A career coaching scenario
It begins like this:
Caller: " I know I'm
going to be laid off in a few months. I have no idea what I'm
going to do."
Me: "Would you like
to start career coaching next week?"
Caller: "On no! I have
so much to do here. Paperwork for severance. Employees to manage.
I'm just not ready."
The wake-up call:
Caller: "Help! My severance
will run out in five months. I need a new career -- fast!"
When you're working, unemployment
seems far away. You see your desk, chair and computer. The phone
rings. Colleagues stop by.
Negative events tend to be
pushed to the hidden corners of your mind. "I will have
six months of severance," you figure, "and outplacement."
A month or two after your
job disappears, you get a wake-up call. You've lost three
months -- one-fourth of a year.
How did this happen?
Once you face unemployment, your priority shifts to, "What
next?" If you're a loyal, caring employee, that's tough.
"Zelda" said, "I
don't have time to call a recruiter or interview my network for
information. I have too much to do!"
"Tim" spent two
weeks in a company training class, waiting for the other shoe
I won't tell you to fake
a dentist appointment.
However, senior managers have told me, "I wish my people
would just use their medical and vacation time. I am not going
to ask questions. I understand what they have to do."
How can you move forward?
"My company did a number
on me," said Hortensia. "I want to work for employee
Hortensia needs to grieve
her loss. Until you can make peace with your former job, you
may not be able to move on.
said Kevin. "My savings are disappearing."
Kevin needs to create a rock-bottom
worst case scenario. Fear should motivate you to take action.
Being paralyzed by fear, especially irrational fear, calls for
You need to grieve
Losing a job you love can
be as painful as breaking off a relationship. If a friend were
going through a bitter divorce, you'd expect them to go through
a dysfunctional mourning period. Yet often we expect colleagues
-- and ourselves -- to forge ahead with business as usual.
Most people make the change
alone or with a supportive coach. They learn a new definition
of time and an even newer definition of work. They learn to manage
their time to cover their work responsibilities and their transition.
In fact, they learn to use their company as a vehicle to move
to their new life.
If you have trouble getting
yourself to shift to future tense, don't wait. Once you're on
your own, watching the money disappear, it's too easy to slip
into panic mode.
Transition begins when you
get moving . Find your new "partner." Six months from
now, the old job will be a distant memory. And you'll be living
an adventure you never believed possible.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*