When I am working with professionals who are in a career transition, it’s great to see them begin to re-engage hope, especially in the face of this economic repositioning of the entire world. One such woman I worked with for several months is the greatest testimony yet. She had been with her company for well over 20 years. Although she was an accomplished professional in a highly in-demand industry, she did not trust that she would be able make a go at this job search ‘thing’.
Her job loss was a real hit to her and all that she had known for so many years. But, she persevered. She attended every possible session we offered and she worked hard on her resume. Yet, her self esteem and the confidence she needed, according to her, was lacking. We talked, laughed and had even some solemn seconds (try to skip pass this quickly).
As time went on, we were able to encourage her to network. Yes, network!!! I think this was the turning point. She started making headway on her job search. She made contacts and shared job leads as well. Now, we’re getting somewhere, I thought. I didn’t know that she still had thoughts of what was not possible for her. Age? Gender? What could it have been?
Recently, she attended a workshop that I was facilitating. She was her usual cheerful self. As the session closed, I asked everyone to share the biggest take-away from this program. Here it is – the testimony. When it was her turn she said that all of what she had done while working with us had finally moved her to the place of knowing she was ‘still in the game’. She was so proud of herself! She had recently turned down an offer and was not regretting it now (trust me she did when it first happened)! She had come to realize that she had value to bring to any company that was willing to compensate her appropriately. She was now confident to move forward knowing that she did have something to offer. How great is that???
All of us have to get to the place where we realize we are, like her, still in the game. Especially if we have had people either tell us or treat us like we are not. Putting on our game face does make it sort of work, at least according to the ‘fake until you make it’ philosophy. But when you have faked it so much that you don’t even believe it any more, there’s has to be another way. That way is doing it ‘in spite of yourself’. This philosophy is a step into the reality that declares ‘No, I am not okay today. But, I will make those calls anyway’.
You are still in the game. Maybe you are in the locker room, in a daze, because you were hit by the layoff linebacker. Or, you are on the sideline because you recalculated the relationship pattern that indicated that you should run short, stop and pivot to the right. And instead you just kept on running – never to look back.
I applaud everyone who pulls everything all together and moves on. It can be done.