One of the worst things a person can say to someone who has just been laid off is, “What are you going to do now?”
What do you mean, “What am I going to do now?” Are you asking me because there is an answer? Do you have a job for me in mind, and the question is to see if I’m free so your wealthy dad can hire me?
What am I going to do now?
Well, for one – I’m going to feel a bit relieved. I wasn’t happy in the job I held for almost 5 years, and was gravely underpaid and unchallenged. Not that I didn’t try looking for a new job with better options while employed. I did. I have a resume that’s polished and updated. I have recruiters numbers and HR contacts on speed dial. From New York to Los Angeles – I’ve traveled for jobs that rendered nothing – yet.
And then, I’m going to speak to my financial advisor who deals with multi-millionaires and must wonder why the hell she took me on as a client several years ago when I was making better money, had a better job outlook, yet moved to Los Angeles for a change of pace only to run into low paying jobs thinking I’d get out of this financial rut. But seven years on? I have yet to.
And then, I’m going to write a book proposal where I reach out to frustrated people who are underemployed, underpaid, unemployed – millennials, Generation X-ers, Boomers Y-ers — the multi-generational workforce that is fucking tired of trying to exist in this world. Not just in the material aspects of life, but spiritually. We are living in our machines – our faces illuminated in the light of our iPhones. We don’t see or feel each other. We argue and hate – in a world divided because we can’t find the American Dream.
And then, I’m going to find a job that pays better than what I’ve been paid. I’m going to write the book that needs to be written. I’m going to coach people to change their mindset so they find empowerment in the job seeking world that transcends race, gender and generations.
We are all in this together, folks. We need to wake up and understand how to survive.
Yet – here’s the thing:
I refuse to give into fear. I REFUSE to panic, to live in lack and scarcity. And if you find yourself in this position – YOU SHOULD TOO.
This is the hero’s journey, the big story of our lives, where we are taken out of our comfort zone, the “ordinary word”, and reluctantly forge to the “ordeal”, where we fight the slings and arrows of rejection and “what’s next”?
I don’t know if I believe we all have a “purpose” in life. Some of us do. Some of us don’t. But it’s nice to do something that helps others while we’re trying to help ourselves. It makes us – and jobseekers alike – human in a Human Resources world.
Just don’t ask a person who’s been laid off “What are you going to do now?”
What do you think I’m going to do?