Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Laid-Off Employee Must Find a New Job

DEAR HARRIETTE: I worked the same job for many years -- decades, really -- and I got laid off this summer. I have meager savings and no idea of what I can possibly do to take care of my family. I do not have a college degree, but I do have a lot of job experience in office administration. I feel so sad about what’s next. How can I change my attitude and find work? -- Need a New Job

DEAR NEED A NEW JOB: My mother taught me years ago that when I feel down, it’s time to count my blessings. Literally make a list of the things you are grateful for. Then write down what you are good at doing. Be specific as you record your attributes, even if some of these things extend beyond your work experience. Think of your extracurricular activities and all the engagements in your life. Get a sense of what you consider to be your strengths. Next, imagine what job would match your abilities. Create a resume -- or more than one -- that highlights your skills in that particular area.

Now it’s time to look for a job that would value those attributes. You can visit one of the many job posting sites online to see what’s available. Contact your network of friends to see if they know of any jobs. Put yourself out there. And know that you may need to take a job that is not in your most natural area of expertise. That’s okay, too. I know many people who have chosen to drive for Uber, Lyft or some other car service and others who have gone to retail or telemarketing while on the job search. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself.