The past 9 months have been a challenging time of change and transformation in my life. It all began in June last year when I found out that my dad had been diagnosed with several types of stage 4 cancer. One week later, I found out that my job of 22+ years was being eliminated. Fast forward to the end of July - I spent my "final day of work" in the ICU with my father and the following day, he passed away. (Not a very inspiring or uplifting way to start a blog post, I realize that. But it's important context for the rest of what I'm about to share.)
It's said that the Top 5 Life Stressors include: death of loved one, divorce, moving, major illness or injury and job loss. Here I was experiencing TWO of those right on top of one another. WOW!
The truth is, those few weeks were quite a blur. However, in the midst of everything, I was somehow able to shift my mindset enough to realize that my job loss provided me with two unexpected opportunities:
A blank slate and an opportunity to pause and truly think about what I wanted to do next career wise (which was both scary and exciting to think about).
Time to spend with my father in his final days and with my family in the weeks that followed his passing (which I'll forever be thankful for).
All of this was the inspiration for starting up my own life and leadership coaching business last August - Energetic Transformations, LLC.
I have a strong belief that we experience what we do in life for a reason and that if we can use those experiences to help others when they're facing similar challenges, it makes what we've been through (our journey) more worthwhile. It's about sharing the perspective we gained and the tips we've learned and to help others make the necessary connections to work through what they're going through. And if we can make it any easier on them than what we experienced going it alone, then that's what it's all about. This is precisely why I've chosen to dedicate my focus to supporting those who've been laid off as they navigate the steps to get back to wholeness in their lives and careers (whatever that might mean to them at this point in time).
On Easter Sunday as I sat in church, I heard a few words that really brought me back to reflect on the past 9 months of my life. Those words were: "Sorrow gives way to fear and great joy." It reminded me that we all go through times of darkness, uncertainty and difficulty. However, at some point, we reach the other side of the pain, sadness and struggles.
The message went on to ask us if we've ever experienced BOTH of those emotions at the same time - fear AND great joy. It made me think about the perspective we might have when we lose a job. There will be fear over many things (finances, health benefits, etc.), but there can also be great joy at the opportunity of a blank slate for a fresh start and in many times finding something EVEN BETTER than what you had before! In time, there will even be some joy in the "days off" until you find employment again - I've heard many feeling proud of tackling long overdue tasks on their to-do lists, spending more time with their kids and spouse and others simply finding peace in slowing life down a bit.
For me, the phrase "fear and great joy" immediately made me think about how I stepped out and did something I never in a million years thought I would do - starting up my own business. There are times when feelings of fear creep back in at the thought of the path I've chosen which won't be an easy one. But there is also GREAT JOY when I think about all of the people that I will be honored to meet and work with along the way and hopefully help through the experiences I've had in my personal journey.
I was finally able to see clearly in that moment when I heard the words "fear and great joy" that the past 9 months of my life and all of what I've experienced have been preparation for what comes next. As we fully step into springtime, this is truly the BEGINNING of a new and exciting phase in my life and career.
One final note - if you're currently navigating life after a job loss, please reach out; if you know someone else who is, please share my website with them. I'm here to provide support - anything from updating resumes and providing interview preparation to guiding individuals through finding their competitive edge against other candidates and their purpose and passion when considering what they want to do next in their lives and careers.