Job Loss: A Hero’s Journey
The number of people who have suffered job loss is massive, including almost 50 per cent who are forced to retire earlier than expected. Who hasn’t been or isn’t close to someone who has experienced the psychological effects of job loss? It is an emotional roller coaster of denial, bargaining, anger and sadness. In addition, this emotional impact is compounded by feelings of shame, anxiety and loss of life structure, community and meaning. It is so devastating that it has been called a “living death.”
However, this loss and suffering has a purpose—to provide a vehicle for an existential understanding that self-worth is not dependent on one’s career alone. I understand this because I have witnessed it many times during my 30-year career as an international executive, CEO, and Corporate Director—and also because I have experienced it myself. In 1999, while I was President of Compaq Canada, The National Post named me one of the top 100 business people in Canada. In 2000, I was fired. Reeling from job loss, I reassessed my life, completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology at UBC, and launched a second career as a Psychotherapist specializing in career counselling.
Motivated by the clients I have helped to overcome job loss and driven by the many, many others who are suffering, I have written Job Loss: A Hero’s Journey. In my book, I draw on my own experience and that of research participants and clients, as well as the work of Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning), Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and other subject-matter experts, to identify the common denominators that help to bring a person back from the emotional trauma of job loss to an even greater level of self-esteem and life purpose. Taking control, acceptance, transfer of meaning, and trauma’s positive growth are the silver lining that lifts a person to a complete sense of self and life.
Job Loss: A Hero’s Journey
(To be published in the fall of 2020)
Peter Ciceri is an accomplished international executive, CEO and Corporate Director with over thirty year’s business experience across forty countries. As the President of Compaq Canada in 1999, National Post rated him as one of the top 100 business people in Canada. A year later he was fired without cause. Reeling from the loss, Peter reassessed his life, followed his passion, and completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University of BC and began the second half of his life as Psychotherapist and Career Counsellor.
We define ourselves in large part by our career so it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that involuntary job loss can so traumatic that it has been called “A Living Death”. Peter’s experience inspired him to conduct his graduate work on the emotional impact of job loss and through the stories of his research participants, Peter identified how one can successfully manage the loss, rebuild their self-esteem, rediscover their personal meaning and rebuild their life. After working with many clients who have made the transition of job loss, Peter is combining his research and experience into a book – “Job Loss: A Hero’s Journey”.
Job loss is an emotional roller coaster of denial, bargaining, anger, and sadness, but the trauma is compounded by feelings of shame, anxiety, loss of life structure, attachment and meaning. However, this loss and suffering has a purpose – to provide a vehicle for an existential understanding that one’s self-worth is not dependent on career alone. With a platform of authentic self-esteem, the book identifies those common elements, such as taking control, acceptance, transfer of meaning and ultimately trauma’s positive growth is the silver lining that lifts a person to a complete sense of self and life.
The number of people who have suffered job loss is massive – including almost 50% of retirees who are forced to retire earlier than expected. Who hasn’t been, or is close to someone who has experienced the long-term psychological effects from job loss. However, there is an absence of published work that provides a thorough understanding of the intense emotional journey of loss and the resurrection of personal meaning and self-esteem.
Joseph Campbell’s motif of the Hero’s Journey “Call to Adventure” (the termination), “Initiation” (the many challenges) and “Return” (post traumatic growth & success) provides the framework for a book which identifies the themes and common denominators that help to bring a person back from the emotional trauma of job loss to an even greater level of self-esteem and life purpose. The book also draws from Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning) and other experts such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (On Death and Dying) and Richard Rohr (Falling Upward), which provide a broad and thoughtful basis for the emotional passage of career transition.
Authentic, deeply personal, engaging and informative, the book draws on Peter’s experience as well as that of the research participants, his clients and thought leaders. This book is not a typical career self-help book. “Job Loss: A Hero’s Journey” provides powerful and meaningful insights that will help potentially thousands of people facing the challenge of rebuilding their lives following the trauma of job loss.
Job Loss: A Hero’s Journey is slated for publication in 2020. Contact me for more details.