Can You, The Laid Off, Ever Be Happy Again?

As I travel the country and speak to professionals in transition, usually GenX and Baby Boomers, I see a similar look in people’s eyes.

It is one of confusion and discouragement.

I know people are wondering something like this:

I have 10 years left to work… what will I do? Will I enjoy it?  Can I contribute to society?  Will I get the respect in my new job that I had before in my last job (which I had for a LONG TIME)?

It. Sucks. I know it does.  (See my post titled I Lost More Than My Job 2 Years Ago)

Here I am, getting ready to celebrate FIVE YEARS since I got laid off.

There have been ups and downs.  Most of the downs were before I figured out JibberJobber, which became my “next gig.”

Much of the rest of the time has been “ups.”  (there were plenty of “downs” while figuring out how to run my own business… don’t get me wrong!)

Here are a few of my ups:

  • JibberJobber has become, in a sense, the 800lb guerrilla in its space. We are the market leader, well-branded, well-recognized.  That gives me something big to be proud of!
  • I wrote a book which became the best seller for my publisher. How freaking cool is that?  Some people in the space require their clients to read it and it has been called “the bible on LinkedIn.”  How freaking awesome is that?
  • I wrote another book, making me a “multi-book author.” Amazing. I never thought this would have been the case.
  • I became a professional speaker (reluctantly). I didn’t think I had time to be a speaker, getting on the road, etc.  But I did, and it’s been quite rewarding in many ways.  Me?  Getting paid to speak on a stage?  What a dream!
  • I work with people I like on projects I believe in. If I’m uncomfortable with something/someone I can simply move on.  I wasn’t able to do that in any of my old jobs!
  • I have a new flexibility in my schedule that allows me to do more stuff with my family.  I work A LOT!  Too much, probably.  I work way more than if I had a “job.”  But I also have flexibility to do what I want with my schedule and can take breaks during the day or multi-day breaks.  Since I work in my basement my family can see me whenever they need to and I regularly have someone hanging out in my office chatting.

As I look out at the audiences I believe that many of them can find happiness in something… even if it is completely different.  Maybe you consult one hour a day at $250/hour… could that take the place of having a traditional job?

Can you EVER be happy again?

Yes, you can.  The path, though, might be different that what you have thought.

7 thoughts on “Can You, The Laid Off, Ever Be Happy Again?”

  1. Yes, yes, oh yes! Seven years after being laid off, I’m happier and have more career satisfaction than ever. I’m on my way to being a multi-book author too, and who’dve thunk it? (Unlike you, Jason, I’m publishing all mine at once–maybe not the best idea, but it’s how the timing is working out.)

  2. Thank you Juli. I think this is a big hump for many job seekers to get over… your story, and mine, and Thom Singer’s and many others prove, though, that it can be a reality 🙂

    Regarding your books… whatever works!

  3. If you were happy BEFORE being laid off, you can be happy again. (Many people were unhappy or inconsistently happy before being laid off. Being laid off just further exacerbates weak foundations for happiness and destabilizes those who haven’t laid the proper foundations for being happy – with or without a job. (FYI: I’ve been laid off myself and, too, I know many miserable, fully employed people…))

  4. I am happier than ever for lots of reasons: I have new cash flow from a job that is not my idea of a career but is part of the multiple cash flows I am establishing. I have made new goals for myself: I ran my first half marathon and am planning another in the next few months. Notice I did not say I was the winner;but I am a winner in getting to my goal. See yourself as a winner when you reach your goal, not someone else’s goal! Getting healthier is making me less depressed and that is good. BTW, this has been a gradual, training, day by day effort, not something that happened overnight so those of you who want to get healthier (e.g. lose weight and have more energy) start out slowly and train your body. Go to any activity that remotely interests you and be open to the changes that may happen in how you see your life. After all, are we not re-inventing ourselves everyday?

    Thanks Jason for hanging in there with us, too. I am convinced that when we reach out to help someone else it is the means to our own success.

  5. Another thought from another eminent thinker:

    “Hard times are an occasion a good learner would never miss.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Found on Twitter this AM…

Comments are closed.