, its time to reevaluate. If you havent already accepted a job that youre overqualified for and underpaid, then its time you did.

Pride can be our biggest downfall. Working a family business that you never wanted to, or working nights at the concession stand may not be what you envisioned for yourself. View it as temporary. View it as a paycheck. View it as an opportunity to network with people you would have never had the opportunity to cross paths. Maybe your next customer could be a business owner that youve been attempting to get an interview with.

As for the people who give you clichés know that they mean well. People who have not been a mile in your shoes dont understand it. They dont know what to say. Remember downsizing sometimes sucks, but it may be forcing you into a new opportunity that you really love. Make the best of it.