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Have You Ever Experienced Layoff Survivor Guilt?

The job market has most of us who are still employed silently singing power ballads ("I'm not gon' stop (what), I'm gonna work harder (what), I'm a survivor!") and putting in extra effort to prove our abilities to our employers.

While making it through layoffs is reassuring, it isn't easy seeing your city empty as the job market worsens or the lights go out in the offices around you. Have you ever suffered a sense of guilt for still having a job and security after a co-worker, loved one or friend was laid off, or are you able to keep trucking along undisturbed?


Join The Conversation
luna08 luna08 8 years
My dad was a computer programmer through the early '90's, so my childhood played to the rhythm of lay-offs! One of the bad effects is that I practically have a seizure at the word "recession", the good effects is that I realize how arbitrary layoffs and downsizing is, and that no matter how bad the economy is, it is never frozen. People still get jobs, raises and promotions. Spectra, SO true. I hate when I get the "stink eye" because I can still go/do things. I want to say "Well, I don't buy gourmet lunches everyday, have an expensive cell or cable plan, or upgrade my car every year. So, yes I can go to London this year." "Never mind that SOME PEOPLE have always been responsible with their money and actually live within their means, so they don't have to adjust their spending much to stay on their budget. " AMEN! :)
Amethyst Amethyst 8 years
I did feel guilty when a bunch of people were laid off but then I kept thinking about all the bills I have to pay, and my mortgage payments and that made the guilt go away. Also, there is no guarantee that I won't be laid off in the near future! I've been laid off before years ago and I doubt anyone shed tears for me.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i, too, am in a recession-proof job, so is my boyfriend, and so is my mom may get laid off eventually (she has survived so many layoffs in her company over the years but because it's hightech her time may come eventually)...but at least she's close to retiring and would get a good package and it wouldn't mean any major changes for my parents lifestyle because my dad is the main breadwinner anyway so i thank my lucky stars that we're all safe and i also don't need to change my habits during this recession i've never felt guilty, either
syako syako 8 years
Never mind that SOME PEOPLE have always been responsible with their money and actually live within their means, so they don't have to adjust their spending much to stay on their budget. :notworthy: So true.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Not necessarily guilt, but I do thank my lucky stars everyday I have a job when I see my flatmate. She was laid off about 8 months ago from a marketing position at a major mobile phone company and has applied to jobs since then left and right - with absolutely no luck. I can't imagine what it would feel like to be in her position, especially since she is a few years older than me and was quite established at that company.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I am suffering from huge survivor guilt right now. My position was recently cut, and I was able to bump a good friend out of her job & keep mine since I had a few more months of seniority. I will explode if one more person at the office snips at me, "At least you still have a job." What was I supposed to do? Quit?
Spectra Spectra 8 years
bunny--We've been dealing with the same "economic survivor" guilt as well. My husband's job is secure and so's mine, so we've been continuing to live exactly as we did before. Granted, we've never been extravagant or anything, but we're planning a big trip for our anniversary next year and we're going to be buying another vehicle within the next few months. If I mention this stuff to people, they always say "Wow, YOU'RE buying a lot of stuff lately!" or "Well, some people are trying to cut back and save nowdays". Never mind that SOME PEOPLE have always been responsible with their money and actually live within their means, so they don't have to adjust their spending much to stay on their budget.
bunnyOhare bunnyOhare 8 years
I also deal with a related issue of "economic survivor" guilt. My husband and I are comfortable financially but so many people we know are struggling - some through poor money management and others through no fault of their own in this economy. Just today, I refrained from joining in the "what did you do this weekend?" discussion at work because we went shopping and out to dinner all weekend and 2 of my coworkers were excited because they were able to spend $5 at Redbox for movies :(
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
No because I was already laid off before and recovered...
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Kind of. A lot of my family works in the insurance industry and my mom, who's been with the company for 25+ years, is now getting "reorganized" into a different position with less pay. It's possible that she will lose her job entirely. It's awkward for me because I'm in a very recession-proof job (healthcare) and no one is in danger of being downsized in our lab. It makes talking about money/jobs very touchy.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Yes, I have felt guilty and feel extremely lucky to be employed currently.
luna08 luna08 8 years
All I've ever felt is relief.
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