Archive for March, 2009

What is Your “Up” Side of Down?

March 22, 2009

Losing a job just has to suck. There’s no sugar-coating the financial impact, emotional wear and tear, lost of confidence – and all else that goes with being laid off.

Or is there?  Is there an upside to being ‘downsized’ ? 


(Photo courtesy of svdvene on Flickr)

Lately, I’ve been hearing more stories about people who are finding the ‘up’ in their downsized situations.

The Toronto Star featured an article today profiling “faces of the recession“. The front page article, “How I lost my Bay Street Job and Found True Happiness”  written by Andrea Fitzpatrick was very inspiring. This woman recounts how for years she focused her work purely on getting to the next rung in the corporate hierarchy. All the while, never questioning if the work was truly satisfying. Rather, she only asked  ‘would it facilitate the next promotion’. Upon being laid off, she confronted her situation and started to ask the important questions: What are my values? What do I enjoy doing? What do I really need to be happy – and more. The result: she found her true passion, has re-evaluated her work-life priorities and for the first time in her life, says her work-life is truly fulfilling. Read it here while it’s still posted.

An aquaintance I know was laid off recently. She is scared. But she was slugging it out for years in an environment that showed no respect, no appreciation for her contribution (and she worked hard!) and no empathy for who she was as an individual. She is now exploring more meaningful paths for her work-life. While it’s no fun being laid off, she is embracing this ‘event’ in her life knowing there’s possibility for a more meaningful work-life ahead. She’s got her nose to the grindstone and her past experience has taught her what she doesn’t want — and getting her closer to knowing what she does want in a more satisfying work-life.

Sometimes the tough kicks in life prompt us to ask the important questions. It’s not the event itself – but how we be with it. The reflections, questions, choices we make as a result that open up the life-changing shifts.

I can list countless stories like these and others where people (myself included!) face adversity but come out stronger and better for it. Some people refer to these challenging times in their life as a gift. It’s hard to see the ‘gift’ while you are right ‘in it’ but after a little while, perspective sets in.

How about you? Are you dealing with anything right now that you can pause the panic button and reflect: what’s the up side of all this? How do I want to be in this? What is most important? What’s my opportunity hidden under the angst?

We could all use some inspiration and a bit more positivity these days so bring it on and share!

To a TGIM work-life for all!