In a Perfect World

At the risk of being redundant, I am compelled to address an issue that many people have been concerned with.  The other day, I had a conversation with a client and a good friend.  We had not spoken in a few months, so I gave her a call to catch up.  She sounded aloof and down, which is not her normal ‘spit fire’ disposition.  ‘What’s going on, my friend, you do not sound like your normal ball of energy self’, I inquired.  She responded with a big, heavy heart sigh, and then shared with me that she is really struggling to stay motivated, and this is effecting her ability to keep her team motivated and positive.  She then shared that within the last month they had a reduction of force and she had to lay off 40 employees.  ‘Perhaps you should start searching for a new position for me’, she said.

‘Nonsense’, I said.  ‘You are a loyal, tenured employee that has true passion for both your job and the company’.  And to quote how Cher so eloquently stated in Moonstruck, ‘Snap out of it!’   She laughed and brightened up, and replied, ‘What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.’

I realize that these are hard times.  Are they tumultuous times, I think not.  Are they uncertain, when aren’t they.  I spoke with a candidate a few weeks ago, a stellar guy that for years has been my ‘go to’ person for when I am seeking referrals.  He told me that his company just laid off 108 employees, and he was one of them.  We have all been in this playing field before, either a survivor of a layoff, or a product of reduction of force.

Being laid off is everyone’s fear. You can not let it run your life! I had a friend laid off and I went to check in on her.  She was still in my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon.  ‘What in the h#@% are you doing?’ I asked.  She just shrugged it off.  ‘If I were you I would take this time to ramp yourself up, sharpen your mind, recreate yourself.’  After I left, she thought about it long and hard.  I got off the pity pot, and went to work.  She started exercising 4 hours a day, she pulled out her paints and canvas, and joined a book club.  Most importantly, she made a business plan.  She treated unemployment like a full time job, and created a structure for herself.   Not long afterward, she embraced ‘outside the box’ thinking, and had several interviews set up in industries she would not have thought compatible with her experience.  A direction that inevitably lead her to her dream job.  This was all due to the miracle of positive thinking.

With that said, and to repeat again, we have all been on one side of the fence or the other at one time.  A survivor of layoffs, or a product of reduction of force.

One day I would like to share my journey of ‘out of the box’ thinking that brought me to where I am today.

Thanks for reading!