Many times in our lives we experience heartbreaking circumstances that cause us to reevaluate our choices in life. During my time as a case manager in Workforce Development, I often sat across from someone who would question their previous actions in their career and education. I almost always gently explained that we never know what is going to happen in our lives and that they should have comfort in knowing that they made the best choice possible at the time. We just won’t know that a certain stock will crash, or a business would close, nor do we expect to be laid off from a job we’ve sacrificed years of hard work for. Nothing is certain anymore. We used to be able to rely on experience and loyalty in the workplace in order to maintain employment. We used to be able to rely on college education and degrees in order to assure success and promotion – that is just not the case anymore. We have to make the decision to make better choices for what is going on RIGHT NOW!
No one has to be tied down to a position title anymore. Many of us are surprised when we feel so hopeless after losing our jobs. We often lose our way a bit. As a culture, we rely on our occupations to guide us through our careers, give us pride, pay our bills, and warrant us the opportunity to pursue more out of life. But what happens when our jobs are snatched from us? Are we doomed to rely on public assistance and/or wait for retirement? Do we have to accept our circumstance and failure? Sometimes we lose our way when we lose our jobs but we don’t have to.
It is often during difficult circumstances when we can think deeply about where we actually want our lives to go. I would often sit with a client and listen to their ideas about their future. My duty was to provide the resources to start clients toward accomplishing their goals. I would make clients aware of the path necessary to achieve their desired goals – including information on industry, wages, location and growth. Some clients expressed wanting to own their own business, go back to school, or change industry completely. Either way, it was a chance for exploration and re-evaluation. A devastating lay off could also be the chance to follow one’s passion instead of the paycheck. Have you become what you wanted to be? What is your passion? How can you turn it into a paycheck?
Why you should work in your passion? Time works against us in a regular 9-to-5, but in your passion you lose track of time. You believe in your work. You know you do your work well, so everyone else’s opinion doesn’t sway you as easily. You constantly want to evolve. No one sets your hours or limits you. You can speak candidly about what you do – in a crowd, at a networking event, during an interview, at a job fair, etc. Have you thought of consulting? Do you have a skill or trade that many people need but do not want to do themselves?
Many people question their decisions in life with regret – I’ve personally decided not to do such a wasteful thing! We go through things in life that make us question out previous motives and intelligence but we cannot dwell on the past, it will not help us to be hopeful for the future. I take it upon myself to seek out why I made decisions and how that should effect my future decisions in life…and then I consciously decide to move on.