Guess how many people want to hear your job search story? The one where you talk about the fact that you were laid off.
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job SearchNetworking
Last week, I was talking to four different people who are out of work. This is nothing unusual because my business is working with people who are out of work. Two of them felt some pressing need to tell me in painstaking detail how they came to be in their current situation. The other two decided to share with me – yet again – an aspect of how great they were at their previous job and how others at the company couldn’t believe that they were let go.
I hate to tell you this. But I must. I’ve had enough! I’ve heard enough! Quit sharing your story with me. Quit sharing the story of how you were terminated, let go, laid off, fired, RIF’d, downsized…whatever you want to call it. Quit bringing up anything remotely related to the concept that you’re no longer there. You know who wants to hear that story? No one. That’s right. No one! Your family doesn’t want to hear it…for the millionth time. Your friends don’t want to hear it…for the thousandth time. And strangers don’t want to hear it…for the first time. We get it. You’re available.
Now, before you think I’m some unsympathetic, uncaring, downright mean person (it may be too late!)…let me explain.
Every time you bring up your story, you’re bringing up the negative feelings associated with it. No matter how much you say it doesn’t matter…you sound bitter. No matter how much you say you’re glad you’re not there anymore…you sound angry. No matter how much you say you’re better off…you come across sounding just a little bit insecure.
Maybe you’re all of these. Maybe the company really did a number on you. Regardless of how it happened, you probably need to go through the stages of grief. And it’s okay. You’re not alone. Many others have been there before…and will go there again. Here are the common stages of grief you might be going through:
- Denial. This isn’t happening to me! I was the best employee. No one at the company could believe it.
- Anger. Why is this happening to me? Someone needs to pay! I need to talk to an employment attorney.
- Bargaining. I promise I’ll [fill in the blank] if I could only land a job. Lots of praying in this stage.
- Depression. I don’t know if I’ll ever find a job. I used to be a somebody.
- Acceptance. I’m ready for whatever comes. I’m going to be okay. I had a great job before and I will again. It may take longer than I expected. I may have to get real creative when it comes to expenses. I may have to work a little harder at it, but the right position will come to me.
I’m not suggesting you go through this all alone. I’m simply recommending that you quit bringing up the negative feelings of the past. Quit sharing your story with everyone you know. They feel bad for you. They have pity on you. They’re scared to invite you to their party – because you may bring the whole party down. Quit sharing your story with everyone you meet. You’re making them uncomfortable! They don’t know you from Adam…and all of a sudden you hit them with the biggest challenge you have in life today. Yikes! Why don’t you ease into the relationship with something a little more positive (and less personal)?
Make a decision today that you’re going to get over the past (or at least quit talking about it!). You’re going to realize that you’re not the first person to lose a job. And you certainly won’t be the last. Make a decision that you’ll go through the grief – in the comfort of your own home. And then make a decision that today is the day your life will begin fresh. You are meant for great things. You are destined for great opportunities. You’re a fantastic, incredible person that has much to offer a company. You will find the right position…not within the confines of your home (remember, that’s where you left grief for the night!). You will find the right position by getting out there, meeting new people, and having interesting conversations. And when you do that, amazingly, the right opportunity is going to come knocking on your door. Answer it!