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.