Alright, before I get into the good stuff I wanted to write another short article on attitude and emotion.
[The reader quickly closes the browser]
For those who continued to read, thank you. I think it’s important to discuss some of the feelings you may be going through at this point. And some realities.
Emotions in Motion, Track 2 from Billy Squier’s similarly titled album (1982)
According to some scientists, there are six basic ways you might be in the situation where you’re in search of a job, though there are many variations (for example, you could be a circus clown that caused a high-wire disaster and thus had to sneak off in the night before The Flying Garbonzos broke into your trailer and brained you.)
The main reasons you may be looking for a job include:
- You are searching for your first job.
- Your organization shut down and you’re out of a job.
- You were fired from your job.
- You voluntarily quit from your job.
- You were laid off from your job. (similar to #2 above)
- You working now but considering a switch.
This article on emotion may not apply to people in situations 1, 4 and 6. However, forthcoming posts on how to search for a new job will apply to all cases, including the specific aforementioned clown situation.
Let me be clear. You are valuable. You have skills and talents that others want. Or, you can develop those skills and talents into something that is very desirable. But the last thing you want to do is to let your dismissal from a job be a commentary on your self-worth. Even if you were let go because you were underperforming, that is a commentary on your skills and not you as a person. Stuart Smalley would agree.
There is a natural tendency for humans to undervalue their worth [except for narcissists].
In fact, some of the most talented and amazing people suffer from something called The Imposter Syndrome. (Wiki: Imposter Syndrome). In short, the work you do comes so easy to you that you start to worry that you really don’t have a skill; that anyone could do what you do, and eventually someone will find out you’re a fraud. Everyone from Donny Osmond to Neil Degrasse-Tyson have suffered from this psychological affectation, and those are very talented people. So if you are thinking that you have nothing to offer, you’re probably wrong. When you get very good at something, it often feels like you’re just phoning it in. But you’re not.
If you’re laid off from a company, you could be feeling sad, bitter, or shocked. It’s like being dumped by your significant other. You may feel isolated or just plain old sad. And you may secretly hope that the organization suffers with your departure; that they never recover and eventually go bankrupt and close down. Yeah, they didn’t realize what a mistake they made by letting you go! Not much chance of that usually.
Anyway, and once you get a new and better job (and you will!), you won’t care as much about that sentiment. Note that is said “as much”. Alternatively, if the company that laid you off is in some sort of turmoil, that turmoil will continue with your departure (unless you were the one who caused the turmoil). So at least be pleased with that. But put your energy into the new search and not into casting spells against your former employer. Be positive and embrace positive thoughts. “I’m positive they will collapse without me!”
If you were fired from your job, it could have been for a number of reasons. If it was because you violated an HR policy, then learn from that and don’t do it again. However, if you were let go as part of a performance issue, take the feedback seriously. But please don’t take it personally. You can either find a job that you have the skills for, or you can take the initiative to identify those skills that you seemed to be lacking and improve. There are so many easy and often free ways to gain experience and skills. More on that in a future post.
The worst thing you can do it let the dismissal play in your mind over and over, or think about what you could have done differently, or whose fault it was that you were let go. Let it go. You can’t change the past. You can’t even predict the future. You can barely control what’s going on in the “now”. So, all you can do it take stock of where you are and create a plan to get back on your feet.
And, just as you move on, your former employer will move on. Think about the things that job provided you, be thankful about all the things you learned, and build upon those skills. Or, take the traits of your former job that were less than stellar and plan on finding some place that doesn’t suffer from the same deficiencies.
One special note for those who were employed for 10+ years before finding themselves out of work. There’s definitely a benefit to the stability of being employed by the same organization for many years. But nowadays it’s rare to work the same job from a young age to retirement. The job market is just too competitive, and most employees and organizations are frankly not that loyal anymore.
One of the disadvantages of working that many years at the same organization is that you end up carrying a lot of accumulated baggage throughout that time. Especially if its common at that company for many people to work as many years as you did. Every mistake, every person you made angry, every dumb thing you did and said will follow you throughout your employment. It’s hard to reset or atone for misdeeds, and it’s equally hard to impress on people who you have traits that you haven’t shown before. I So, if you did work at the same organization for many a year, and you find yourself out of a job, you should be think about the things that you will do differently at your next gig. You’ll get the amazing opportunity to reset and work with people who have no preconceived notions of who you are. And that’s a blessing even if you were well liked. We all have things we would have done differently if we could go back and do it all over again.
But you can’t go back, as Eddie Money pointed out so repetitively. But you could be his little baby by buying two tickets to paradise. Shaking.
All the above encouragement applies to you if you are currently employed but looking for another job. That’s a very difficult situation because the job search process is a full time job in itself. Don’t feel hopeless if you haven’t had much luck. I’ll give you some tips and techniques to help you land that job while you’re working.
Now that you are hopefully feeling better about yourself and the situation you’re in, let’s start with the real meat of the program. Part 2 coming soon.