Surviving Job Loss: First, Get a Notebook

By Jason Weinstock on December 5, 2010

Injured workers who have permanent physical restrictions that prevent them from returning to their old jobs are usually separated from their old employer and assigned a vocational rehabilitation counselor.  That independent counselor’s job is to help  you develop a retraining program over the next 60 days that can be presented to the adjuster for approval. 60 days is a very short time to have the voc rehab counselor test your skills and to determine whether you are likely to be successful in a particular training program.  And 60 days is a short time for you to investigate and actually visit various schools that have training programs. An injured worker who thinks that he will not be going back to his preaccident employer due to a permanent injury, must start thinking about retraining options as soon as possible.

At the end of the retraining program, the injured worker is given only 28 days of additional benefits while the worker searches for a job in her new field.  The voc rehab counselor, and the school providing the retraining, should both be helping the injured worker to find new employment.  However, 28 days is a short time to find work in this economy.   I advise my client to think ahead and plan for the job search now.    Look at this old CNN post on on  "10 Reasons You Can’t Find a Job".   Those clients of mine who have a written plan for finding a job in a notebook are ultimately successful.  Those clients who do not write down their efforts, what they intend to do each day,  and who simply talk about job search efforts are not likely to find jobs.  

According to the Survivors Club, the skill of adaptability, or the ability to adjust to new situations and change your attitude and behavior to handle new challenges is a hallmark trait of a survivor.    Ben Sherwood, author of  best-selling book Survivors Club, says that it’s definitely possible to make changes in our attitudes and behaviors to develop new abilities to cope with adversity.  Looking for a job following a retraining program requires drawing on the psychological strengths common to the most effective survivors: adaptability, resilience, faith, hope, purpose, tenacity, love, empathy, intelligence, ingenuity, flow and instinct.   I encourage you to revisit their web site for more information on how to hone these strengths for your job search period.  Good luck to you.