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Downsizing, realignment, and closure of military bases have forced many low-skilled, blue-collar federal employees into involuntary job loss and job transition. The impact of involuntary job loss on blue-collar workers has been linked to stress and other adverse psychological effects. There is gap in the literature regarding the lived experiences of federal blue-collar employees following downsizing of military bases. The purpose of this qualitative, interpretive phenomenological study was to examine lived experiences of job loss and job transition for federal blue-collar employees following downsizing of military bases. Schlossberg’s transition theory provided a conceptual framework for the study. Ten ex-federal blue-collar employees were recruited through purposeful sampling and interviewed using a semistructured interview strategy. The modified Moustakas and Stevick-Coliazzi-Keen method of analysis was used to analyze the data and report emergent themes. The following 7 themes emerged from the data: transition was associated with negative feelings, employer was unprepared for transition process, support provided by employer, emotional support from family and significant others, engaged in other activities, accepted the transition process, and drew motivation from family. The findings from this study may contribute to positive social change by providing important information that human resource managers, industrial/organizational psychologists, and government agencies can use to advocate for the need for developing programs that support civilian job transition services to individuals who are affected by federal downsizing.
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