Dear Shelly,

I was preparing to quit a job with which I had become completely disenchanted and dreaded going to every morning. But before I could get ready to hand in my two-week notice, I was laid off. Financially, this proved to be a bit of a boon since I got severance, which wouldn't have been the case had I quit. However, psychologically, them letting me go really has me down in the dumps even if I don't want the job back; it's like they took away my power to tell them to shove it and put me at their mercy.

Anyhow, as a result of this, I've been really sluggish with regards to going out and getting another job and the temp situation hasn't really yielded anything worthwhile and I'm running low on funds. I'm just too disheartened to even look for something else. How do I get over the fact I got dumped by my job before I could dump them and get back into the job scene?

Pre-emptively Jilted

Dear Jilted,

Oh, how it sucks to get rejected when you were all set to do the rejecting. Oh, what a blow to the ego. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

However, do not undervalue severance pay. That's just cool, and like you said, you wouldn't have it if they hadn't acted to end your bad relationship before you did.

Honestly, I'm not all that fond of telling anyone to buck up, little cowboy, or explaining why you shouldn't feel like shit. You shouldn't, and you know you shouldn't, but it really doesn't matter what I say about that, you'll still feel it.

Here's what you do: You get yourself a cup of coffee, or tea if you're not a coffee person. You make a portfolio, or you drag out your resume. You fiddle around with it. You decide that today, you're going to send it out to at least one job you're qualified for. You do the same thing tomorrow. The third day, aim for five resumes sent out. You just have to make yourself do it, one step at a time. If you can't bring yourself to send it out today, at least open the file and look at it, and then search through ads and hilite or print out a few things. Make a list of organizations in your area that might be hiring, with an aim to searching their web pages tomorrow. Do these things, and it'll start to add up to a job search. Meanwhile, it doesn't hurt to keep doing your temp work and bring in the money, right?