I’ve been called a “Zen master” many times. At my previous jobs, when something went wrong or an unexpected situation arose, my coworkers looked to my calm, cool, collected demeanor to temper the situation. I attribute this Zen to the unnatural amount of uncertainty I experienced as a young professional in the midst of the 2008 recession. During this time, I experienced, firsthand, what lack of job security, layoffs and unemployment benefits felt like. Now that we’re all in the same situation of uncertainty, I harken back to these times to provide guidance.
The back and forth struggle between employment and unemployment was my reality between 2010-2015. I took the hint (“I hear you Universe”) and became an entrepreneur in 2011, and created a career for myself that would supplement my income. If you are struggling to make sense of your unemployment situation, financial uncertainties, and trying to formulate a next step, you are seen, my friend. I’ve been there, more times than I’d wish upon anyone. For those of you who haven’t been following my story, I lost my job several months ago, and have been struggling to find steady, part-time work to supplement my income while I rebuild my coaching clientele. I, too, am feeling the pressure while my husband and I currently operate as a single-income home.
These days, I’m finding it’s more important than ever to refocus on what’s truly important in life. I focus on what I can control versus what I can’t control. Of course, I fear the worst-case scenario; I’m human. I have negative situations popping up in my head constantly. But, there’s a delicate balance between getting news and absorbing chaos.
Ask yourself, “How can I think differently about my current situation?”
There is beauty in exploring the unknown and leaning into discomfort to learn how to navigate unfamiliar waters. The beautiful thing about our comfort zones is, they are expandable.
I recently heard a statistic on one of my favorite podcasts, (The Real Estate Guys), that the average person reinvents themselves every 5-7 years. To clarify, the average person is not just switching the company they work for, they’re literally transitioning their career and changing professions. Hello! That’s me! I’ve been a Graphic Designer, Project/Account Manager, Marketing Manager, CMO, Job Developer, Executive/Virtual Assistant, Independent Sales Representative, and Life Coach. Quite the list of career transitions to go through in the span of 10 years.
I’d like to offer a few questions to help shift your perspective from, “Oh no! I’ve lost my job.” to “I lost my job! What’s next?” I challenge you to go through each of the questions below and write out your answers. Pause Tiger King on Netflix, and take 10 minutes out of your day to do this. I think you’ll like the results. I offer these questions with the utmost amount of love and support. I’ve gone through this myself. It’s how you choose to view your situation and utilize your time that will ultimately help best position yourself when shelter in place is over.
What could you create with the time you’ve been given?
The number one reason my clients don’t invest in themselves is because they think they don’t have the time. Ok, let’s find some. Now that you’re working remotely, or not working at all, use the time you would have been commuting to examine your job choices, life goals and rewrite your narrative. We just found at least thirty minutes!
What are new possibilities?
Imagine hitting the “refresh” button on your life’s browser. What do you want to see on the screen when it refreshes? Use the immediate response as your guide. That’s your intuition leading you in the right direction. Oftentimes, we’re so busy that we neglect to tune into our inner compass. There’s no time like the present to pay attention to what is coming up for you, and how that idea could manifest into a new possibility. You have the opportunity to reinvent yourself during this down time.
What steps are you willing to take?
This question may take a few minutes to answer. I’m challenging you to shift from inaction to action; forward motion in a new direction of your life, career, relationships. Feel into what you wrote down for the previous question, “What are new possibilities.” Brainstorm what your first action step(s) might look like? Do you need to take an online course? Do you need to start with introspective journaling? Could your resume a project you haven’t touched in years? Take some time to write out everything that comes to mind. Then, circle the top 2-3 action steps you can take today to step into a new chapter for yourself.
What are you waiting for?
You’ve heard the old adage, “There’s no time like the present.” It’s just as true today. While our lives are put on pause as we shelter in place, take the time to work on yourself, your business, your career, your health, your personal goals, your hobbies, and more. We – myself included, as my husband and I have suddenly found ourselves in a single income situation – have been give the gift of time. Isn’t that what we’ve been waiting for? We – again, I’m in this boat with you – have the option of stressing or re-inventing. We can re-act or anticipate. This is, perhaps, the time we have all been waiting for.
What kind of support do you need to hit your “refresh” button?
Whether it feels like it or not, we all have the power within us to change the course of our lives. What matters is how we choose to react to situations and navigate our emotions to create a new normal for ourselves. This isn’t easy work, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been doing things like this for years. We all learn how to chart and manage our own courses with each new hurdle and opportunity life presents us.
Many things are out of our control right now. The good news, we can reinvent the way we think about our current situations. Instead of, “OMG! I was laid off!” reframe that into a positive affirmation. “I’ve been given the gift of time to reinvent myself and be subsidized by the government while I do it.
Keep in mind, if you’re considering starting your own business when the COVID-19 epidemic ends, you’ll be well positioned to take advantage of the small business stimulus packages that are being developed to help re-establish business and commerce in the economy.
Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate! These days we need reasons to celebrate the positive things in life to detract from the craziness outside our inner circles. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly and share your “wins” via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I always jump at the chance to connect with you one-on-one!
Make no mistake, this is most certainly a time of uncertainty. I am always looking for ways I can support and provide you, my readers, with the resources you need to achieve your dreams, get unstuck in your personal and professional life, and feel more empowered in your daily life. Have 30-seconds? Take this quiz – I’d love to hear your feedback and see how I can help!