Losing a job is traumatic, especially if it’s your first time through the meat slicer… and if your financial situation is already a tightrope walk.  Because the job-loss experience sabotages confidence, a support group can be made to order to rebuild self-confidence.  Internet support groups have both convenience advantages and privacy risks, which I’ll describe in a moment.

  • A support group is positive when it helps restore confidence and negative when it degenerates into a crying society.  Remember that Job #1 when you lose a job is getting a job.  Spending a lot of time with similarly out-of-work people may strengthen your feeling of moral outrage that you were unjustly fired.  It may also do nothing about your getting a job and might in fact amplify the unhealthy feelings that you are an unwanted, flawed human being.
  • Dr. Marc D. Feldman of the University of Alabama has “warned about sympathy-seekers who invade Internet support groups… People can invent or induce fictitious illnesses in themselves or others in order to gain sympathy.”  What holds true for illness-based alliances can afflict any sort of support group.  Often people who are either unaflicted or mildy affected will exhaust the group;s time and subvert its positive purposes.
  • As with internet-based communication, be conscious that anyone can be listening in–and that includes former employers and executive recruiters.

About the author Harvey Mackay

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

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