I find myself in the new and uncomfortable position of being unemployed at age 56. The company I had worked for the past 11 years surprisingly did a large “RIF” in the US last week, even though there had been no indication of financial problems. It seems that quite a few of the US jobs lost are offset by the build-up of an R&D center in another country.
I’m fortunate to have six months of severance and some outplacement services provided by the company. I’ve been busy networking through LinkedIn, getting recommendations, learning what government benefits are available, going to local job search and networking functions, working on my resume, and meeting with my financial advisor. After March 1 I can start the outplacement services.
My feelings are different than I expected – less fear than I would expect at my age in this challenging job market, and more excitement. I think I was getting really stagnant at a job with nowhere to go as a next career step, even though I continued to learn new things. I’m eager to see which doors will open before me.