Time is Precious/Change is Constant
What 2020 has taught us so far is that time is precious and change is constant. Especially when it comes to one of the core identities of our lives. As of late, a lot of folks have been furloughed or fired from their last employer. I think this is one of the most difficult life challenges to go through, the loss of a job. Change of this kind, at this level, has a way of shaking our whole world. There’s a cascading effect that takes place. We now must contend with the “what-ifs”, and most of the time, they are filled with the most challenging possible outcomes you can think of. The loss of your job seems to open the door to a number of fear-inducing possibilities: loss of lifestyle, loss of housing, loss of stature and respect, loss of a spouse, and maybe even the loss of life. The list goes on and on. Conventional wisdom states that the only way to “fix” this, is to get out of the pain fast, find a new job with a salary and benefits in order to quickly replace what has been lost. That’s the problem. Conventional wisdom is a solution that reacts to the pain of the problem, the symptoms, without taking into account the real cause or root of the problem. The reason for getting fired today, for many, was certainly out of their control. Having to shut down to stay at home has certainly negatively impacted so many businesses and so many people. This is where the real opportunity can reveal itself. To step back, stay in the pain, and open yourself up to all the ways you could respond. Maybe you didn’t really like your job. Maybe you were stuck and didn't know how to get unstuck. Maybe you could do the job but just weren’t fulfilled. Maybe you were doing the job but it wasn’t ever fun or fulfilling. Too often we stay for the wrong reasons. Getting fired puts you on the path to fixing that. Years ago, in a networking group I led, we decided to re-frame this very specific event, being fired. Rather than saying we were furloughed, terminated, or fired, we decided to talk about being unleashed.
Why unleashed? Because it begins the process of being able to “see” your employment in a whole new way, in a way that’s reflective of what’s not only good for you but also the future company or organization you’ll work for. This may sound a bit like spin but it really wasn’t. Big picture: if you believe that there are meaning and purpose behind all things, then if you get fired, ultimately you weren’t meant to be with that company, otherwise you would be. When you're unleashed that means there’s something else waiting for you, the place where you belong.
In the Zone
Please allow me to explain. If life has meaning and purpose that means that everything counts. There are no real random events. I believe each one of us was created to serve others. That means we have a purpose. Since we have a purpose, we’ve been given gifts and talents within which to fulfill that purpose. With a purpose and gifts and talents, there must be work that has been prepared in advance for us to do. That’s why you have the passions you do. That’s why you’re really good at some things and maybe not others. That’s why you can tell when you’re really doing it, when you’re in the zone and when you’re just getting by.
Being Able To Go All In
This is incredibly great news! According to research, the numbers are pretty telling: just over 50% of the people working are satisfied with their jobs. Over 50% satisfied. What about the rest? Also, around 30% of those employed are engaged in their work. That means almost 70% are partially engaged or engaged not at all in helping to grow and do what their companies need to be done. How would you feel knowing, as an owner, that almost 70% of your workforce struggles to go all-in on helping to grow and develop your company? I don’t think it has to be that way. Years ago I was at a crossroads in my career. I had been working for 14 years in a career I absolutely loved. But life changed, as life does, and I came to really the worst place you can get about a career. I had become indifferent. I had no passion. I didn’t care anymore. As a result, I wasn’t helping anyone. So, I made a decision to seek some counsel.
Bringing The Fun Back
After sharing my tale of woe, what do you think was the very 1st question I was asked? “What would be fun?” I was shocked. I wasn’t talking about fun. I was talking about paying my bills, taking care of my family, being secure. That did it! I was now opened to the concept of fun and it changed completely forever my thoughts about working. I wasn’t trying to get another job with a salary and benefits and a place to be safe. It became a question of where did I belong? The question wasn’t if I could get a job. The question was where do I belong and are we supposed to work together?
Finding Where You Belong
These questions change completely how you think about any position. You come into any interviewing process on equal terms. It’s not about seeing if you can convince them to give you a job. It’s about understanding what their mission is and what your mission is and if both sides benefit by working to achieve each other’s mission together. Imagine if you went into an interview trying to find where you belong rather than just trying to get a job? Yes, you want to conduct yourself appropriately. You want to dress the part, have a good resume, and be prepared for the interview. I also would recommend, if time allows, ask your interviewer to tell you their story. Remember, this is about having a relationship where both sides belong. How can you do that if you don’t know their story?
The pandemic has been rough. The death of George is a tragedy. On top of it all, you may be without a job. If you give yourself some time to think about it and stay in the pain, investing time to figure out where you belong after being unleashed, that’s one thing that could really make a difference for you, and others you serve, in the 2nd half of 2020!
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.