Never Be Afraid

“As you know….” “Because of this we regret to inform you…”

“Your position has been eliminated.”

Those “…” are actually the moments I stopped listening because my heart had become a dull thud.

“As you know THUTHUNK, THUTHUNK, THUTHUNK. Because of this we regret to inform you THUTHUNK, THUTHUNK, THUTHUNK. Your position has been eliminated.”

That was exactly a week ago. The blur of the hours that followed, now in retrospect are not really a blur and reveal that even in that moment of this sucks, I won’t have a job in four weeks. I was going to be fine.

Did you catch that? I lost my job, I am going to be fine. Let me explain to you why.

My actions speak louder than my words. After the boom dropped I did the following things.

1. Had a ten minute conversation with my boss on the expectations of the next four weeks.
2. Sat down with HR Manger for twenty minutes and talked details about severance packages, unemployment and possible contacts for networking.
3. Called my husband, broke the news, cried a bit and hashed out how it ultimately affected our “game plan.”

Yep. Those were the first three things I did. The following days, I went about my business as usual. Monday the announcement was made to the rest of company and THAT’S when I realized my behavior which is quite understandable to me, was bizarre to many others.

I realized that when you lose your job, you’re not supposed still be laughing and smiling and generally enjoying life. I realized that it is expected and understood if you cancel scheduled events. I realized that you are supposed to look tired, drawn out, stressed to the max.

I was and did none of these things. You couldn’t tell by looking at me that I had lost my job.

My secret? I have never FEARED losing my job, even after actually losing it.

Call it being self-assured, cocky, confident (take your pick), but I never feared losing my job, because I have always felt a) I could find another, b) I believe in my own skills and abilities and c) I am always a sucker for a good challenge. And when presented with the challenge of losing my job, I start looking for solutions.

In looking for solutions, I found that my skills and expertise would not be stagnant if I didn’t allow them to be. This perspective allowed me to look at a situation that really really sucks as a really sucky situation with endless opportunities. I made a list of community projects I was interested in, but had never had the time to participate in. I looked at the time and cost it would take to vamp up my personal photography business  . I reconnected with activities I loved to do (such as writing and blogging), but again never had enough time in the day for.

Because at the end of the day business is business. Whatever the reasoning for losing your job is, what is done is done. Your decision comes in how you are going to react to it. My advice to anyone who is in the this sucks, I just lost my job club is: NEVER BE AFRAID, because in fear you lose your own power to hold the cards to your future.

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