Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. — Og Mandino
It happens. You go into work and you get “whacked”. Fired. Laid-off. Downsized”. You lose your job – sometimes in true “Sopranos'” style. At least in the Sopranos, you might have a nice dinner first with a glass of wine – then you are whacked.
Has this happened to you – or someone you know?
It is a very difficult moment for sure. You feel, at first, relieved, energized to a degree. Then harsh reality sets in with a good dose of fear. Fear that can immobilize you. That can stop you
dead in your tracks. That is, if you let it.
My advice and counsel to you in this situation: This is just a passing in time. It will be better. It will just take a bit of time to sort it all out, so embrace your situation and then move on. You will be fine. You can grow – if you allow yourself to. You can do what you truly want to do – if you give yourself “permission” in your mind and heart.
Being faced with this situation is a life experience you would rather forget. You spend 80 percent of your waking life engaged in work of some sort. But then it changes, no fault of your own. Businesses downsize. They change direction. People are shed. It hurts, but it is business, not personal, so resist the temptation to lash out or find your boss and run that person over with a truck! (I’m just kidding, of course!)
Time to turn lemons into lemonade
You have two choices when faced with this personal and career defining moment:
First choice: Wallow in pity. Not a good choice.
Best choice: Make this career-defining change the best day of your life.
Give yourself “internal permission” to change and move on to bigger and better things. Look at this as a time to make the lemonade, drive to succeed and re-engage by:
Changing your mindset – from grief to opportunity. Seek new opportunities; don’t dwell in the past (because you can’t change it no matter how hard you try).
Connecting with your network – friends, business associates, acquaintances. Buy lots of coffees. Tell your story and what you want to do next.
Getting organized – get your “tools” in place: your resume, your contact list, your “pitch” and your target of what you really want to do. So important!
Getting physical. A tuned body leads to a tuned mind. Set personal physical goals – write them down – and achieve them.
Get out of your PJ’s. Get off the couch. Connect. Meet. Lunch. Get off the computer. Connect face-to-face.
Dress everyday like you are going to work. Your mind will be in the right place.
Celebrate small wins – a great new contact, an interview. Don’t just wait to celebrate – celebrate every hurdle you pass over. You will feel great, and you will be prepped for the next hurdle.
In short, take this opportunity to redefine yourself – to do what you love and pursue success. The “whack” is hard for sure. But this is a defining moment in your life. Make it the best, Make yourself proud. Be all you can be. Enjoy the lemonade!
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. You can reach him at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.next-act.com.