Readers have asked me to recommend books for people who are struggling with losing a job and finding new work. I consulted Laura Kasper, a Washington psychologist who works with clients on career and life-management issues. Here are her top recommendations.

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Readers have asked me to recommend books for people who are struggling with losing a job and finding new work. I consulted Laura Kasper, a Washington psychologist who works with clients on career and life-management issues. Here are her top recommendations.

Best overall

“Career Comeback: Eight Steps to Getting Back on Your Feet When You’re Fired, Laid Off, or Your Business Venture Has Failed — and Finding More Job Satisfaction Than Ever Before,” by Bradley Richardson (Broadway, 2004, $19).

Kasper recommended this book because it addresses each stage of the loss of a job, from negotiating the severance package, setting up financial and emotional support systems, and thinking about and taking the next steps. For someone who is having a tough time but feeling motivated and able to take steps to improve the situation, this is a good overall choice.

Best emotional recovery

“The Job Loss Recovery Guide: A Proven Program for Getting Back to Work — Fast!” by Lynn Joseph (New Harbinger Publications, 2003, $14.95).

Kasper recommended this for someone feeling unable to take the steps he or she knows are needed to recover, get support, get finances in shape and look for another job. The book includes practical, positive visualization exercises, which admittedly can be hard for someone dealing with these concerns.

Best legal and severance advice

“Fired, Laid Off or Forced Out: A Complete Guide to Severance, Benefits and Your Rights When You’re Starting Over,” by Richard C. Busse (Sphinx Publishing, 2005, $14.95).

This book is written by a lawyer who addresses legal issues related to pre-termination, termination, the process of negotiating severance and how to evaluate whether you might have a legal case against your employer. Kasper noted that there are a number of books with similar titles, but this is the most comprehensive and most recent.