Surprise Layoffs: How to Bounce Back

By Rachel Beck, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) β€” As the unemployment rate climbs to almost 10%, no industry or profession has been spared when employers needed to cut jobs. That includes fields once considered untouchable.

Big national law firms are letting partners go. Following them out the door are senior associates who were on the partner track. The same is true for tenured teachers and professors, high-ranking accountants at top-tier firms and white-collar corporate managers.

"Imagine along your career, you never were thinking about the possibility of being laid off. You might not have a financial cushion on place. You haven't spent time networking. You haven't kept up your skills," said Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

"It is a worse situation than for folks in jobs who had some expectation that their jobs weren't safe," he said.

It's difficult to deal with the reality that your seemingly secure job is gone, but there are ways to get back into the working world. First, you need to formulate a plan:


No one is saying you have to wake up the morning after a stunning job loss recharged and ready to pursue the next phase of your life. When you've built a career at a particular job, there's likely to be a mourning period after a layoff.

Accept that you are going to feel down, and don't beat yourself up for what has happened.

"This is such a bad economic downturn that it is crushing organizations," Cappelli said. "It's like a one-in-a-100-years flood."

Understanding that should help get you back on your feet faster.

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