8 Steps to Unemployment Bliss

If you have been laid off, or are now in fear of being laid off, I wish you nothing but bliss. I honestly hope that you find yourself presented with a remarkable opportunity to change how you see the world.

Whether you’re employed by a large corporation or a struggling start-up or if you are self-employed, there’s a decent chance that you won’t be doing what you do forever. I’ve been through all sorts of shakeups over my 20 + years of the Corporate American experience. I survived them all. You will too. Here’s how:

  1. Focus on all the other things in your life besides this one bad moment that offer you value (there are more than you think: open your eyes and view the your world like a newborn).
  2. Intend to change what matters most about your life. This is your opportunity. There’s no rush, but intention is the key to accomplishment.
  3. Thank whoever delivers you the news of your layoff. Forgive them and tell them you know it hurts them too. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your relatives and whoever you feel comfortable telling. Express how you feel. You’d be surprised how supporting people can be. Your network begins with your voice.
  4. Work on your resume or brand or career goals, but spend more time playing. Devoting one hour of focused networking leaves the rest of the day to do remarkably meaningful things. Remember: being so serious at work still ended in ruin. Time to loosen up to the larger world around you.
  5. Live in ways that you couldn’t while you were employed. What would you like to learn? Who do you want to meet at Starbucks? What’s the park like at 2pm on a weekday? Who’s hurting who could use your presence?
  6. Honestly assess what you love to do. What would you do for free? (What would you PAY to do?) If you put your effort into what has meaning, whatever money you make will support what matters. Put the effort and time for that convergence to take place.
  7. Open yourself up to the most mundane, ordinary things that happen. What simple things did you miss while you were busy with that cog job? How does the skin around your wrist feel? What’s your breathing feel like, from your nostrils down your throat deep into your lungs? It’s precious, isn’t it?
  8. Focus on the pain of the loss you sustained whenever it arises in your memory. Then gently re-focus on all the other remarkable parts of your life which the rat race distracted you from noticing. Focus on what matters.

Yes, this is a modified Noble Eightfold Path. That path is all about re-conditioning how you see the world. We all are programmed to think in certain ways: if you don’t have a job then you’re whole life is doomed. Nonsense! We are more than one little box.

A layoff isn’t a death sentence. Yes, there are bills to pay. It hurts. Growing hurts too. It’s never too late to grow into something larger than your past.

When in doubt or in depression: value your integrity, not your things. You can’t be laid off from your integrity. Awareness of your integrity is bliss. Bliss is your birthright.

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