My personal journey began almost 30 years ago when my father, after over 30 years as an executive in manufacturing, was retired early by company owners who were moving their children into company leadership roles.
My professional career transitioned from the legal field into human resources when, seven years ago I was handed the task of collapsing via waves of layoffs a workforce I had helped build and nurture for 15 years. After three years of downsizing employee counts by more than half, my own job was outsourced to another state.
Simultaneously, members of my inner circle were losing their jobs. My husband’s company crumbled taking down a dream team that included our son and an incredibly gifted staff. My daughter-in-law’s former employer chose to include her in its next scheduled lay-off after she announced her pregnancy. There have been so many casualties from battles in the War on the Economy no one has gone unscathed.
Having lived with job loss from all sides, it has become a mission field for me now – helping and providing encouragement for the unemployed and those in job transition. As important, I help those blessed enough to be gainfully employed to ‘settle down’ into responsible workplace environments using practices and professional development that will better enable them to continue working and growing professionally.
So, what immediate advice do I lend to those who find themselves in the precarious spot of impending or post-partum job loss?
First: Accept the job loss and its transition as a reality. Many live in denial until the hammer falls and they are forced to react as opposed to being proactive with their professional career path. As we Morloks say, “It is what it is. DEAL with it!” Only YOU control the real power of your career.
Second: While it is easy to succumb into hosting personal pity parties, it isn’t wise to wallow or dwell there indefinitely. It’s a drag on your friends and family and serves no purpose in moving you forward. It IS okay to take a SMALL amount of time to process the change, the shock, the loss. Acknowledge it. See it as an opportunity, not a curse, and move through it. Job loss is not a personal indictment on your value as a human being or your contributions to the world.
Third: Hit the RESET button. Realize this chapter and book of your life is complete. It’s time start writing a new one with a new title on a new mission field providing a service or meeting a need elsewhere. There are plenty of needs and opportunities for service. It’s your new job to connect with those.
Fourth: Refrain from cocooning yourself into your home. A sense of community is never more important than when you have lost a community of people you worked with daily. Get out of the house EVERY DAY and go do something. Walk. Volunteer. Meet someone for lunch. NETWORK. While your self-confidence is likely shot, nursing it in the privacy of your home only causes it to diminish even further.
Finally, connect with The 5 P’s: positive, practical, proactive, productive, professionals. “You will be inspired, motivated, and even shaped by the attributes of the people you spend the greatest amount of time with. By associating with good people who share your same vision, you (and they) are perfectly positioned to collaborate and leverage one another’s unique talents and assets effectively should the opportunity arise,” Richie Norton. If you are fortunate to have an organization (like C3 Career Care) in your community that specializes in outplacement and career transition services, USE IT. Don’t be fooled into believing you cannot afford it.
An organized job search shared in community with others of similar circumstances moves you much more quickly and successfully through job loss and transition than trying to go it alone. “Asking is the beginning of receiving.” – Jim Rohn
Two-thirds of the word ‘career’ is C-A-R-E. “When love and skill come together, expect a masterpiece,” (John Rushcan).
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~
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