For Wisdom in Your Professional Choices

When Things Fall Apart

"...getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by a lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." Steve Jobs 2005.

T hings are falling apart for many in the Houston Job Market. More and more employees are either getting pink slips or living constantly with the threat of this happening. It seems to be getting worse, especially if you are in an oil and gas related field. But what if we stop looking at this job market breakdown as a sign that things are falling apart, and see it instead as simply the place between what was before and what is coming next?

Losing a job can be painful, humiliating and downright scary. The bills keep coming, the kids need so many things, and the mortgage is staring us in the face. With so many people losing jobs these days, and so few jobs available, panic and fear can really kick in. But worrying and panicking never help us find the next step. When you come up against a situation like this remember that on the other end is a golden coin of hard-earned truth, molded from your survival and experience. This situation will stretch you in ways that will lead to lasting change. A negative experience in the short term could really end up being a positive one for you in the long term. Could this experience perhaps force you to do a total self-inventory to evaluate and assess your true skills and abilities? Maybe you will get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Amazing things rarely happen in your comfort zone, where we usually only dream of amazing things happening. If we don't BREAKDOWN, WE DON'T BREAKTHROUGH.

For many the threat of a job loss can be the thump on the head they need to really become a better, stronger person, and to transform themselves into a better human being. Finding out how you can align with your true passion and purpose might be an exciting endeavor that allows you to grow and develop. The process of losing a job and reinventing your professional self might force you to get a little leaner in how you live, and come out on the other side stronger because of it. Would that really be so bad?

Often times when things fall apart, if we just open our eyes, we will see something very beautiful emerging. I'll never forget the time when my boss called me into her office. I knew I was in trouble. I had been having low production and the placements were just not coming in. She told me I had 30 days to turn my production around. If I didn't do this, I would be fired. I remember going home that night riddled with fear. I started researching companies that I thought might be hiring new employees and made my list. I went into the office the next day with my list in hand, and started making cold calls. I ended up landing a multi-hire account with a major corporation. Within the next 30 days I filled 26 of their open positions. And in the process I saw myself transformed from a victim to a victor. The threat of losing my job forced me to go from a marginal producer to a stellar one. I had to stretch myself in a way I had never done before. And the good feelings and increased self-confidence made me a better recruiter and more valuable employee. That year I became a top performer, and to this day I remember that experience as a huge turning point in my career.

Think about the transformation a caterpillar undergoes. When the caterpillar enters the chrysalis and it's metamorphosis begins, we can only imagine that the process of transformation will be uncomfortable. The tiny creature's cells are radically changed and it grows into something completely different and utterly magical. Unless the caterpillar undergoes this radical transformation, it will never fly as a beautiful butterfly. Oftentimes when things fall apart and radically change, we become transformed into someone stronger with new skills and abilities. We emerge from our cocoon, spread our wings and fly. There isn't a single successful person out there in the world that hasn't learned to weather breakdowns and failures. Look at this time in your life as an opportunity for growth and not despair. You too can emerge from your own personal cocoon just like that beautiful butterfly that was once a small little caterpillar. Take yourself to new heights. The view up there really can be wonderful!

Mary Ann is highly regarded in the national recruiting world. With her unique method of aligning the whole person to the job, she has the reputation of identifying what makes placements stick for many years, which ultimately provides long-term success for both the applicant and the company. Mary Ann Faremouth, President, Executive Recruiter, Faremouth & Company. 7l3-895-7772, www.faremouth.com.

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