“Truly, if people could see that there will be light again…”
January is typically the season for most folks to stress about the new year and the status of their career. Those who are employed, whether happily or unhappily, set goals with hope and excitement, caught in the energy of new beginnings. There are those, however, who are anxiously unemployed, want a job and have made it through the holidays with a sigh of relief that January has arrived. They’re feeling cautiously optimistic… for surely now is their time. This message is for the anxiously unemployed. It’s also for those who have been thrust out there into the abyss, thinking that they’ll never have it as good as they did at their old jobs.
Kathryn was laid off last year after being with one company for well over 15 years. Used to the security of a comfortable job for so long, she jumped on the first opportunity that came along… against her better judgement. It was a mis-match from the get-go, and she made the wise decision to bow out as soon as she realized her error. She networked, she answered ads and she tried her best to be patient as time wore on with no suitable offers. Finally, after a roller-coaster 3-month search, she landed what seemed to be a great job in her field. I checked in with her recently to let her know about my upcoming job search workshop so she could spread the word to her friends and to ask her how she is doing going into 2008. She replied with the following:
“Happy New Year! Things are going very well here – I was promoted yesterday to Director. They have really treated me well over the last 15 months. And to think that if I had not gotten laid off, I never would have been so lucky to realize this whole new wonderful world! Want me to provide a testimonial for your trainees? Truly, if people could see that there will be light again and know that their future may be even brighter than they ever dreamed! Easy for me to say now, impossible for me to say the first few weeks of my unemployment!”
Hooray, Kathryn, what great insight! This just shows me (again) that when a door closes, it could just be a gift of getting us to open a window with a view of a brighter future. Of course, the challenge is to keep this understanding forefront in our minds in order to ease the affects of anxiety. It also reminds me that even if we have no perceived control over our circumstances, we definitely do have control over our reaction to them.