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Over the last few years, many people (especially over 50 years of age) have become victims of workforce reductions. Regardless of age or type of position, losing a job causes lives to spin, seemingly out of control. When our paycheck suddenly disappears as well as its ability to pay bills, we fear losing the comforts of our current lifestyles and dread the future.

Understanding firsthand the drama of receiving a pink slip, I decided to write a book. Because my company was either going to be sold or shut down, the layoffs affected all of us. But, no matter what the reasons are for laying off employees, losing a job is a painful experience.

Discouraged and frustrated, I tried to find a new job. My years of experience and training were applicable to any profession, but joblessness and the search made me despondent. That interesting journey turned out to be the best thing to happen to me. I can honestly say that because of that job loss, the personal and professional growth I experienced cleared a path, leading me to a better life. I uncovered creative skills I had left uncultivated and gained some I never knew I had. My single biggest achievement was becoming a published author. A new world opened up and our move to Arizona provided a perfect environment for pursuing creativity. However, my initial outlook after the job loss was a grim one, and I felt I would never get a job as good as my lost one, and I was determined not to take a job just to pay the bills.

If you got hit with a job layoff, do not panic. Just because you were no longer appreciated at your current company, does not mean you are worthless to any other employer. Everyone possesses transferable skills. I believe that each team, department, or organization, needs a blend of ages, experience, and cultural diversity. Every team member has something to offer. Do not fall into the trap of losing your self-worth and confidence. Take a step back, work on rejuvenating your attitude and be open to all of the possibilities. Change is scary, but do not fear it. Escaping your comfort zone may pave your way to bigger and better things. This loss might be your chance to focus on the career born out of your passion.

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