OK – you had some trouble.
You could have been laid off.
Or had some words with your boss.
You may have even been fired.
Embarrassing? Maybe. But that’s up to you.
In the June series, Bless Your Path, we’re looking at how you can bless every step of your professional journey. When you’re a good boss of you, you don’t let one event on a long trip, even a harsh one, take over the rest of your life. Step one to moving past an experience is owning it.
This is what happened for a woman profiled by Humans of New York. Here’s her story:
I lost my job last week. I was there for six years. It was the first job I’ve ever lost.
It’s hard not to take it personally when someone tells you that you’re not needed. There were ten people on my team, and I’m the one they chose. So my mind has been running through all the possible things I could have done wrong.
The first few days were the hardest. I spent a lot of time crying.
But my birthday was a few days ago, and my friends took me out for a taco night. And it woke me up. I started laughing. I couldn’t even remember why I’d felt so sad.
My life was so much bigger than that job. I’m healthy. I live in a wonderful city, and I have a great group of friends.
I just lost a small piece of the pie.
Did you catch the turnaround? (No, not taco night!) It was the moment she began expressing gratitude.
As she ticked through all the Good in her life, the impact of her job loss started to change. Work, although important, was just a small part of a much bigger picture. A beautiful, rich picture.
You may still feel awkward about a job you lost years ago. You might even feel compelled to keep doctoring the story. However, what truly matters isn’t the moment you were let go; it’s the silver lining you discovered. That’s the story worth telling.
Yes, you got fired, but when you lost that hyper-critical boss, you also lost the headache you used to get every night.
You didn’t know it at the time, but getting laid off was a stroke of luck. Your friends who stayed on went through repeated rounds of nerve-wracking layoffs before the company finally closed. Their self-esteem plummeted along with the stock price.
Or like the woman in New York, you could have been insulted by your manager. However, that grim conversation spurred you to look for something else. Moving on was tough, but then you got together with your former workmates recently and listened to them complain. About the Same. Old. Things.
This week, get out of the muck and mire of blaming, anger and resentment. Start counting your blessings; it’s the fastest technique to get to neutral. Then use those blessings as the basis for a clear, authentic story.
You’ll have your answer ready the next time someone asks you about that blip on your resume. “Oh that? Yeah, that happened.”