When we lose our jobs, most of us go into ‘deer in the headlights’ mode. Even if we know it’s coming, we still freak out. For those of us who are actively managing the change; the emotional transition, while difficult, doesn’t slow us down.
For those who choose, and yes I use the word choose, to ignore the realities of the economy and our ability to earn a living; you will get no sympathy from me. Each of us is responsible for our own careers. Whatever has happened in the past, no matter how long you’ve worked for your current employer; you still need to face the facts. Employment security is a thing of the past.
After I was laid off, I made a decision to actively network with 5 to 10 people a week. When I would meet with a new contact, many of whom were employed, I would tell them how much I enjoyed looking for a new job. Their mouths would drop open. They simply could not understand how someone could enjoy what they considered to be an “ego-deflating”, “unnerving” and “unrewarding” process. I completely disagree that finding a new way to use my skills, learn new things and make a positive contribution to our society (oh yeah, and pay the bills) is unrewarding. It’s cool. So I suggest that people, no matter how unsettled you are, to get up and take action. If you’re not sure what to do, ask someone. Here’s some great advice from Chris Brogan on ‘getting on with it.’
I always believe (because it’s in my best interest to) that whatever I do next will be better than I could imagine. This isn’t just a Pollyanna attitude; it’s a way of living life. There’s a saying, “Fake it ’til you make it.” Wise advice.
I don’t have to be certain of what the next phase of my life will be. I only have to believe that, whatever it is; it will be good. And it starts today. I don’t have one minute to waste on negative energy. What will it take for you to truly believe that job hunting is cool?
Chris BigelowNovember 17, 2009
Great observations, Deb. Attitude is everything in the job search – and in life in general. I’m a glass is half full kinda guy – I tell my wife I’m a pathological optimist :-).
I’m not sure I’d call job search “cool,” but it has certainly been interesting: I’ve met wonderful people I otherwise would never have met and learned things (around social media and Web 2.0) I never would have learned.
Like you, I’m looking forward to my next company and the opportunity to learn new things while improving the profitability of their manufacturing operations.
Michele HeineNovember 17, 2009
I so agree with what you are saying. I’ve really enjoyed my time in the Hallway. There are so many things I wouldn’t have learned, so many people I wouldn’t have met, so many companies I wouldn’t have learned about if not for my time in transition. I’m a better person for it.
DeborahNovember 17, 2009
Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. Meeting wonderful people that you never would have met and learning things you never would have learned sounds cool to me.
I want to hang around all the pathological optimists I can. It rubs off!
DeborahNovember 17, 2009
Hi Michele, And now we have your blog moneyforstuff and your wonderful, positive attitude. Cheers my friend, thanks for your comment. Deb
Cynthia BartonNovember 18, 2009
Hi Deb; I have to concur with your thoughts on making change in our lives, and finding our non-traditional employment paths rewarding. Our layoffs have in fact produced the opportunity to take new risks, dig deep, and find or rediscover passions and past-times that we had long forgotten. Your help and insight was my first step into getting a handle on Social Media Marketing. Your positive attitude was and is contagious. Thank you for bringing us along!
DeborahNovember 18, 2009
hey Cindy, thanks for your comment. I love the part about digging deep. Sometimes we live every day on the surface and forget to look at what we’re meant to do or why we’re here. I’m glad I can be of some help. I get my energy from wonderful people like you. I am thinking about your family. deb
Pauline WilcoxNovember 20, 2009
Anyone who knows me well, knows my tag line: Attitudes are contagious… Is yours worth catching? When in job search or having found your dream job, your EQ (emotional quotient/emotional intelligence) will greatly influence your success — attitude being a significant contributor. People with high EQ typically handle the stress of job loss better than others. According to Dr. Dan Goldman, being hopeful and optimistic was found to predict star performance in America*.
So, is job search cool? There are definitely ‘cool’ parts about it — like meeting the most incredibly delightful people that you may not have had the opportunity to meet if it wasn’t for the compelling need to meet people and, heaven forbid, talk to them! There is a silver lining. Life is too short to not acknowledge the plus sides of this difficult journey. It is definitely work. And, working on ‘self’ is often the most difficult thing we can do.
*Often seen as too bold or individualistic in Asia or Europe. (from “Working with Emotional Intelligence”)
DeborahNovember 20, 2009
Thank you for reminding us about EQ; I sometimes forget. Understanding how each of us copes with change is so important when navigating life’s transitions.
I am having a lively discussion in one of my Linked In groups about whether job hunting is cool.
Several people there have commented that they do not feel that it’s ‘cool’ at all.
Others are noticing that some people are more focused on the networking than on landing the job. Their point is that some people ‘fall in love’ with the process of networking and lose focus on going back to work (and don’t even realize that it’s happening.) My tag line is, “We’re all in this together, so let’s help each other.”