Unemployment: Getting past the loss

“So, you have lost your job. What else have you lost when losing your job?” This was a question I asked of those attending the “Living through Job Loss” workshops I facilitated at the WorkSource Kitsap County office. It was not unusual for each class to fill 3-4 butcher-paper sheets documenting their losses. I found it sobering to hear of all the various losses, losses that may not have been obvious.

So what were those losses shared by many?

• My sense of trust
• My self-esteem
• My purpose in life
• My sense of happiness
• My sense of certainty
• My career
• My income
• My health insurance
• The social network of those I worked with
• My entire savings
• My daily routine
• My optimism
• My dignity
• My understanding of who I am

I will never forget the response from one individual. The individual said, “I lost my job. I lost my home. I lost my family.”

So what do these losses have to do with performance? What was shared in those WorkSource workshops grounds me in the work I do as a System Performance Analyst with the Employment Security Department. The real life losses remind me of why I get up in the morning and come to work. Simply stated, it is to do my part to help individuals find jobs.  This, in turn, may help them regain some of the things they lost.

For many individuals, the topic of performance can be a turnoff. Throw up a bunch of performance numbers or charts, and it’s a good way to cure insomnia. My goal will be to share with you topics related to performance that will wake you up rather than put you to sleep. Please let me know if I do or don’t succeed.

David J.S. Walter, Senior System Performance Analyst, Employment Security Department

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