Each and every day, I see more and more news of layoffs. Sometimes it’s large numbers of individuals from one company; other times, it’s a few people from various organizations. And while we’ve unfortunately gotten used to hearing this news and are often told in the world of business that this is a “normal occurrence” and “not to be taken personally,” for those it happens to (and for their families who rely on their income, benefits, etc.), it’s neither a normal day in their life nor easy to process or come to terms with.
Why Am I Writing This Post? Losing a job was always one of my very worst fears in life – and six months ago, I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience it firsthand. As with anyone struggling with a loss, my first reaction was “denial” over what had happened – it all seemed surreal and life felt completely out of my control. So what did I do? I spent a day or so rapid-firing applications to as many jobs as I could find that I qualified for. Many others who’ve been through loss of a job likely have a very similar story to tell.
However, by about day three after the news, that’s when the MAGIC happened. I thought about a podcast that I had heard a few weeks prior where the guest being interviewed spoke about needing to make a major pivot in her career, in her case, due to extreme burnout. She spoke of taking a PAUSE to really reflect on who she was and what she wanted to do next. That resonated with me so much. So I PAUSED and flipped my mindset from FINDING A JOB to replace the one I lost to IDENTIFYING WHAT I WAS MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT and WHAT GAVE ME A STRONG SENSE OF PURPOSE and chasing after THAT instead.
That PAUSE made all of the difference in the world for me. In that space of slowing down, I began to make intentional decisions about what I wanted to do next, not out of necessity and fear, but out of hope and excitement. I began to figure out steps to get what I wanted next in life and in my career. In that moment, I began to honor myself for all that I had to offer and for the unique skills and approach that I bring to this world.
I share this to say that for ANYONE reading this who has been impacted by job loss – whether it was sudden and has already happened or it’s an upcoming job loss that you know will be happening in the near future – that YOU OWE YOURSELF THE PAUSE. Take time, even if only a few days, to really think about what FEEDS YOUR SOUL, WHAT WORK YOU LOVE, WHAT PURPOSE YOU WISH TO FULFILL in this world and in your life and career. Then once you have figured out what that looks like, only then, begin to plan out your next steps toward your new vision and goals.
I’m not one to typically share such a private experience publicly like this; however, I feel a nudge from the universe (and from a dear former colleague and friend) to write this post. Afterall, if I went through it, the best way that I can make it a positive in my life is to use my experience and learnings to help others through it too. And if you aren’t sure where to get started on TAKING A PAUSE, I would be honored to help you navigate that process. Please connect with me via LinkedIn or my website (www.et4u.org) anytime!
And even if we don’t connect, I wish you all the best as you figure out the next steps in your life and career journey. Just remember to pay it forward and help someone else once you reach the other side.