Lessons Learned When You’ve Been “Displaced”

Sixteen months – that’s how long it has been since I became one of the millions of Americans considered a “displaced employee”.  In some ways it seems like only yesterday that I heard “your position is being eliminated”; in other ways it seems like a lifetime ago.  I had been at that company 8 years – survived multiple layoffs, reorgs., restructurings, mergers, etc., etc., etc.   And before that I ran  two small service businesses or worked for other companies for over 15 years.   So being in this position was an entirely foreign concept to me.  Being in this position, I’ve learned some valuable lessons.  It’s common sense lessons, but sometimes we need  life to remind us.

In my first post I want to share three things I’ve learned from my circumstances.

First – I’ve learned that you shouldn’t let your job alone define who you are.  It’s true  – a full-time 40+ hour a week job does comprise a big part of your life.  But if the unforeseeable happens and you lose that job through no fault of your own, you have to realize you are so much more than your job title.  You possess unique traits and talents that have nothing to do                        with your J-O-B.  That’s what makes you – you!

Second – If you did let your job define who you are – redefine yourself!  I was a financial analyst in my last position.  But when I wasn’t a financial analyst, I realized I was still a: problem solver; relationship developer; constant learner; and consistent top performer.  These are skills I can carry to whatever my next challenge may be.

Third – Don’t spend all your time in front of the computer looking for job leads. Dress up, get out, meet people, network, volunteer.  I know it’s easy to sit in front of the computer and find all the great “opportunities” out there on those job boards.  But I’ve heard it from so many recruiters, job club meetings, career counselors:  you find a job by talking to people.  I believe that to be true.  And 3 out of the 4 interviews I’ve had were the result of a friend putting my resume in front of someone.

In my next post, I’ll share my resume’s life-story.  Yes  – it does have a life of its own.  It’s already celebrated its first birthday.  🙂

Keep on keeping on – God Bless!


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