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Into the Future: 3 Steps to Take Your Power Back

By Nan S. Russell

It’s easy to mentally replay the day you lost your job. "It's not personal," they said. But it sure felt personal. The years of company loyalty are of no value now. The things you did for "them," of no importance. Erased. Gone. Eliminated. Like you.

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But like Janus, the Roman god of doorways and both beginnings and endings, whose name inspired the first month of the year, you stand in a doorway.

You can drag your past into your future by continuing the resentment, anger, and bitterness you still carry, or you can leave it behind.

Which will it be? Below are three steps to help you move through that doorway:

1: Reclaim your power

When you let negative emotions control your life, you give "them" power over your future, too. Resigning your future to those who impacted your past is giving "them" your power.

It’s time to take your power back.

Reclaim who you know you are by taking one small step forward. Then another. As you do, you’ll break "their" emotional hold on your self-esteem, well-being, and withheld dreams. You can make a fresh start any day by walking through that doorway to your future. Why not today?

2: Choices yet to come

While you can’t change your past, your work future is about the choices you still get to make. It’s only too late when you give up, stop trying, or believe your negative self-talk and internal press releases.

What happens to you tomorrow is more affected by what you do today, than by what happened yesterday. Squander today, and you’ll postpone the career prosperity you seek. When you begin to focus on what is to come, not on what was, your energy shifts in a positive direction.

3: Pressing on

No one who’s been through job loss will tell you it’s easy. But pressing on is the answer to the hurdles, setbacks or challenges you’ll face getting that next great job.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers, chosen 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, offers proof that pressing on works to get to the job you desire. Not offered a scholarship out of high school, he pressed on by playing at a junior college. Ultimately a draft pick, he still waited three seasons on the bench before he made it as a starter. He knew what he wanted and he pressed on until he got it. You can, too.

Your Power Play

The rear-view mirror of your job loss experience captures a foundational landscape that offers you insights and knowledge for the choices ahead. Your power play happens when you learn from it without being attached to it or looking back. As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds, "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be."


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.