The loss of a job. The loss of a family member. Divorce. These endings are bitter sweet. They mark the end of life as we knew it. They also create new opportunities and open a new chapter in our lives.
There are predictable emotions that we all must go through after a loss. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about them and I described them here. While going through these emotions, I hope you take the time to reflect on what you've learned. Ask what you've loved doing. Ask yourself what you want to be known for. Muddle these answers around in your head for awhile. Share the answers with friends and family. Out of the past comes our future and there is most certainly a bright light for you to move toward.
I am finally ready to write this post. My father, whom we called Pop, passed away in early January. He was and always will be my moral compass, mentor, biggest fan, and hero. As I cope with his loss, I've been reflecting on his life. Sympathy cards flood the mailbox with wonderful memories from the many people who's lives he touched. They've called him a connector, they've said he could light up a room, they've recalled how he loved to tell jokes and stories. Yes, all these are true. They all stem from his love and interest of people. He could and would start conversations with anyone. His interest in other people is his legacy.
Professionally, Pop was a search consultant, ie executive recruiter. He found high level executives for high profile companies. His love of people created his vast network which allowed him to be successful in his profession. He wasn't always a recruiter, but that innate talent for building and nurturing relationships was his niche. He knew what he was good at and he stayed true to that.
I am grateful for the lessons he taught me. I am sad he won't be around to teach me more. Yet, as I reflect on what he loved doing and what he was known for and what he wanted to be known for, there is a consistency. He was true to his calling and his values.
As you grieve the loss of your job, don't you owe it to yourself to reflect on your past. Take from those experiences the consistent pieces and map out your legacy, personally and professionally. It is not the end. It is the beginning.
Thank you Pop.