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Regrowing Roots

Here are ways to build a new self when your professional life has been uprooted

Artistic image of tree

Deedee Cheriel

After losing a job in an industry in decline, Jill Herzig came up with a plan for moving forward with her life and career.

It’s one thing to lose a job, but it’s another level of terror to lose an industry. Veteran magazine editor Jill Herzig had gone through her career checking off all the boxes: She got a degree from Yale, then scaled up the mastheads at titans of American magazine publishing, with jobs at Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Glamour, among others. But as she rose, her industry was melting down. From 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by nearly a quarter. And one day, the headline read: “Dr. Oz: The Good Life Cuts Frequency, Guts Staff.” Ouch. Herzig had been the magazine’s editor-in-chief. “I was nearing 50 when I was hip-checked out of a job and out of an industry,” she recalls. “There were so many people losing jobs that we couldn’t help each other in the way we could have otherwise. It was like a lifeboat struggle.” Luckily, she had been careful financially and was OK in that department, so for Herzig, the more stressful question was: If I have one or two more career moves left in me, what are they going to be? “I’d say it was about three months of grappling emotionally with that sense o …

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Kathryn Drury Wagner

Spirituality & Health’s Wellbeing Editor, Kathryn Drury Wagner, is based in...

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