Ask survivors of the most popular reality television shows and they'll tell you "If you have to eat a cockroach, don't spend too much time thinking about it." Keep focused on the end-game and move on.
Know yourself, have a plan, make a footprint. After you're fired, the raw power needed to convert a job loss into a high-voltage catalyst that gains multiple job offers is surprisingly simple. Consider these energizers:
Who you are? Detangle your sense of job from your sense of self
Where are you going?Design a five-year plan for career focus / direction
What can you do?Maintain a life-long log of your career achievements
"Getting fired is a lot like getting divorced," says Steve Johnson, Vice President of Information Systems for R. L. Stevens & Associates Inc., http://interviewing.com/a leading international career marketing firm headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. "All you hear is 'I don't want you anymore'," he says.
Own your success and your failures. When he was fired from a multi-billion dollar petroleum company earlier in his career, discernment gave Johnson, a business-world veteran, the inner strength to get up and get on instead of rolling over and playing dead.
Despite an impressive portfolio of documented achievements that solidly contributed to the bottom line through process reengineering, he was still let go. His stellar performance though appreciated, was undervalued by his employers. Johnson made sure that this unexpected event did not end his career or dampen his spirits. "The time I was given the pink slip and told my talents were no longer needed, I faced a decision to either continually bemoan the shut door or look forward and find a new door I could open."
Possess the wisdom to know the difference between opportunity lost and possibility found. Johnson, an avid golfer, expertly swung himself out of his job loss bunker and found customers wanting his talents by taking the same approach in his job search as he does in his sport. "Getting fired is like an awful day on the golf course. You've got to stay in the game, play the holes, and adapt, improvise and overcome," he says.
"Every time a bad thing happened in my career, I always landed on my feet and good fortune proliferated through increased earnings, greater fulfillment and expanded opportunity to learn new skills. Using multiple career marketing strategies simultaneously I made sure that failure was never an option," he added.
Quickly create opportunities for yourself by changing your mental and physical state. Here's what you can do to restore order out of your job loss chaos:
Want to deactivate your fears?
• Take a vacation now to clear your head and get perspective
• Don't feed your anger by calling past colleagues and revisiting the past
• Welcome your firing as an unexpected career advancement to the next level
• Limit your pity party to one business day (8 hours)
• Forgive, let go, accelerate onward
Want to reactivate your confidence?
• Volunteer your time to someone who needs you - a charitable organization
• Convert your resume from a career obituary to a marketing promo piece
• Inventory your portfolio of skills and question their relevancy / currency
• Showcase your business talent by serving on a community task force
• Upgrade your self-marketing campaign to strengthen your branding
Change your focus from retribution to restoration and you'll find the key to layoff survival and increased employer interest. Swallow your pride and take control of your career by morphing yourself into a consultant. You might even be able to reverse your misfortune and sell your talents back to the boss who fired you. Many ingenious job searchers have done just that and leveraged their talents by filling a void left by their departure.
If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.
Got any valid reason to settle for a bad-tasting insect when a juicy steak is just around the corner? Get on with it.
About the Author:
Marta L. Driesslein is a senior management consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. http://interviewing.com/. For over 24 years R.L. Stevens & Associates has been the Nation's most successful privately-held firm, specializing in executive career searches generating quality interviews through both advertised and unadvertised channels.