Several of my friends were laid off. I started seeing signs that I might be next.
And I was next – my job was “going away”. That was 15 years ago. At the time, I was very angry. This is what I get after working hard for them for 17 years!! Over then next several months my emotions were all over the place. Just when I thought my confidence was back and things were smooth – BOOM, one small event would sweep it all away.
There were only two patterns to my emotions: 1) most were negative and 2) as time went on the percentage of positive ones slowly increased.
As you can imagine, I relied a lot on friends and family for emotional support. I am thankful to this day for all the support they gave in helping me through a very difficult time. Of all the advice I received, what my brother told me helped the most. He said, “What outcome do you want?” When he first asked me, I was puzzled…and asked him what he meant.
He said, well, you can apply for other jobs within the company – are there any you want?
No, all the ones I’m interested in are already filled.
Ok, he said, do you really enjoy the job that you’re losing?
Well, no, I’ve really kind of stalled out there.
Ok, so what outcome do you want?
Ahh…ok, I really want a job somewhere else where I can learn new things and be stretched.
Ok, well, then put all your energy into that.
It was such a simple question and such a direct approach. Just what I needed to cut through all the negative emotions and get me to be more action-oriented.
It’s ironic because at the time, losing my job seemed like the worst thing possible. In hindsight, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. As a result of losing that job I’ve:
- Grown professionally & grown even more personally
- Learned many new things
- Challenged myself to continue learning and growing
- Met new people, made new friends
- Have become even more “myself” than I was before
So, how about you? Have you had a experience that seemed like your world was crashing down, only to look back on it later as a positive one?