One of my biggest realisations over the past 10 years or so is that life is not linear and that as human beings, once we have breath, we should expect to experience situations in our lives that make us or unfortunately break us. Now you may have experienced this floodlight of revelation years ago but for me it has come as a steady and sometimes painful pea of light.
As I sat 4 and some years ago picking up the pieces of a redundancy, I tried to grapple with the reality that after quite a rising, vibrant career up to that point, I was faced with the pain of intense corporate rejection, an incredible sense of loss, and the responsibility of getting myself out of the miry clay of depression and back out into the dog eat dog world of employment.
While contemplating my next career move I journeyed through the typical pendulum of questions; Why was I in this predicament? How did I get here? Why didn’t I see this coming? During my time of introspection it dawned on me that my situation wasn’t so unique after all but rather I was experiencing the normal cycle of life.
I’ll be the first to admit that at times I displayed diametric emotions that displayed themselves in extreme sadness and fear followed by intense excitement about exploring the unknown. I can attest to the studies and statistics that rate the loss of a job by redundancy in the same vein as losing a loved one to death. But I soon learned that forks in the road, curve balls, brick walls or whatever you want to call them are a regular pattern of life. I also learned that it’s not the chaos or crisis that determines your outcome but it’s 100% how you handle it that separates those who overcome from those who get crushed under the circumstances of life.
I eventually managed to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make a decision that I wasn’t going to allow one incident in my life (no matter how intense or painful) destroy the immense growth and success I hand gained in previous years. After a life inventory of my past, I recorded that my positive testimonies far outweighed my negative ones.
The moral of my story is that I haven’t regretted a day since. Out of that crisis I was able to fulfil my dream of owning my own business and pursuing a successful career of People Development and Coaching that’s fulfilling to me and life changing to others.
I’ve specifically written this post as an encouragement for those of you who are experiencing a similar loss of this kind. With all the empathy in my heart, I want to say to you, there’s Life after Loss! There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Once you’ve gone through the process of loss, there is a way to move beyond and forward into a life that’s richer, more valuable, enlightening and fulfilling.
When trying to overcome career loss:
1. The first step is to admit and come to terms with the fact that you have lost something you cared deeply about. Admit how much you loved your job, role, position.
2. Don’t go into denial because of your pain and pretend that you never really cared about the organisation in the first place. You did! That’s why the pain is so deep.
3. Understand that it’s okay to grieve your way. Others mean well and will try to make suggestions on how you should get over the crisis. But you must ensure that you find your own method of grieving.
4. Don’t be afraid to bring in a coach, councillor or someone who can help you through the process. There’s nothing in the rule book that says you have to handle it yourself.
5. Try not to blame others, a person, the organisation etc. This is a hard one but it’s important that you don’t play the blame game when going through loss. Try to stay focused on how you are going to rise, grow and develop through it. Negative emotions zap the energy you are going to need to heal and move onto the next phase of your success.
6. Don’t deny your feelings. It’s okay to be angry about the fact that you gave your all and a bag of chips and the organisation didn’t think twice about dropping you like a hot potato as soon as the economy got a little tight! The problem will come if you hold onto these emotions and allow them to fester.
7. Be careful and conscious about the amount of time you spend around those who are also going through something similar. Although this can be helpful, it can also be detrimental to your recovery process. Especially if the other person is in a slower recovery period than you are. Misery loves company and when you are at your weakest you need those who can offer support and help you glean strength.
8. Take baby steps and measure them. Celebrate and record the days you were able to get up and get going and review them. This way you’ll be able to see how much you’ve progressed and how much nearer you are to your desired result.
9. Don’t be in a haste to take the first job that comes along! Yes I know you need to eat, I did too but this was a great time for me to examine all of my skill sets, see what I really wanted to do and take the plunge and pursue entrepreneurship. Don’t believe the lie that the organised corporate entities are all you’re cracked up for. Have you ever thought about owning your own business?
10. Lastly, It’s vital to understand and settle the fact that life will throw you some turns but how you move through them will always determine your success or failure.
I hope this was helpful! If so I’d love to hear your comments, successes etc.
If you’re in a major transition of life and you’re looking for an expert who can assist and coach you into reaching your desired results. Contact me through my website.