Hill to address emotions tied to unemployment

by Britt Aamodt
Special to the Star News
Alan Hill couldn’t believe his ears. Wait, he could. Because he’d just heard it, hadn’t he? The sobering news that he, Alan Hill, was being laid off.

This was 2007, a good year before the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, which helped throw millions of Americans out of work and onto unemployment. Still, the effect was the same. Hill was out of a job and had to deal with it.

Not only did he have to deal with résumés and job interviews, he had to deal with a tidal wave of emotions.

“When you lose a job, you go through a grieving process: anger, denial, bargaining, feelings of loss and acceptance,” he says.

He went through them all, and now he’s talking to groups around Minnesota, spreading the message that it’s OK to be angry. And that, yes, John and Jane Unemployed, there is a job waiting for you.

Tuesday, Jan. 18, Hill will present a workshop, “Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster and Sitting in the First Car!”, at Rockwoods Grill in Otsego.

The workshop is free and open to everyone—unemployed, employed and the simply curious.

Hill will share stories from some of the thousands of clients he’s helped as résumé wizard and job counselor. He will also guide participants through exercises designed to put the brakes on the emotional roller coaster stemming from unemployment.

Hill’s workshop is just the first in a five-part series titled “Out of Work,” organized by ISD 728 Community Education with partnering sponsors.

“I wanted to see a series like this here,” says Jay Grammond, the Community Ed program manager who came up with the idea, “because, personally, I know a lot of people out of work, and they’ve been unemployed for a long time.”

Grammond patterned “Out of Work” off a similar series conceived by Edina Community Education. “The first time they presented the series, they had over 100 people every night.”

It was also important to Grammond that the workshops be free and reflect the concerns of long-term job seekers, such as budgets, health insurance, skills assessment and little-known resources for the unemployed.

Workshops will be held every other Tuesday through March 15. There is no need to pre-register, and participants can attend any or all sessions.

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