The Walking Wounded

The phone calls and office visits are increasing. Like recruiters all over the country, I am spending an increasing amount of my time counseling associates who have been “let go”.

The effects are visceral. I can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. “How can this be happening to me? I did everything right.” I reassure them that they will get another job. I also point out that it might take some time. It is clear that not everyone believes that someone else will hire them.

Getting laid off or fired is one of life’s most stressful events. For most of us, it raises immediate financial concerns. For lawyers and other professionals who define themselves by their careers, the psychological damage can be profound.

If you are in this situation, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You are in good company. Getting “let go” in a major downturn doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Everyone knows that law firms are slow.
  • Be honest. You will hurt your credibility with a future employer if you allow your current employer to pretend that you are still employed when in fact, you have been asked to leave
  • You do not need to explain everything that led to your demise. Just tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
  • Get exercise to combat stress.

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