Newspaper people are losing jobs left and right. And, you know, being verbal types, they are writing a lot about it. The Columbia Journalism Review is giving them a forum to sound off, called "Parting Thoughts." Most of the posts are good reads. But there is one I particularly enjoyed, by Todd Engdahl, a 31-year veteran of the Denver Post. Engdahl is merciless with people who don't adjust to the changing times. His post is entitled, "Sorry to be blunt, but get over it." Yes, it's a little journalist-style macho. But I loved this line (last paragraph): "Your job is not your identity."
For so many of us, this is what job loss is about, losing our identity. I was lucky in that I confronted similar identity issues when I had a baby and, about two years later, left my high-profile reporting job for stay-at-home mommy status and a little freelance writing. I suffered the entire meltdown at that time and so no longer have to worry about losing it ever again. (Maybe.)
For three months, my heart raced at odd times throughout the day. I saw a doctor, who gave me a portable device to record my heart rhythms. I would then connect the device to a phone and beam them in to the lab, as a sort of progress report. I believe the technical term for my problem was panic.
How much of this is going on with the current wave of layoffs? Do people become immune to it after being fired a few times? Or does it slowly destroy their souls?
Why do we judge each other based on our professional titles, anyway?
If you're out there reading, why not post some ideas on this.