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Harvard Business Review: When Losing Your Job Feels Like Losing Your Self

Read When Losing Your Job Feels Like Losing Your Self, by Aliya Hamid Rao, Harvard Business Review, April 21, 2020.

This was really personal for me. After losing a job due to a sudden college closure in 2018, It took me months to find a sense of self away from the administrator jobs I held for two decades. I know that others may feel these same emotions in the coming months and years. Aliya Hamid Rao captured the rawness and vulnerability in her article.

“On the day we are speaking, Todd has been unemployed for about 10 months. Todd’s job loss has had tremendous financial repercussions for his family. Yet, in a small voice, he confesses, “I think the hardest part is just not feeling like anybody sees value in me.”’ 

by Aliya Hamid Rao, Harvard Business Review, April 21, 2020.

This hit home for me in deep ways. I know what I know. I have advanced degrees and have published a book. I have mentored countless young people doing exceptional work in the world. But the feeling of my value in the world was coupled to working for someone else. It can feel impossible to change this sense of self in the face of uncertainty.

I don’t have many solutions to offer. But it is important to know that many in the country will experience these emotions if they don’t bounce back into a new job after losing one due to sudden change.

“As steady employment becomes more precarious in the U.S., and indeed globally, and we brace for a wave of unemployment in the wake of Covid-19, we should take stock of placing so much significance on employment in determining our worth as social beings. 

“Uncoupling moral worth from employment will require a cultural shift, one that can be catalyzed by social policies. For instance, unemployment benefits are frequently a key bone of contention at the policy level, and there is often a stigma around using them, stemming from equating morality with employment.”

by Aliya Hamid Rao, Harvard Business Review, April 21, 2020.

Continue When Losing Your Job Feels Like Losing Your Self, by Aliya Hamid Rao, Harvard Business Review, April 21, 2020.


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About Post Author

Joseph Rios, EdD

I am Joseph Rios and I believe that leadership is an expression of our values
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