In a Career Transition, there are times when you might find yourself being “fired” or “laid off” from a job. I know from personal experience being laid off twice, this is hard on the male psyche. You have the sense that you have failed and no longer have any value, self-worth.
Men, often times receive a great deal of their self-worth from their work. Maybe it is how they earn money for the family as the sole or higher income earner. Perhaps it is the reinforcement of being a contributor to the company’s success. Everyone is a bit different.
Sometimes you just do not see it coming. In my most recent case, working for a local advertising agency, I saw the “writing on the wall” about a month prior to my separation. My main client pulled back on their marketing, the people I had contact with were laid off from this business. Since my role was not business development in adding new clients, there was very little time for me to start selling and recruiting new business, especially in the start of the Great Recession.
I am a problems solver and try to “fix” what might be broken. There just wasn’t enough time to do so. For the next year, I looked for work and it was rejection after rejection. I failed at getting hired somewhere, anywhere. No one would see the value I could bring to their business. Very hard on my self-worth.
Still, I did not just sit around and hold a pity party and invite people to join me. I got busy. Devoting time to this ministry was one way I could add value to my life. Another way was pursuing my passion for the New Rules of Marketing and Public Relations (a book on the new ways of marketing). You see in late 2008, I attended a seminar where I met with the author of this book, David Meerman Scott. Certainly a transforming moment in my life, one that has mead me to what I currently do now.
You may not have such a life transformation moment, but really we all have many in our lives. The latest may be the one where you got let go from the job you loved. Maybe you didn’t love it, but now you are “in transition” and maybe feeling like a failure.
One of our members, Nancy Todd, had a saying that I think is appropriate for anyone in a job search. It goes like this, “A Setback, is a Setup, for a Comeback.” She knows, even as a human resources professional, she too was let go from a job and after some time and several “interim” jobs, finally found her current position as Director of Human Resources for a company involved in the transportation industry. You will get to meet Nancy on May 10, week 8 of the series; Interviewing Tactics.
A Few Failures You May Have Heard of
Here are people that have failed in their lives that you may have heard of:
- Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting “too emotionally invested in her stories.”
- Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times.
- Colonel Harland David Sanders was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a fried chicken empire; and he did so after age 65.
- Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
- K. Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she began writing the first “Harry Potter” novel.
- Harrison Ford, after his first small movie role, an executive took him into his office and told him he’d never succeed in the movie business.
- The Beatles, when they were just starting out, a recording company told them no. They were told “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
The common sense point here is simple…successful people take personal responsibility for their career success. The goals they set are high. Then they work hard to do whatever it takes to achieve those goals. Sure they may have other failures along the way. Another attribute is reacting positively to the people and events in their lives. They take the “Setback, as a Setup, for a Comeback” approach. They have a passion worth pursuing it and will press on for as long as it takes.
Everyone in sales knows that for every “NO” they get, they are closer to a “YES.” Be encouraged when you are hearing “NO” in your job search, as God has a plan for you and the job he has in mind for you may be a few more “NO’s” away. It is not easy, but stay positive, get out and network in person. Talk with friends and other Tuesday night members. Your journey will have ups and downs and it will not end until the Lord calls you home. Until then, stay positive and pray for the open door to a career you have a passion for.