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Finding your way back after a later-in-life job loss

Starting over at 57

Author: Mary Calhoun/Tuesday, May 13, 2014/Categories: Life after 50

We have been informed that you and your staff will not be a part of the new program as had been originally planned. As of July 1, 2014, your office and positions will be dissolved”…
 
We all sat at that conference table in stunned disbelief, and it was obvious by the quick glances at each other that we were desperately looking for reassurance that we had not heard what had just been said. But, it was true. 
 
After 20 years of being the first program of its kind to assist the public with complaints, we were being told that our service and experience were not worth including in the new political program darling of the moment. It was a bitter sip of reality to swallow.
 
Twenty years of looking forward to getting to the office and eagerly taking on practically any challenge, assignment, or project, that no one else wanted. The belief of knowing that we were providing the public with a valuable service and that I was a part of it all was an intoxicating experience. What else would you call working in your dream job? It has been my dream job because I had created it ... now it’s all over, and 12 days before my 57th birthday. 
 
However, with the help of Steven Covey’s 90/10 Principle I’ve finally stumbled out of my “woe is me" stupor.
 
 
It has taken me a few weeks to get past the first stages of grieving the loss of my dream job. Yes, grieving. I lost something that I valued and loved, and the loss was totally unexpected. I’ve gone through the denial and feeling of being persecuted stages. I’ve finally kicked anger to the curb, and now I’m currently struggling to get through the negotiating phase—which for me means scrambling to find another job in two months.
 
At 57 years old I’m back in the job market, and I'm dusting off my rejection tolerance armor and putting some “It’s your loss” wax on it when I don’t get the response I want. 
 
My new daily mantra is, begin with the end in mind.” (Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
 
Editor's note: On the job market and need help with resources for your search? Here's a compiled list just for that!
 
 
 
 

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Mary Calhoun
Mary Calhoun

Mary Calhoun

Pacific Region OASIS member Mary L. Calhoun has worked in the public sector for over 35 years. She's a former staff writer for a Los Angeles City Councilmember and a technical writer who has published annual reports, media portfolios, training and instructional manuals, policy and more. Other posts by Mary Calhoun
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