This post is the fourth in a series of posts on the 12 Transition Points, one of the Circle of Impact tools.
You are not the only one. I’ve been fired, downsized, told I wasn’t wanted and invited to leave. They say misery loves company. Not really. Misery wants another job.
I’ve advised and counseled numerous people who were jobless, or as they told me “between jobs.” In my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change, there are a couple stories about people who are at the transition point of looking for a new job. For some this means that they are looking for a new career.
When you are fired, the feelings of loss and of not being good enough can be overwhelming. Based on both my personal experience and in my coaching work, for many people, the reason they lose their jobs has nothing to do directly with them. Most of the time, the reason has to do with changes taking place within the structure of the organization. It is small consolation to be told this, even if true.
If you are faced with Transition Point #4: You lose your job and are forced to rethink who you are and what you have to offer an employer, the greatest change that you will go through is in your self-understanding.
William’s Transition Story
In my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change (see page 10), the story of William is about a guy who is confronted with a transition that he didn’t see coming and is unprepared for. His transition means that he is leaving the comfort and security of the company where he had worked for over twenty years. William’s story is typical of many people. Their job defines who they are. The values of the company are their values. They are very competent at blending in, doing what is expected and being rewarded for it. The challenge is not finding another job, it is something more personal.
From William’s story,
I find that many people can tell you what they do and how well they do it, but they have a more difficult time saying what difference their work makes. Many people in William’s situation often just jump to looking for the next job. They assume that the primary question before them is finding employment. However, like William, the more pertinent question concerns what they bring to a job. This is the moment of transition that William is in. He is confronted with a level of change that is unprecedented in his life. Before this moment, every change was logical, predictable, and incremental. Now it feels like he is crossing a threshold into a new land with an unknown frontier.
Knowing What We Have To Offer
When we look for a job, we are in a situation where we must negotiate a relationship with an employer. Knowing what you have to offer a company is a key aspect of your self-understanding. I recommend taking some time to think back over time to identify those moments and situations where your specific skills, knowledge, experience and personal character made a difference that mattered. In William’s story, he discovered that he was competent to do a lot of different things. But there were a few things that distinguished him to his co-workers and managers. This is the picture we need to create for ourselves.
Knowing what you have to offer is also knowing the impact you offer to the company. Create a story where you illustrate your strengths and experience in a real world situation. This is more than telling them what you can do well.
We all go through employment transitions. We need to recognize the opportunity that comes with change. It begins with having a clear self-understanding of who we are, what we want in a job and what it means to be a person of impact.
If you are in a transition related to employment or career direction, let’s talk. We can begin with an initial free 20 minute call. Schedule time here.
A copy of the 12 Transition Points with a brief description of each one is available as an infographic of the three Circle of Impact tools that I use in my coaching and consulting work. Receive it by signing up for my twice monthly newsletter, Circle of Initiators, at http://edbrenegar.com.