As a career counsellor in private practice, I work on the front lines of job loss, a negative experience for most individuals. But I also see how certain ideas about work get in our heads and control the way we think and feel. For example, my client, Robert, was laid off this past January after seven years as a Firmware Designer in a small hi-tech firm. He got a generous severance package based on his six-figure income. In his mid-forties and financially solvent, he consulted me about the pros and cons of taking some time off to relax with family.
Robert’s algorithm engineering skills are in high demand so there was no risk of him not finding another lucrative job after 6-12 months of unemployment…but he felt he couldn’t afford to take that time because he was worried about his mental health—he felt anxious about not working! * The importance of work as a source of status and meaning in our lives acts as a kind of psychological straightjacket. He soon opted for a new job with a U.S. employer that required him to travel once a month, further reducing his time with family.Read more