It's been about six months since Fortune profiled a group of unemployed people from all over the country in a cover story called 'The new jobless.' We decided to see how they're coping. The results may surprise you.
It's hard for Greg Dillon to believe it -- after being laid off twice in 18 months -- but all that suffering served a purpose. "I actually feel that I am in the best job of my life right now," he says, "and am grateful for the transition that got me here." Shortly after Fortune's cover story came out in February, Georgia Tech University offered Dillon a job as director of business development for the school's college of management. It's not as well paid as his previous post, but Dillon is happy to trade money for stability.
Dillon's lessons have been twofold: First, you have to be ready for change. "Job transition knowledge and skills may be critical to have," he says, "not just nice to have, for the foreseeable future." Second, although Dillon burned through his family's emergency fund, he values the time he had to focus on his family, his spirituality, and his health -- all of which got short shrift before. "If you make some positive changes," he says, "you can carry a better you into your new job. It's all determined by how we choose to react to our circumstances -- to get bitter, or to get better!"
NEXT: Anthony Singh: No luck, but staying upbeat