Fired at 50

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Lynn Sherr
March 2010

Due to the current economic recession, many women who were well established in their careers are finding themselves laid off, abruptly cut off from careers they had built over decades. Often what they miss the most are the interpersonal connections they had made on the job, as women "are key in corporate team-building, and in the sense of community in the workplace. So when women lose a job, they—more than men—feel the loss of that connection with all these other people. They experience a sense of mourning, and they ask themselves, where else am I going to find such connections?" according to Judith V. Jordan. Women also tend to take being laid off more personally then men. Jordan adds, "When women fail they look at themselves and say, ‘What did I do wrong?’ And when they succeed, they say, ‘Oh, what a lucky break I had.’ Men are trained to feel exactly the opposite—when they succeed, it’s ‘I deserved it, I did it, I won that.’ And when they fail they attribute it to external factors or chance: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong; it was a bad situation.’"
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