She had worked successfully – and consistently – throughout her life. When she was very young her jobs revolved around the food industry. From food she moved into hospitality and then eventually, sales and service. Lina’s career took her into new cities and states, but she spent her entire career (25+ years) in the south – home sweet home.
Suddenly, Lina was shocked to find herself in the ranks of the unemployed. Her employer’s business began to fail and they significantly reduced their workforce. Lina was among the many unfortunate ones to go. She had never been without a job. But she had never had any difficulty using her contacts and relying on her networks to connect her with the next opportunity. Although she felt frightened and defeated, she was also hopeful. All in all, at this point in her life, she was definitely in unchartered waters.
On a good note, Lina took several basic steps that could be effective tactics for almost anyone in this situation:
- Completed the necessary documents at her local ESC office.
- Used social media to let key people around her know what had happened, thus activating her professional support network.
- Signed up for an on-site class at her local community college.
Although she was still shocked, concerned and uncertain of her future, Lina made some smart decisions and good choices early – which enabled her to move through this difficult period as smoothly as possible. A self-professed “extrovert”, Lina chose the people interaction and structure of an on campus class. In her case, it was absolutely the best choice, as it also provided the social stimulation she needed. Conversely, her more introverted colleagues found online classes to be the preferred starting point. Lina shared about another growth step that helped her as well…
She signed up for a small “in transition” group which met weekly for 6 weeks. In this arena, Lina found new information and insights to help her move forward. But she also found a new group of individuals with whom to relate. We experience loss on many levels when a job ends. As William Bridges – and Spencer Johnson remind us – we must manage our endings before we can fully embrace new beginnings. This new group experience addressed her loss of community, provided fresh new perspectives, and offered the kindling of new relationships.
If you are in transition, or know someone who is, Lina’s track could prove beneficial. Using any search engine you can produce a list of local agencies and organizations that offer career development services. Lina chose to engage in a “Choice Points” seminar series for her small group experience, based on the work of Sydney Rice. It featured self assessments and learning models which revealed her Results System™ and was sponsored by TaylorTrain.
Through the processes listed above, Lina became keenly interested in reviving a childhood dream to create her own business. Again to her credit, she did not fall prey to the fantasy that a dream is all it takes. There is a lot of research to do and a business plan to write. Few entrepreneurs enjoy hearing about this aspect of business start-up. Lina was no different. But an intermediate plan began to stake shape in her mind.
Because of the good work habits Lina had demonstrated in earlier years, an associate offered her some contractual work. Lina accepted the offer and began to produce once again. Not surprisingly, she did not love the work, but it provided for basic needs. And it gave her an opportunity to continue to shape and refine her dream, before turning it into reality. To her credit, she’s well on her way….
#3 in the series