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High-Tech Unemployment

Pink-Slip Parties

Should Have Seen It Coming

San Francisco therapist Joan DiFuria specializes in counseling tech-sector executives dealing with sudden wealth. But these days many of her clients are facing the sudden loss of that wealth.


Though many have lost millions in stocks and stock options, she says she is seeing more resilience than despair.


"Some feel that the money wasn't theirs anyway. That it came too easily," she says. "And there is the sense that 'I blew it, but I can make it back.'"


As a group, she says, those in their 20s and early-to-mid 30s appear to be coping better than those over 35 who are more likely to have families to support and more experience with job loss.


"The younger ones have the energy and drive, and the sense that they can come back and do it again," she says. "Many of the 29-year-olds that I see are going back to school. They are going back for the MBAs that didn't seem important before, realizing that they need more substantial resumes."


Older workers are more likely to experience depression, self-doubt, and fear, DiFuria says. They are more hesitant to take the next step and are more likely to blame themselves for their failures.


"There is a lot of second-guessing and Monday-morning quarterbacking," she says. "People in their 40s and 50s who have had tremendous successes and have fallen are more likely to feel responsible. There is a sense that they should have seen it coming and should have gotten out sooner. There is a lot more fear and a lot more humility."


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