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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Don't Fear Saying You're Fired

Q. The hardest thing I've had to face since losing my job was telling my family. I always had an executive position and thought well of myself. But now I'm embarrassed and depressed. I feel I failed them. My wife and children are great and very supportive. They're all trying to keep to our new budget and they try to help keep my spirits up. But my unemployment is like the elephant in the room. I wonder if there's more I can do to make all of us feel better about a bad situation.

Ans. Every day more people lose jobs, and it's so commonplace you shouldn't be embarrassed. No one thinks you failed except you. The economy failed. Given that, you can help everyone by sharing the news of your ongoing job-hunt, says Edie Milligan Driskill, author of "Pink Slipped: A Post-Layoff Survival Guide" (Alpha $12.95). In order to keep them aware of the energy you're spending, and what you're doing, she suggests you hold regular meetings to update everyone at one time. That way the whole family is on the same page at the same time -and they'll feel you're okay and moving forward even if you're still dealing with uncertainly. Shared sad feelings are always a lighter load to carry.

Negotiate That Initial Offer

Managers Must Step Back