Today’s National Law Journal takes an interesting look a the mental and emotional health of recently laid off attorneys. Quite obviously, people lose a lot more than a paycheck when they lose their job:
For the first time in their lives, many of these lawyers are struggling with a profound feeling of failure. And while they acknowledge that their troubles are just a part of the jobless scene nationwide, such perspective provides little comfort for these high achievers who are grappling with a loss of purpose and direction.
It’s important to keep perspective during these tough times. We are talking about temporary setbacks, not ultimate failures. But even “temporary” depression is difficult to deal with:
In October, [Scott] Chait was let go from New York’s Wagner Davis, where his work focused on real estate transactions. A 2006 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, he is collecting unemployment and has moved in with his parents in New Jersey. Without providing specific numbers, Chait, 31, said he is burdened with “a full debt load.” Rigorous workouts help keep his spirits up, he said. “It feeds the need inside me.”
He describes himself as competitive, with a “Type A” personality, and said that critical to his daily routine is not sleeping in. He spends much of his day looking for jobs on employment Web sites. He also goes to his synagogue every morning. “I get a lot of positive enforcement,” he said.
Are there good coping mechanisms out there unemployed attorneys should be looking at? A psychologist weighs in after the jump.