You’re out of a job. That’s the bad news. The good news, says author Jon Gordon, is that by making a few positive choices you’ll not only make your job search a thousand times more pleasant, you’ll actually make it successful.
The days following those fateful words, “We have to let you go,” are dismal ones indeed. Some mornings, it’s tough to even get out of bed. As you scour the skimpy classifieds and job boards, grim scenarios play in your head on a repeating loop: We’ll lose the house…We’ll have to move in with my parents…I’ll never find work in this economy.
Tangled in despair, you can barely move, much less move on. Are things really as hopeless as they seem? you wonder. And if they’re not, how can I clear away the dark clouds and see the light on the other side?
Jon Gordon has been where you are right now, and he has some good news: the layoff you think is bad today will actually lead to great events in the future with the right approach and action plan.
“I thought it was the worst event of my life,” recalls Gordon. “I was two months away from being bankrupt. I had a mortgage, two kids, no insurance and very little savings. I was a paycheck away from losing it all. It sounds bad. It felt bad. Seen from one point of view, I suppose it was bad. But then, one day I decided that I wasn’t going to let this challenge take me down. And that’s when I knew I had to change what I was thinking and doing.”
“We really do create our own realities,” notes Gordon. “I experienced it in my own life and I’ve seen in the lives of others. That’s why if you find yourself out of a job you must call a moratorium on negativity-anger toward your former boss, jealousy toward employed friends and ex-coworkers, worry that you’ll never be able to replicate your former salary-and start practicing positivity.”
You may not find the positive energy switch right away, he warns. But keep looking and you will find it. He offers a few life-changing tips that can help you change your outlook and go from fired to fired up:
Jettison your anger
Allow yourself to be angry, sad, bitter, upset for a few days and then let it all go. Forgive the company. Forgive your employers. Release the bitterness. Know that you can’t create your future by focusing on the past. Gordon says after he was laid off, he made a conscious decision to forgive his company for letting him go and for only giving him two weeks’ worth of severance pay.
Say to yourself, “I have a dream.”
Then start working to achieve it. Having studied many successful people, Gordon says he’s found that they all can pinpoint the moment where they decided what they truly wanted to achieve in life. It’s a practice that should be required for all of us. After all, if you know what you truly want out of life then you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Obvious as this may sound, many people never take the time to discover it. They live on autopilot, letting circumstances shape their days and months and years and decades.
Choose to have faith in what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Try out this riddle: What do fear and faith have in common? The answer: A future that hasn’t happened yet. So why would you choose to paint that future bleak and empty, when you could paint it vibrant and fulfilling and fun?
Start each day with “three questions.”
When you get up each morning, ask yourself this one question, What are the three things I need to do today that will help me find the job and create the success that I desire? Then, take action on those three things every day until you’ve achieved them. This is a great way to keep feeding your positive energy.
Take on a “glass 90 percent full” approach.
Today’s employment-related statistics can be hard to get out of your head when you’re searching for a job. But unlike the pundits on TV who seem all too pleased to focus on the most negative numbers available, you can choose to focus on the flip side, says Gordon. Rather than fixating on 10 percent unemployment, focus on 90 percent employment.
Choose to be humble and hungry
Be humble, advises Gordon. Know that you don’t have all the answers and can learn something from everyone. Know that there are always new ways to learn, improve, and get better. Be open to advice. Be open to learning a new skill and trying a job you haven’t thought of before.
Also, be hungry: Seek out a mentor, take him to lunch and model his success. Think of his life as a blueprint you can follow. Continuously improve and seek out new ideas and new strategies.
“We all know someone who’s lost his or her job. If you’re wondering, what can I do for that person-well, the answer is to encourage, uplift and support him. It will not only bolster your loved one’s spirits, it will make you feel good too. Leadership, after all, is a transfer of belief.”
About the Author
Jon Gordon is a speaker, consultant, and author of the international bestseller The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy and The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work. Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a master’s in teaching from Emory University. When he’s not speaking to businesses or schools, you can find him playing lacrosse or basketball with his wife and two “high energy” children.For more information, please visit www.jongordon.com.
Your turn: Have you ever been let go from a job? What lessons have you learned that helped you become a better person?
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