Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Take time to grieve job loss

Q. I can't get it through my head that I've really been fired. After almost 20 years in the same job, I keep phoning my old co-workers to find out what's happening, even though I can tell they don't want to talk. I'm at a loss for enough things to do during the day. My wife works, so I've started helping around the house. I do laundry and cook and clean but days still are too long. What can I do to fill them?

Ans. Stop and grieve and mourn the loss of your job. It's a big and important part of separating from that life you lived 20 years. Talk about it with your wife share those feelings with close friends and try writing them in a journal. When you feel stronger, start working pro-actively toward finding a new job, but consider it may be an entirely different kind of work, perhaps in another industry, and quite possibly for less salary. It's a new and disheartening world of work right now and we all have to change in order to survive in it. Try and find a support group through your community or clergy. That can be a tremendous help in all of the above.

 

Time to learn IT skills

Following up after interview