What’s That?

I’m certain that there are a lot of people walking around — or holed up at home – in a bit of a state of shock these days. With the financial losses and lay offs affecting so many, there’s a lot of fear and confusion about what’s happening. We all, really, want to know ‘What’s going to happen to me?’
Years ago, during the dot com bust, I was interviewed on the Style Network talking about what to do when faced with a lay off. At that time, I was working with many dazed and confused people in their late twenties and early thirties – these were people in what I call the Roadblock LifeStage and most of them really needed to reassess what they wanted from work and how they could take what they’d learned and done to a new job. A few of these clients were already trying to decide their next moves when they found themselves involuntarily laid off. And more shocking was that this was the first time they’d found themselves needing to do a job search.
For many millenials (the youngest generation in the job market right now) this is the first time that their good efforts will not be rewarded with some sort of job security. The hard truth is that we usually learn the most from the rough times if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons they hold for us. That’s the good news – I’ve seen people discover new opportunities that they never would have found if they hadn’t been pushed to find them. Really.
These times require most of us to dig deep and look for ways to pursue the next ‘big thing’ in our lives. A job search is not easy. It can be a long roller coaster ride. But there are options – they may not look like what we thought our options would be… but these options can be temporary and used as a means to be ready when better opportunities are available. This will likely be a time that will push most people out of their comfort zone to contact people they may be uncomfortable contacting – but could result in a greater sense of connection and community – and a new opportunity. It could also be what motivates people to step out and pursue an interest that they had put on the back burner.
If you’re finding yourself with time on your hands – by choice or not – use it to look at what you pay attention to. What we pay attention to grows. Use this attention to guide you. If you don’t see an answer there then you may not be looking closely or curiously enough. Innovation comes from curiosity. I’m convinced that on the other side of this downturn we’ll experience tremendous growth. How will you use this opportunity?