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Tales of a Displaced Worker — Now Available in Audiobook

In January 2020, I self-published a book that chronicled my experience after the college where I worked suddenly closed. It was a labor of love to document this experience, which left me unemployed for three years.

Honestly, that experience shaped me then and continues to impact me today. So much so, that I decided to leave my original field of higher education after much soul-searching.

But as a lifelong educator, I still felt it was important to teach others based on my experiences. The book, Tales of a Displaced Worker, recounts the impact of the college closure, the awkward encounters with colleagues in my field, and preparing for interviews when you experience a devastating crisis.

Of course, three months after I published the book, the world experienced a pandemic that also left many people without a job and wading in the world of looking for work due to external circumstances.

From the Foreword to Tales of a Displaced Worker

I really hope you didn’t just get the news that your college is about to close. That kind of news isn’t easy to face. I know this from personal experience.

I knew I wasn’t alone, and even now I hear about other people who have gone through this experience in the past. But the future of higher education is changing and we need to be prepared with more skills than stories.

This book isn’t going to cover the nuances of institutional closure or place blame on why institutions are closing — other authors can cover those topics. It also won’t focus on the needs of the college students affected, as I believe that college students are much more resilient as young adults to manage that type of change better than more established older adults and there are typically safety nets to ensure that they have as smooth a transition as possible.

I am going to focus on my journey from the time of the announcement and what I wish I had been advised to do in the weeks leading to and the weeks and months immediately following the closure. I plan to speak of the staff that was and continues to be an inspiration for values-centered leadership. And this book will provide practical ways to deal with the closure, from how to continue to be part of your professional community to dealing with the job-loss grief that you may experience.

Table of Contents for Tales of a Displaced Worker

  • Chapter One: The kids will be alright
  • Chapter Two: Review your resume and other immediate job search needs
  • Chapter Three: Prepare for awkward and invasive questions, and find peace in the job search
  • Chapter Four: Develop answers to the “where do you work” questions and other personal, triggering questions at professional events
  • Chapter Five: Give yourself permission to grieve
  • Chapter Six: Maintain your tribe
  • Chapter Seven: You are going to be alright
  • Chapter Eight: The unfinished tale of a displaced worker

Available on the Following Platforms

The book is currently available on the following platforms:

Also Available on Audiobook

The book is now available on Google Play as an audiobook!

Joseph Rios, Ed.D., publishes on Medium three times a week; follow him here to get each post in your email — and if you’re not a Medium member, you can join here.

Joseph works in non-profit workforce development, after 20 years working in higher education administration. He has a background in diversity, equity, and inclusion education, professional development, training, and leadership development. He’s the author of Tales of a Displaced Worker and The SAGA Facilitation Model.




“How Come No One Ever Told Me” is about lessons learned in life that no one ever told me but need to be shared.

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Joseph Rios EdD

Joseph Rios EdD

I believe leadership is the expression of values. Career Coach | Educator | Writer | Social Justice Advocate | Trainer.

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