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How Does it Feel To Get Laid Off?

Updated on November 19, 2009

Recently one of the questions on the forum was "How does it feel to get laid off?" I contemplated answering this question and then realized that the answer is too complex and deserves more than a fleeting answer on any forum.

I was retrenched slightly more than a year ago and I can only relate to how my retrenchment has affected me and my lifestyle. It would be stating the obvious if I said that it has a profound influence on my financial position. The financial implications are almost negligible in comparison to the emotional effects that something as traumatic as losing your work has been for me. The financial blow has been softened somewhat by the fact that I am not the breadwinner, I do not have dependent children and I do still have a small amount left from my pension money that was paid out when I left the company.

After working for eleven years at the company my first reaction when I was informed off the retrenchment was that a change is as good as a holiday - maybe it should have have happened years ago. I was right about one thing. My change came too late. I am over fifty years old and as I was to discover past my "sell by date" in the corporate world.

I have all the academic qualifications and years of experience in the financial field. I have been applying for every possible vacancy for which I am suitably qualified for over a year now. I am registered with all the employment agencies and buy all the newspapers that advertise vacancies within a 120 kilometer radius. With no luck.

I have actually been unfortunate enough to get onto the short lists of some of the advertised vacancies. Only to get a "Dear Johnny" letter a few days later. This has done nothing for my self esteem and has made me very frustrated.

I miss getting up and having a place to go where I can feel as if I make a difference. I miss finding solutions, answering queries, being a mentor for my staff and mostly I miss the feeling of belonging. I have my support systems. I have a loving family and have absolutely wonderful relationships with my children and husband. Unfortunately they can not fill the hole that losing my career has left, no matter how hard they try.

I have now turned to providing financial services on a consultancy basis and have tried my hand at internet marketing. The internet marketing is a huge learning curve for me and a challenge that I enjoy but unfortunately this is not a short term fix to keep my pension monies from dwindling.

As for the freelance accounting - well, either you enjoy being independent and calling the shots or you are a team player. I want to belong to a team. I want to walk into my office and feel it is my own. I want my family photos up on the wall and I want my desk back. Freelancing to me is like living with relatives as opposed to your own home. It is a workable solution but not the ideal. I would miss my home if I lived with my relatives. No matter how good they are to me.

Now you see why I say the financial implications for me are not that gloomy. I can always freelance and make sufficient money to get by. Unfortunately this option does not give me back what I lost. A place that I could call my own.

I suppose that is why they keep saying " Fall in love with your work - not with the company .............You never know when the company will fall stop loving you."

The Right Attitude After Losing A Job


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    • Laura du Toit profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura du Toit 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      That's fine Kate! Best of luck in the future!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm going to post on a blog about my recent experience with being laid off (2 days ago) - can I link to your story since it's related to mine? Thanks.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      11 years ago

      It certainly looks that way Laura. See you around the Hubs

    • Laura du Toit profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura du Toit 

      11 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you Duchess OBlunt

      I think I've found my place on Hubpages!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      11 years ago

      Laura, what a wonderfully written Hub. It certainly is worth the nomination. I have just crested the "50" hill myself and working in a field I enjoy, but certainly don't pretend the possibility of being in your shoes doesn't exist. It is a shame that the corporate world cannot see the value we offer. Especially with a a growing demographics of 50 and over!

      Good luck finding your own place again.

    • Laura du Toit profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura du Toit 

      11 years ago from South Africa

      Good suggestion. Unfortunately I'm not that great at pretending but thanks anyway.

    • profile image


      11 years ago from

      43 years old and sometimes I feel I am playing 'catch-up' with the internet technology. I have studied and have learned web design and am working on graphic design. I hope I can make a good living at it,

      I for one would be fine at my own biz at home.

      It's great you hve your support team, your family. Maybe you can fire them (pretend) and hire them back next week to get the 'office feeling' back a little.

      Just a thought..

      Take care... b cool...

    • Laura du Toit profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura du Toit 

      11 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you very much. I know what you know - that they don't know. Thanks for the support!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      11 years ago from Upstate New York

      Excellent hub. I'm 52 years old and have been semi-retired and semi-self-employed for about two years now, and I know just how you feel. I also retired from the field of accounting and financial management. You spoke for me in this hub, and did it WELL!!!

      Thank you, and best of luck to you. We aren't really past our sell dates--it's just the employers who think we are. We have a lot more to offer and have the ingenuity to find our ways to offer it.

      Once again, good luck to you, HubFriend.


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