and laid off?!
By Craig Nathanson - The Vocational Coach™
The 5 most important steps you must take now!
Probably not the first piece of advice you would expect to
When you are laid off, the range of emotions you feel can be
overwhelming. You become your own worst critic, and you start
coming up with all the reasons why you lost the job. At home,
you hear more of this from your family members, although maybe
not so directly.
You feel like a failure. Your self-esteem is has taken a hit,
and you feel depressed and a little lost. You feel angry and
you’re not sure what to do about it. You rush forward
into a new job search, and related frantic activity….
Stop — wrong approach.
Instead, take some time for reflection. Chances are you didn’t
even like this job or the work itself. Privately, you are a
little excited to be free of this job prison, although you would
not admit this to anyone right now.
This is the time to get away. It may be for a few days, or
maybe a few weeks. Do nothing during this time except think
deeply about what you want out of your life and what activities
bring you the most joy. This is a rare space of time to think
seriously about who you are, and where you want to make a contribution.
Don’t lose this opportunity.
Forget about money
Sure, your immediate concerns probably revolve around how to
pay next month’s bills. Ideally, you tap into other resources
to buy time. After 40, we need more time than money.
There is probably nothing you can do in the next two weeks
that will make a difference in the short term. Instead of working
on your resume, make a money plan to get you through the next
This is a rare opportunity in your life to really invest the
time to think.
What work MUST emerge through you now? No external job description
will ever get this right for you. This must come from you. Where
do you most want to make a contribution in the world right now?
Why is this important to you?
This is the MOST important question you must answer about your
life and the reason you are here.
Once you have defined what you are really passionate about,
it’s time to get educated.
Who is doing the work you most want to do? Read everything
you can. The more you read, the more inspired you will get.
Eventually, you may choose to embark on some formal education,
but for now simply gather enough data to help you feel good
about your choice of work.
When you are working at and learning about what you love, and
what really interests you, you won’t be able to tell the
difference between work and play. Soon, your vocation will become
a lifelong vacation.
Instead, most of us just work at jobs. The difference between
our jobs and the rest of our lives is very clear. Your life
can be better than this!
Whether you decide to work for yourself or others, the process
should be the same. What are exactly your best gifts, and what
do you enjoy most? What kind of services or products can you
create and sell to others using your unique gifts?
What are the features and benefits of what you will offer?
What is the perfect niche audience for you and your products
Let’s say, for example, that you like to design art work.
You think, “Who would buy what I love to do most?”
You think a little deeper, and realize that you could design
cost-effective restaurant menus that would draw people to the
restaurants. Your menus would feature specials, ingredients,
and customer reviews. Restaurant owners would benefit as customers
would learn more about their eateries, and what they have to
offer. Then another thought hits: you could write a newsletter,
displaying your brand, targeted at restaurant owners giving
advice on how to brand their restaurants!
You decide to call this business “Creative menus”.
You are off and running.
This same logic works whether you love to help animals or design
software. The reason we are seeing so many layoffs today in
corporate America is that most organizations don’t know
how to develop entrepreneurial thinking or entice creativity
inside their businesses.
Make a plan
Write down your vision of your perfect vocational day. Without
this vision, you will have no motivation to move forward. Most
people don’t change anything in their lives until the
pain of not changing becomes greater than the initial discomfort
associated with changing.
Most people look for jobs in an illogical way. They look for
them! Most jobs were not designed for you in the first place.
You spend days and months networking, hoping a Job will come
to you. The job probably will come to you eventually, but it
will quickly look like the last job prison you were in.
There is a strong tendency to go back to what we did before,
ONLY because it was familiar and we were good at it. After 40,
it becomes critical to avoid this trap.
First define a plan, and steps to create for what you want.
Then you will know where to look, and how to start building
exactly what would be perfect for you.
Laid off recently?
Congratulations! You have a unique, perhaps once in a lifetime,
opportunity to get to know yourself better and to ask better
questions of yourself. Be careful what you ask, because the
work you choose to do can determine the kind of person you become.
Take that pink slip and run to the nearest beach for reflection
and peace. This is the best gift you can give yourself now.
I’ll be cheering you on as you go- Craig Nathanson
Craig Nathanson is the author of "How
to find the RIGHT work during challenging times: A new approach
to your life and work after 40" and is
a coaching expert who works with people over forty.
Visit Craig’s online community at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com
where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathanson’s
books and CD’s, get some private coaching over the phone
or in Craig’s office, or read other stories of mid-life
change and renewal.
Craig lives and works in Petaluma, California. His office
is located atP.O Box 2823, Petaluma Ca, 94953. You can reach
him at 707-775-4020 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig's Vocational Passion Newsletters are edited by Anita
Flegg at The Sharp Quill. The Sharp Quill -- www.sharpquill.com
-- specializes in writing and editing for small business. You
can see Anita's vocational story at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com/_vocational_community/_real_stories/story_anita.html
return to index