Life After Layoffs


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Conan O’Brien is losing his job at “The Tonight Show” — and walking away with $30 million dollars to ease the pain.

For millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in the Great Recession, there’s no such golden parachute. They’re laid off, out of work, and have to scramble.

A new documentary shows one group of workers scrambling to reinvent themselves after the axe falls. Looking out at the rough economy and into themselves. Taking lemons and trying to make lemonade.

It may be your story, too. This hour, On Point: reinventing careers, reinventing yourself, after the layoff.


Erik Proulx, writer and producer of the documentary “Lemonade.” After being laid off from his job as an advertising copywriter in the fall of 2008, he created a job-search site for recently unemployed advertising professionals called Please Feed The Animals.

Michelle Pfennighaus was laid off from her advertising job in March 2008 and is featured in “Lemonade.” She went on to establish her own business, Find Your Balance, offering holistic health counseling and yoga instruction.

Kevin Kearns also appears as one of the characters in “Lemonade.” He used to work full-time as a freelance advertising professional. When work slowed to a trickle in recent years, he gave up and became an artist. He now earns almost six figures selling his paintings in New York.

Pamela Mitchell, founder and CEO of The Reinvention Institute, which helps people find new careers and lives. She teaches classes, runs a career reinvention boot camp, and does group coaching around the country. She’s author of “The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention: Essential Survival Skills for Any Economy.”

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