-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Trying to make the best
of the situation and being open to change can help older managers
cope with losing their jobs, a new United Kingdom study finds.
The researchers found that the people most successful at coping
with their job loss were able to see the event as a new era in
their lives that included self-employment, part-time work,
volunteering and study.
They also took a contemplative view of their job loss and
accepted that life might or might not return to what it had been.
Overall, they were able to redefine and separate themselves from
their former career status and the pain and shock of their
Participants in the study included formerly senior, highly paid
male and female managers, aged 49 to 62, in the U.K. who lost their
jobs in hostile circumstances and were deeply traumatized by the
experience. They were enrolled in a government-funded coaching
program for older unemployed managers.
Participants who were less successful in coping regarded their
job loss as the "end of the line," believed their career was over,
were deeply wounded and experienced high levels of despair,
feelings of devastation and acute depression.
A final group did somewhat better by viewing the layoff as a
"temporary derailment" of a career that would eventually regain its
The study appears in the journal
"In the years and decades ahead were likely to find more and more successful professionals in late career confronting the reality of unemployment, vastly reduced income, power and status," Yiannis Gabriel, of the University of Bath's School of Management, said in a university news release.
"Our study shows that coaching can play a modest but significant part in helping these professionals to come to terms with their predicament. Importantly, effective coaches seem to help unemployed professionals redefine themselves," Gabriel said.
"Professionals are more likely to come to terms with unemployment if they can create a story which allows them to discover their voice as a person who is unemployed but whose identity is not defined by their unemployment," Gabriel added.
The New York State Department of Labor offers advice on how to
handle job loss.
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