Coping Together continued...
Hemming, 33, says she started the parties after realizing that
people would feel better about themselves if they got together to share their
experiences. She worked for the online magazine POV until it went under
two years ago, and now she runs The Hired Guns, a marketing consulting firm.
She is also writing a book on coping with job loss in the post-tech-bubble
Hemming says while many displaced dot-commers have moved on and
are coping well, others are struggling with anxieties and self-doubt.
"Some people do take it extremely personally, even if they
are laid off because of a company closure," she says. "They go into a
state of what I call pink-slip paralysis. It is a psychological feeling that
has everything to do with inertia. Here in New York it is so easy for people to
go home to their tiny study apartments, pull down the shades, turn on the TV,
and shut the world out."
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
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.