What to Do if You are Over 40 and Have Lost Your Job

Unexpectedly loosing your job can be a very traumatic and distressing experience at the best of times. If you are over 40 and can't find the job you deserve, you will need great inner strength and self belief to come out on top.

Could this be you?

You're working at your family's welding business during the day, and then go to your second job at night. You're 50-some years old, working as a cashier at Target. You always said that if you're 40 years old and have a career that requires you to wear a name tag, then to just shoot you!

Not that there's anything wrong with working at Target or wearing a name tag or working the family business. Those are all honest jobs. It's just that after 20 years with your previous company, and with your education and expertise, you hadn't exactly planned on ramping up to your golden years asking customers if they'd 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 weren't 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, you're frustrated (that's an understatement) and you even had to humble yourself to get some help from a local food pantry.

You've done all the online courses; you have tirelessly pounded the pavement and scoured the classified ads. You've 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 you're 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 isn't 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 you're working harder than most at this task.

More importantly you need to keep a positive outlook. Yes that's easier said than done. But if you can't 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 you've 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 wouldn't 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 you're still having a pity party, it's time to get over it. If you've sent out that many resumes and exhausted what you believe to be all your leads and you're still bitter and feeling sorry for yourself, it's time to reevaluate. If you haven't already accepted a job that you're overqualified for and underpaid, then it's 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 you've 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 don't understand it. They don't 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.

Roger Clark is senior editor at Top Career Resumes who provide free information to job seekers on all aspects of finding a new job and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

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