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Job Loss: In the “In between Time”

Job Loss: In the “In between Time”

In almost every setting that we find ourselves including social events, parties, weddings, family gatherings, conferences and even chats with ourjob loss, career neighbors we can all count on the age old question of so “What do you Do For a Living” will come up sometime or another in the conversation.

Most of us stick out our chest and proudly announce statistics that are associated with our jobs, such as occupation, job title, or place of employment. We generally associate with the one or two data points that we want to be identified with such as doctor, lawyer, CPA, VP, Director, CEO or where we work such as for a Fortune 500 company, government or a humanitarian organization. Our job is our life, retirement is just around the corner, we are secure, life is good, and we live happily ever after, right?

The rapid changes in our workplaces today including mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, rightsizing, off shoring, bankruptcy, and the fall of some Wall Street giants, many of us may find ourselves in what I have coined the “In between zone” This is the time spent after the lost of one job and before the start of a new job. This is often a very scary time for most of us. We question all of our career moves up to this point. If only I had taken Spanish in high school, worked on that project, sought that degree, if, if, if. All feelings of self-doubt and inequities pour out of us   how am I going to tell my wife, husband, and friends?  Why me? My last performance review was good.  The boss didn’t like me.  Where do we go from here?

Sorry, I am not the Wizard of Oz, but remember he did not have the power to get Dorothy back home either.  Like Dorothy, finding our way, requires positive inner talk, persistence, belief in yourself and a supporting cast of family, friends and strangers. The following actions can expand your territory and increase your opportunities to land your next job!

  • Volunteer with an organization that is in need of your skills or gain new skills doing something you never did before
  • Join “meet up” groups that have similar career interest as you
  • Seek professional support such as a career coach.  These services maybe offered free by non profits in your area
  • Exercise, drink lots of water, maintain a healthy diet
  • Learn a new skill that is unrelated to your occupation
  • Network, network, network with everyone 
  • Pray, without ceasing, prayer changes things!



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Nichole McDonald, SPHR

Nichole C. McDonald, SPHR senior vice president, Human Resources, has more than 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles in human capital management. She is responsible for leading Laureate Higher Education Group’s human capital management strategy. This includes managing the areas of talent acquisition, talent development and organization effectiveness and retention. Throughout her career, she has worked in strategic positions where building teams, systems and processes have been of critical importance to organizational growth. During her tenure at Laureate, Nichole has led the people integration process for 14 acquisitions, growing the workforce to over 7,800 employees worldwide. This includes 9 locations in North America and sites in the Netherlands, Poland, Australia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and New Zealand. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for New School of Architecture & Design in San Diego, CA. Nichole holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management.

One Comment

  1. Nichole,
    Your comments are on point. I counsel as a matter of routine many top HR executive. The one thing I notice the most is the naivete of these executives to the simple art of network. They prejudge everyone and don’t fully leverage their networks. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.


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