Coping with Loss of Stature

Posted by on Apr 1, 2008 in Success!Ezine For You



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2008

In this age of continuous downsizing, many professionals who thought they’d be retiring with the coveted gold watch are finding that they’re being given the boot at the height of their careers instead. You have every reason to feel depressed about this and have a lot of company throughout the country. Though you’re told not to take it personally, it’s hard not to when your very identify is tied up in the position you used to hold. But, like the Phoenix that arises from the ashes, you can too – just start taking steps to avoid being permanently consumed by the despair of loss of stature and professional esteem.

  • Accept the Loss

Bummer though it may be, you must come to terms with the fact that success as you used to know it is over. Let it go. Look fondly on the good times that you had in the past and cherish those memories. For whatever the reason – job cuts, performance problems, or other issues – that ride is over now. It serves no good purpose to dwell on the reason for the ending – though it is important to acknowledge any missteps. Learn from them. Resolve not to repeat them. Then move on.

  • Identify a New Path

Losses provide an opportunity for new beginnings so take time to reflect upon where you’ve been, where you are at this point in your life, and where you’d like to go next. Do your homework. Take time to reflect. What are your interests? What matters most to you now? Were you too locked into the job before and want to have more time for yourself or relationships now? Do you want to stay in the same line of work? Do something different? Something totally new? What will you have to do to head out in a new direction? This is an opportunity to shift course. Chart the path. Take advantage of available professional development training, job search services, or business planning resources out there to help you. Mobilize the requisite skills. Then take flight!

  • Keep Your Chin Up!

Career losses and set-backs can be extremely daunting and demoralizing. They can sap you of your energy and blunt enthusiasm. Particularly when you were a powerbroker before and now it’s tough to get people to even return your calls. Yes, their memories are short and they seem to have forgotten all you did to help them. And, yes, you now have to do without many of the perks and privileges you used to enjoy that were part of your image in the community. But it’s a fact that attitude has everything to do with how you bounce back, so marshal the confidence that you will rise above it all and that you will come out ahead. You likely overstayed your time in your old position and the current change forces you to move into a new role that’s better suited for your talents and abilities. So don’t fear change and the unknown. Embrace the future and enjoy who you are yet to become!

Loss of professional stature is disconcerting and depressing but it’s not the end of the world. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a while, but don’t linger. Re-activate the same attitudes and behaviors that propelled your career before, remind yourself that you’re a winner,and get back in the saddle for your next great ride!


About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

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