Look up the unemployment rate on the day you read this. Now reverse that percentage. You’ve been thinking about how many people are unemployed. Start thinking about how many are employed.
Picture that number. Call it to mind. Post it on your screen saver. See yourself joining the employed percentage. Hold that thought prominently each day until it’s true.
And while you do, add these four thoughts to it:
You without a job is a state of temporariness, lasting for a limited amount of time. Not having a job is as temporary as summer and winter, nighttime and storms, TV shows and hemlines. It’s only if you give up looking that you’ll make it permanent.
As Thomas Edison cautions, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
How you deal with setbacks (big or small) determines results.
Failure is not the lack of success. Failure is staying down when you trip or stumble. It’s giving up, checking out, or shutting down.
Think of job loss as a temporary speed bump that might briefly slow you down – nothing more.
Successful people fail, talented people lose their jobs, great contributors stumble, and terrific performers get rejected. It’s reality.
Losing your job puts you in the great company of people like Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey, Elvis Presley, Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, Hugh Jackman, and Michael Bloomberg. They’ve been thrust from jobs, too.
When we view others’ success, we often miss their failed choices, struggles, and disappointments. We miss noticing the wrong or closed doors that came before their accolades. Don’t lose sight of the good company you keep.
Job loss is loss, certainly, but it also can be a time of profound growth. It can open your heart to others, increase your compassion, and offer you new understanding about what really matters.
It can affect your understanding of who you are at the core, ground you in what you have, not what you don’t have, and open new roads to explore. It can enhance skills, change directions, and offer insights about your strengths, abilities, and values.
Stay open to the growth that change and transition can bring. Unwelcomed life-happenings mold us, too. Some of them may challenge who we are, push us to tap our resilience, help us learn unconditional love, and offer different pathways for growth and understanding.
As the Dalai Lama reminds us, "The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life."
My personal experience with job loss changed my life - for the better. Still when it happened, the vice-grip of embarrassment, the numbness of shock, and the adrenaline of fueled anger made being fired devastating. Yet, today I’m grateful someone had the courage to thrust me from that ill-suited job, forcing me to explore new career possibilities.
Potholes and bumps contribute to our life’s shape and evolution, too.
These thoughts may be hard today for you to hold, depending on the rawness of your news, the challenges of your job search, or the difficulties of rebooting your emotional and financial well-being. Perspective comes with time, certainly, but hopefulness is housed in the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, “The best thing about the future is that is comes only one day at a time.”
You can rebuild your future, one day and one thought at a time. Start now.
About this author...
Job Loss Recovery Expert Nan S. Russell discovered a Stanford degree didn’t protect her from being fired from her first professional job. From minimum wage to Vice President of a multi-billion dollar company, she learned the hard way. Now she helps others with what does and doesn’t work at work. The author of three career books including, The Titleless Leader, Hitting Your Stride, and Nibble Your Way to Success, Nan is a national speaker and work issues consultant. More at NanRussell.com; and her job loss seminar: Rebooting After Job Loss.