Hallmark “Job Loss” Cards…a Sign of the Times.

In September of 2011 Hallmark released a new line of six greeting cards that specifically addressed job loss and the recession. Some were humorous, while others offered some sensitive words of encouragement. The company said customers called-in the need and the cards sold very well.

At the time the unemployment rate was holding steady at 9.1 percent – which translates to 14 million people – there’s a good chance you knew someone out of work.

This month the Department of Labor announced the unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent in July, matching the lowest rate in nearly six years. But that was mainly due to the fact that 64,000 people gave up looking for work, taking themselves out of the ranks of the officially unemployed.

The report went on to say much of the job growth has been due to illegal immigrants joining the workforce…I think the economy is still in the tank and many of my friends are either unemployed or woefully underemployed. The underemployed workforce is a number that is rarely spoken of but is now showing up in the stats…The mean income in the USA has gone down from nearly $36,000 to approximately $34,000.

Hallmark better keep creating those cards!

One of the Hallmark 2011 cards read,¬†“Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time out between stupid bosses.”

Another card read, “Sorry you lost your job, but please remember your job is not who you are. You have many great qualities, and that’s what really matters. Until someone realizes your unique abilities, I hope you’ll take pride in all you’ve accomplished and realize how much you have yet to give.”

As the card says your job is “not” who you are. I think we often attach too much weight to who we are by what we do for a living. That is harder to do when your new job pays less with less benefits, often includes no healthcare, and perhaps is even in a lower level position.

Going the humorous route – depending on how you know the person – may be the best way of helping people talk about it. Anyway you look at it job loss is a sensitive issue so think carefully before you slip one of these cards in the mail.