Making Big Decisions After a Layoff

cmccale purple ebook1 200x300 Making Big Decisions After a LayoffWelcome to Week 4 of 6 in the Ask Dr. McCale series!  Dr. Christina McCale is the Author of the book Waiting for Change: Impacts on life, family, work, and the new 99% reality.

A single mom facing an unemployment crisis of her own in these tough economic times, she knows the reality of joblessness all too well.

I'm so glad she agreed to hang out here every Friday for this series.

Here's what we've covered so far, in case you've missed anything:

Think It Won't Happen To You?

The Inspiration Behind Waiting For Change

Getting Over the Embarrassment:  Food Stamps and a Trip to the Food Bank

If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe via RSS or Email (look in the sidebar) so you won't miss a single post.


portrait innovations 78 2 756x504 e1340969517365 Making Big Decisions After a Layoff

Q:  Many individuals who've been laid off are making big decisions. 

Go back to school, hold out for a job in the same line of work with similar pay, or self-employ? 

Obviously each circumstance is unique and nobody can make this decision for them. However, given the present state of the economy, what are your thoughts?    


There’s no easy answer here. I wish there were.

But in general, most of us have skills that are transferable to other situations – but that’s not a perspective we’re taught as we learn about career management in school.

For example: in my own experience I’ve gone through several major career changes. But the common element there is that I am a story teller.  As a journalist, I told the news of the day. As a marketing person, I told the story of my company or corporation or product. Later as a professor, I told the story of marketing.  And I approached all of those roles in the same way: what’s interesting, what captures attention? What do people need to know?

So one exercise might be to look at the actual skills you have and see what other jobs or industries may want those same skills. You might have been an HR person in the financial services industry, but that’s not to say that the Environmental Services industry also can’t use HR people. If you are a great writer, maybe you can transfer that writing ability to writing technical documents? It’s not an easy exercise, but sometimes it can give you new ideas.

I never discourage people from getting more education. As my own folks used to tell  me “the bank can repossess your car or foreclose on your home, but they can never take away the knowledge between your ears.”  I think a BA is becoming a requirement in many cases.  But don’t discount specialized certificates of areas of study too.

If you do decided to go further in your studies, use the time to really reflect: what do you want? What do you need? Where do you want to go with the next phase of your life? Use that time to invest in you and then do everything you can to literally suck the marrow out of that time period.

Going into business for yourself can be dicey; there are all too many snake oil salesmen out there trying to show you the way to financial security through Internet businesses, etc. Some are real and genuine.  Others are no better than their 19th Century predecessors and can do more harm than good. If you do decide this route, think about doing it as a side line – a side business that potentially become “something” and keep looking for other opportunities.

We’ve all heard about Daniel Pink’s prophecy of “Free Agent Nation:” how we all eventually will become intenerate workers, going from one gig to the next, teaming up for a while, and then moving on.  I think when he first wrote about the concept back in the late 90s/early 2000s, none of us were prepared to see just how far this concept would go – how much it really would become a part of our working professions.

So another piece of advice is to look at yourself as a permanent contractor – even if you do end up with a job again. I think even that subtle shift in mentality will give you a different perspective on work and how you can navigate these trying times.

  Waiting for Change is available for sale via paperback and Kindle formats.


What Big Decision Have You Made After A Job Layoff That Worked Out Well?  Or Not So Well?  We'd Love For You To Share Your Experience.


Join us back here next Friday for Week 5:  Coping With Unemployment - A Mother's Perspective


Rosannsig Making Big Decisions After a Layoff




lunapic 133366756794653 14 e1333752388151 Making Big Decisions After a LayoffGet your copy of UnEMPLOYED Faith for only $4.99.  Click on the image for more information.

In the book, I share the raw details of my story, while also offering 10 tried and true coping tips for enduring your or your spouse's season of unemployment with strength and dignity. Plus there's a challenge at the end of each chapter to help you get you motivated.

Also available for FREE download is this helpful resource:  Praying Him Through Unemployment:  6 Week Prayer Guide.



  1. Rosey

    This post is chock full of information. And it's good to read because absolutely most people do not think they will end up out of work, but unfortunately it does happen. Best to be as the old saying says...prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.

  2. Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club

    I tucked my Real Estate business away in this horrible market, and I like so many other Brokers out there, don't get counted as unemployed. It hurts, but I shifted to a completely different area of work as a handmade clothing designer...quite a change! I'm lucky(and of course I work my tail off) I have those skills to use. But without my husband's job and back up, there is no way a new business like mine can pay the bills. It just takes time, especially in this economy, and any profit needs to go right back into the business to make it grow, if you're serious about its future. The one thing about my new business is that I've learned so many new skills, that if I bring back my Brokerage, I can use all of them to better it. You can really grow from life's punches;)

  3. kristie w.

    words of wisdom. thanks for sharing!

  4. Regina

    Great information. I often wonder what I will do if I loose my job, but I try to live with one income (my husbands) so we can prepare and pay off our debt.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Laura

    My job was eliminated at the end of June. (They put in a new computer system that took away many jobs.) I'm a single mom of 2. I have been in school & will be student teaching this fall, but you don't get paid to student teach & I was counting on the job I had to bring in income, so at this point, I don't know what I will do. I did get 30 days severance pay, so that has helped.