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Hello, this is Howard Fox, host of the Career Focus series on the Success InSight Podcast. I want to welcome you to Career focus Q and A.

Our guest today is Anita Jenke, the Executive Director of the Career Transition Center of Chicago. Anita joined us this year on the Career Focus Series for episode 87, which was published on October 25, 2021.

We received emails from individuals who listened to the episode and they had questions for Anita, who has been gracious to come back on the show and share her answers and insights with our listeners. Anita, welcome.


Glad to be back. Thanks for having me.


Fantastic. So Anita, here’s question number one, what are the top five to 10 things people need to do right away when they’re impacted by a job?


So I think the things that people think about right off the bat, or applying for unemployment, things like that, and I would urge you. When you find out, take a moment, take a breath. As soon as you find out, you’re typically going to be experiencing shock and panic. Maybe even exhilaration that this chapter’s over, maybe anger because you put in so many devoted hours, but I think it’s important to take a moment, take a breath and give yourself time to absorb it.

I think the next thing to do once you have your emotions under control, and that may not be on the same day, is start reaching out. Your self-esteem is probably going to take a bit of a hit having to say I’m unemployed, but I think it’s important that you reach out and let people know. And if it helps you to feel better, say, I’m in transition.

I think that can seem a softer way of introducing it rather than saying I’m unemployed. I think it’s important that you reach out to friends, family, and let them know so they can be there to support you. I think that people are going to understand, and there’s not going to be the judgment that we all fear.

So I think it’s important to reach out. The other thing that I would say is, take a minute to look at your finances, figure out what you’ve got to work with, and figure out a near-term and a long-term plan. Give some thought to your given industry, how long do you think it’ll take you to get back to work?

Let’s say worst-case scenario, six months. Think about what the next six months look like. What do you need to cut back on? What do you have in emergency savings? Could you tap into a loan? You know, your retirement fund, not your first option, but something to think about, and certainly do make sure that you apply for unemployment and just look at the totality to figure out what you’ve got to work with so that you can manage that financial anxiety.

Then the next thing I would say is to give some serious thought to investing, invest in your personal development. This is an excellent time to hire a career coach. Maybe start seeing a therapist. If your anxiety is off the charts, look at taking classes. There’s a lot of them online, free to up-skill, maybe reach out to a local government and look and see if you can get a WIA voucher to get up-skilled and retrained.

So do some preliminary things like this, and then ultimately, you know, within that first week, I’d recommend that you update your resume. Hopefully, you’ve been keeping it up to date regularly. And then begin thinking through your elevator pitch and your narrative. How things rolled out. It could be, you know, the pandemic, there was a restructuring totally understandable work on not being defensive and working, practicing it in a way that’s authentic.

What are your skills? What do you have to offer? What’s the backstory. Those are the six things that I think would be worth focusing on in order to get your house in order to prepare for the job search ahead.


Anita, thank you for that answer. And for joining us on Career Focus Q and A


My pleasure. Thank you.


Folks, you can learn more about Anita and the Career Transition Center of Chicago by visiting their website at

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The Career Focus Series on Success InSight is a Podcast Production of Fox Coaching, Inc.