A few years ago I went to lunch with some people from my last company. It was a joyous event of asking about this old friend and that old friend, this boss and that boss. It was cool to see my buddies again, and hear the normal old gossip from a place I had so many good memories from.
I remember driving away from the restaurant feeling sad. The feelings of getting laid off years earlier were right on the surface again, and I longed for those good ol’ days, where life was simple, paychecks were secure, I had health insurance, and I wasn’t worried about money all the freaking time.
While it was good to reconnect, it was also depressing, because I was the one who was voted off the island. I was the one who they didn’t trust to do the job.
Recently, I’ve talked to people from three different companies… these are people who have been where they are for years… they have the simple life, secure paychecks, health insurance, and friends at work. They are in leadership or management positions where they can even impact the culture of their office.
They. Have. Problems.
Problems to the point where they are saying “yeah, I’m looking at other options.” Or, “I’m getting ready to look for another job.” Or, “I’m working on my own business on the side.”
Early in my job search I was jealous of people who were working, but I didn’t have to dig too far to find out they were miserable. Dead-end job, bored, bad bosses, dying industry, rumors of layoffs and downsizing, lack of passion for what they do, etc.
I looked at my abnormal career path of being an entrepreneur, and how hard this is in many ways, and longed for the way things were.
But recently, I found out that they way things are, in organizations I used to be involved in, are not what I would want anymore. Even with the quote-security-unquote, the culture, the limits, the problems, are absolutely NOT what I want.
Folks, a layoff can be a time of career cleansing. It can hurt, and it can be embarrassing, and it can change your life, but it can be a great opportunity to reset your career.
Where you on the wrong path?
Where you working with toxic people (but too tied to the paycheck/benefits/retirement to leave)?
Where you simply just not happy (even if you were in denial)?
Getting laid off is a great time to reset, rebuild, reevaluate.
I invite you to take some time to let this happen. Let yourself be open to the idea that that job is in the past, move on, and see what direction you are going to go in the future. This is YOUR future. You are a FREE AGENT. The choice is YOURS.
What are you going to do now?