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I got laid off at 51...

the first time. The company laid off everyone over 50. I ended up working another 16 years. You are hardly washed up at 40. You have more experience and should know things 20 year olds don't that would make you more valuable to the right employer.

I had to take a lower paying job when I left my first employer, but eventually worked my way up to really good pay ( over 6 figures). Unless you are a big name CEO type, you may have to work your way up again. You probably shouldn't have quit your job until you had another lined up. It is easier to get a job when you are employed than unemployed.

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