Am I Worthless Because I Lost My Job?


By Sylvia Lafair

“It was so cold in October that I went to the mall to do a power walk. And then I realized I have no power, so I went home.” I have heard variations of this comment at least ten times a day in recent weeks. So, what can be done?

Losing a job is like a death. The emotional stages from denial through anger to bargaining and eventually acceptance are in play.

Most of us see ourselves mainly through our work. “Hi” we say to each other. “Who are you”? And we introduce ourselves as a pharmacist, accountant, headhunter, or circus clown.

We have been defined and dominated by a lifestyle to which we have become accustomed. The bumper sticker “He who has the most toys wins” is embedded in our culture. The answer to “Do you want to be a millionaire?” has been a resounding “Yes”!

It may be that the economic stress of today can help us think through who we are and how we perceive ourselves. Perhaps the concept of power a la Donald Trump, et al has reached its peak.

We are in a complex and uncomfortable time of realizing that our society with its value of growth, waste, and competition is inherently unstable.

Begin to reassess.

We should reassess when job loss happens and economic fear takes over, and question what really matters.

So, those who have been downsized, let go! Given a pink slip, relieved of your position, go for your power walk. As you walk search inside for a nugget of strength. It is there and you can find it. You are not your job. You will not starve to death.

Use this time to gain greater inner understanding, seek simpler and more harmonious ways to live. Then take action.

  • Plant a garden
  • Write a poem
  • Take a class
  • Volunteer at a local community charity

Keep seeking your personal power. It trumps positional power every time.