First-time Stint at Unemployment at Age 40

I have worked for the same company for 21 years as a sales rep,same boss for 20 years (new boss last year) traveled extensively, I am in my mid 40’s,single male (forgot to get married!) have done pretty good for not having a degree, well here is where I ask I wonder what Penelop would do.

I believe I am about to be let go, fired, laid off what ever you want to call it,and some days I am fine with it as I think change would be good, but on the other hand I am SCARED to death! I wake up at night with the horrible thought on my mind, what will I do!? I recently bought a house (first time buyer) have a company car, 401k, insurance etc. and the economy in southern california is terrible in the inland empire, I sort of have like a panic attack but then I try and calm myself down, then I am fine for a while and I think well, I better start to get a plan together….. but I have no clue.

3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    This will be great for you. You need to get married — what are you doing with your life? You’ve been married to your company. You’ll be much happier married to a person.

    Go buy a car right now. So you don’t need to fear the loss of the company car. Buy a cheap car. Downsize your expenses as much as possible. Then hire a career coach to help you write your resume (I’m assuming you haven’t written one in a while – -it will be a challenge and you’ll do a lot better with help.)

    Also, don’t worry about not having the degree. It doesn’t matter at all at this point in your career. you’ve proven yourself. Just dont’ even talk about it.

    The part where you are scared is good for you. It’s a growing time and you will feel much more self-confident and independent once you get through this time.


  2. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    There are some things you’ve said here that remind me of myself.
    I agree with Penelope’s advice. Also I would recommend that you should take an active role in the management of your career rather than allowing your company to do it for you. I wish I had taken that advice for myself many years ago.

  3. mysticaltyger
    mysticaltyger says:

    I agree with what Penelope said. I’d also like to add that if you live a frugal lifestyle, a spell of unemployment is a lot less scary. It’s hard to say from the post, but if our poster is a typical American, he’s treated savings as an afterthought. We need to start asking ourselves: “How long can I live without a paycheck?”.

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