Have you been downsized, lost your job? Understandably, this can be an incredibly difficult time.
Most of us spend a large portion of our day and energy on our careers. For most people our careers are more than just a paycheque; our social networks, our personal identity and a sense of pride are all tied to our careers. That is why when we are downsized there is a real sense of loss.
When you are downsized the internal demons can rear their ugly heads, questioning our abilities and strengths. Our egos bombard us with abusive language of “you are not good enough”, “you screwed up”, “you failed”. This can be relentless and unless we get a hold of that internal dialogue we can get stuck in a cycle of self-abuse and negativity. If we can get a handle on this, and can start looking at the picture from a more balanced perspective, we can open the door to seeing this upset as an opening to something new and better.
From a more balanced perspective we can start to see that maybe it was not as perfect as we once thought! Now that you have some time away, you may start to recognize your life was unbalanced. You were giving too much of yourself to your work and neglecting yourself, your friends, your family. Maybe you notice that you were not being valued in your position, or that you were being underutilized and not given the opportunity to let your strengths shine. Maybe you notice that you were not being your authentic self in that environment or you were suppressing parts of yourself or your values to fit in. This recently happened to a client of mine once she had some time away she quickly realized how much her job had been affecting her in all areas of her life. Her physical and mental health, her relationships and overall wellness were being negatively affected by the position that she held. She didn’t realize when she was in the position, the stress and pressure crept up gradually and it wasn’t till she was out of the situation that she had the space to realize how unhealthy it was for her. Whatever you are noticing you now have an opportunity to make some changes.
You have been given an opportunity to really look at what you want for your future. Start asking yourself “what is it I really want”? You may realize that you have lost passion for your chosen profession and want to try something new. Maybe you realize that you have had enough of earning for someone else and want to be an entrepreneur. Or maybe you decide that you love your profession and that you just need to find a new company that fits with your values. Whatever the realization, you have been given the opportunity to create career that fits you.
Saying all this, I understand finances can be a necessity and you may not have the means to take the time to explore what it is you really want, you just need a job to pay the bills, I get this. You can still seize this opportunity explore what you really want, while finding something to cover the bills for now!
In my world of contract positions, I have often experienced losing my job because of lost funding and each time it was devastating. I had put my heart and soul into creating something only for it to lose funding. I mourned for myself and the clients. I, too, heard the inner criticism and would beat myself up: “Had I done more, we would have got the funding”. I would play the shoulda, coulda, woulda game for a while. Once I went through the emotions and got my inner critic under control, I was ready to look forward. After going through this a couple of times, I realized that the more I focused on these unfortunate situations, I was missing out on the opportunity to really experience what was being opened for me. In every instance, what waited for me around the corner was another exciting chapter.
A friend of mine has recently gone through a downsizing. As soon as the initial shock wore off and she was able to tame the internal demons, she started to recognize that she had been given an opportunity. She had been given the gift of time! At first, she started taking that time to explore what she really valued. Through this process, she recognized that she had another passion, she was excited about health and wellness and helping others to achieve their personal wellness goals. This was a big change from what she was doing before, but she took the leap of faith and invested in herself and is now working towards a new career which excites her. It is amazing to watch her go through her inspirational journey! She could have got stuck in self-abuse, adopted a negative perspective and just rushed out to get any job but rather, she took her downsizing as an opportunity to grow and really listen to her inner wisdom and now she is working towards a new career that she loves.