I walked into the office on Monday morning like any other Monday—ready to take on the day and get my week started; I had no idea this Monday, and week, would be different. After leaving the office to head to an event, I got a call from a co-worker saying we all needed to return for a mandatory meeting; I immediately knew what it was, and soon after received the [official] word that we were all laid-off. The news wasn't surprising because I expected it for some time, but it was still a blow because I thought I had time to continue working towards my goals; there was lesson number one—time waits for no one.
The next few months would take a toll on me both physically and emotionally; there were times when I wanted to give up, days where I completely lost faith, and moments when I could do nothing but cry, but in the end, I didn't give up. I kept going and leaned on faith even when I questioned it, and through the process worked to heal myself to gain greater clarity about who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. I'm a [true] believer that everything happens for a reason, and at this moment I still don't know what that is, but as I continue down this journey, there are many lessons to be learned. As I replay the events of the past few months, I'm sharing with you ten valuable lessons I learned from losing my job.
I. I allowed my career to define me
Every time someone asked me, 'who are you and what do you do,' I answered with my current career title and aspiring career title. It wasn't until I no longer had that job did I realize I am more than a title. I worked so hard to get to where I'm at, and for so long, I allowed my career and title to define who I was. During the past few months as I (re)discovered who I am, I realized and understood, I'm more than my career. It's important to remind yourself why you are here, what your purpose is, and know that you are more than your job/career.
Whew! This one was tough! For years I thought I had patience; I [generally] don't rush things and pride myself on having patience—in most situation, especially those I have no control over. BUT LET ME TELL YOU! The job interview process, along with the wait time in-between, and the weeks you go without a call, email, or response will have you on edge. It wasn't until the last two months of being unemployed did I realize, patience and faith go hand-in-hand, and if you're rushing the process, you're not holding onto faith. I watched a clip of Oprah talking about surrendering to the process and it, of course, is spot on.
III. Freelance and entrepreneurship is hard work
Just in case no one has said it today, freelance and entrepreneurship is hard and doesn't happen overnight or within a year. At the beginning of the year, I planned to become full-time freelance by the end of the year, and once I had the opportunity to [really] focus on doing freelance work, I quickly realized, it's not the simple. After countless pitches, meetings, conference calls, and deals that didn't happen, I understood, it takes time. So, if this is your goal as well, give yourself time to create a solid strategy, valuable-consistent work, and time to go at your own pace.
IV. Rejection isn't easy
We will all face rejection, and no matter how many times we do, it will never feel comfortable. It can be a painful part of life, and after I received countless rejection notices, I decided that I needed to bring more awareness and peace into my life, so rejection didn't hit me so hard. While doing this, I discovered seven ways you can deal with rejection, and each has helped me identify the feelings rejection brings up and how I can deal with each.
V. You're not alone
When I first got laid off, I felt shame, embarrassment, and anger, but I after sharing a piece of it on social, the outpouring of love I received allowed me to understand I am not alone in this. We all, at some point, hit a low point in our career, and this is my moment, and I'm learning how to be okay with it. Hearing the story of others who were laid-off, helped me accept mine and also share what I was going through. In this moment, I knew I wasn't alone, and how important it is to be vulnerable without the fear of shame and embarrassment.
VI. You can't give up
As the days, weeks, and months passed, I wanted to give up; it was the easiest and hardest thing to do. I haven't been in this position before, so I didn't know what to expect; I put my all into everything—job searching, creating content, pitching—and nothing seemed to give way, but I pushed myself on the days that were hard and believed that everything would work out, and it did. Giving up cannot be an option, even when it gets hard; if you're quick to give up and throw in the towel, you'll never have the life you desire.
VII. Have multiple streams of income
I've heard it multiple times but didn't understand how important it was until now. Today, you can no longer depend on one job, one career, or one stream of income because none of them are guaranteed. Having multiple streams of income allow you to eliminate the fear and worry of job loss and unemployment. It's no longer a luxury, it's necessary, so your hobby—turn it into your side hustle; your blog—monetize it, do everything you can to have multiple streams of income.
VIII. Allow help and support
Throughout this process, I learned that you have to allow people who love and support you to do just that; love and support you. I've always been very independent and prided myself on never asking for any help, but in a time of need, you have to let those around you help. Whether that be emotional, physical, or financial help, it's okay to ask for it and accept it; it took me time to understand this, but once I did, it eliminated a lot of stress. If you find yourself in this position or any other position where you need support, allow people to do so, and if you're on the other side of it, support those you love because they will need it, even when they don't ask.
IX. Stop planning
I typically plan out my day, week, and life, but when life happens, there is no plan in place that will save you. I learned to stop planning and just do because nothing matters more than the work that is getting done. It's so easy for us to get caught up in planning everything; you have your [trusty] planner, highlight your to-do list, and focus on checking tasks off, but is anything [really] getting done? Probably not. When I look back at my planner and my roadmap for the year, I learned I got caught up in the planning stage instead of the work, so now, I just write down what I need to do and let the process I've created take over to get the work done.
X. Love yourself
It's easy to feel like you've done something wrong; I felt sorry for myself many days and questioned how did I end up in this position, but in the end, having those feelings got me nowhere. I put that energy into reading, learning crystal healing, meditating, and loving myself even when it felt impossible. Take time to get to know yourself better; spend time alone and do everything YOU love because, in the end, none of this matters if you don't love yourself.
The past few months are the hardest months I've faced, but like anything else, time passes and everything works out. I've learned how to hold on to faith even when nothing makes sense, and to believe in myself through every moment and every emotion. An abundant life isn't for the weak, and this test is building up my strength for what's next, the same goes for you. Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired.