Job Loss as a Life Break

“Break,” as in luck,  or “break” as in bummer?

I recently  met a man of about 55.  He shared with me he was part of a very large number of employees who had been let go from Cisco corporation here in the Triangle, NC.  He’d seen the ‘handwriting on the wall’ grow clearer and clearer this year that firings were likely to occur because sales for the organization had dropped severely in the early quarters of the year.  Sure enough, indicators came that lay-offs were going to be necessary to offset the substantial loss of business revenue.

And an axe fell, a very big axe.  10,000 let go!  It fell with a dismissal bonus – access for all employees let go to the services of a nationally known outplacement firm, a career counseling business.  The bonus offered is meant to soften the blow of the job loss and assist in helping the group look for new work according to their skills and experience.  But it’s sort of like dealing with the walking wounded.  Those in the ‘clinic’ are ushered through protocols.    There is still the lonely return to home and the cold reality of no job to go to in the morning that still faces them all.  That chilly day comes soon when outplacement services end.

The gentleman at the moment was experiencing a bit of shock and a bit of euphoria.  The career of his that was ended, had died, left him in the shock.  The relief and rest he could take presently staying home each day almost seemed like a paid vacation.  Indeed, his last paycheck was a few weeks in the future.  He could look at that date as the day of his dismissal.  The summary effects of the death of his long work experience at Cisco had not really set in yet.  When it does the five stages of response to death are likely to set in: denial-anger-bargaining-depresssion-acceptance.

But what if, I posed to him, he sought counsel from another source?  What if he began immediatley with gratitude to welcome this significant hiatus in his senior life path?  What if, in addition to the outplacement service, he worked with a Life Coach to discover the positive elements in a surprise life change like this and re-envision and re-prioritise his future not with anxiety or angst but with clarity of purpose and open-mindedness?  Then his challenge truly would be welcomed and worked with as an opportunity, not a major downer.  I say, “Float your stones and walk on them.”

I pose this question to all my readers to further introduce what Life Coaching is all about – using professional support to cast an objective eye on the issue or concern in which you most want to be sure you are making your wisest decision.  We do this by channeling into the circumstances of the present moment.  It is from the present that the future is managed with equanimity, poise, and balance.  But this may be especially difficult in a crisis or one of the five stage of grief.

Coaches believe your answers patently lie with you.  Our training and methods are tools you put to use for your benefit.  Once coached you may them coach yourself in the future.

It seems counter-intuitive to spend money when none is coming in or will soon stop.  But what better time to seek a doctor’s aid than, of course, when something in the physical body is broken or maladjusted?

Welcome a job loss as a opportunity to do some positive reflection and ‘soul-searching’.  There is a special kind of energy that comes with gratitude.  Cultivated with support, contrary to one’s natural inclinations when something ‘bad’ happens, gratitude can open up entire new worlds of intelligence, vision, planning and actions that can turn a ‘disaster’ into a new lease on life.  Job routine lost can become entrepreneurial creativity.  The secure confines of life as you knew it can become the release into life as you never imagined it.

In any crisis there is the opportunity for a shift, not according to the limiting power of an external situation, but into the unlimited resource of one’s creativity, imagination, skills and all the strengths for which one was formerly employed.    Seen as a lucky break, not a broken bone, now you can act with freedom to recreate whatever is best for yourself.  The opportunity to “float your stones”  is there in the shadow of any unwelcome transition.  It simply asks, “Now what,” and a decisive answer to invest in oneself. Transformation is possible but it ain’t easy alone.


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