2009 – The Gift within the Recession

To you who have lost your jobs or are in danger of it, to you who are having trouble finding a new position, I’m going to offer a revoltingly cheerful observation: there’s a gift for you in this situation.

Many of you were in trouble in that former job, and you’re the ones I’m speaking to.

  • You made a serious mistake or two,
  • You irritated some higher-ups,
  • You were costing them money,
  • You were a misfit for that organization,
  • You really wanted something else,
  • You stayed too long.

Need I go on?  There is no tactful way to say this: it was long past time for you to move on.  And you didn’t.  So upper management took control and you were “laid off”.  

Where’s the gift?  

I believe that for the rest of your work life, when you say you left the job in the first part of 2009, few will question you further.  With unemployment at painful highs, you have a lot of company.  There will be an assumption (mostly true, of course), that the economy pushed your organization into  having to cut back.  

The tactful answer (completely true) will be that hard times pushed you into doing what you should have done/were planning to do/wanted to do for quite a while.  You can fine-tune your career, move in a direction that is more appropriate for you and that will a chance for you to use your best strengths.  

You just may look back on 2009 as a defining time in your career.  No one welcomes a lay-off, no one enjoys the fearful situation you’re in, but you can not only survive but flourish in whatever direction comes next.

Optimistic?  Yes, I am.  

Idealistic?  Sure, why not?

Confident in the future?  Definitely.  Write to me in a year and tell me what you are doing.  I’d love to hear from you.

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