by Now What?® Coaching Founder, Laura Berman Fortgang
There is a fascinating phenomenon going on that I have observed through conversations with clients, would-be clients and being engaged on the internet. Well-educated, usually highly motivated people are paralyzed by the thought of sending out resumes and finding another job, even if they need to financially. Some of them are even medicated, under treatment for depression. You know, the symptoms—“if you have a loss of interest in things you usually enjoy for two weeks or more, tell your doctor…”
I am not surprised. I’m really not, but I know that the folks who are going through it are. They don’t recognize themselves. They don’t know the person who would not do whatever it took to meet their obligations and take care of their families and themselves. The turmoil caused by the disparity present many symptoms that might drive someone into therapy but that may not get to the root cause.
The source, in my humble opinion, is the daunting recognition that you paid a high price for the career or job you are now mourning and that you are so bruised by it that you do not want to go back as much as you think you should. You think you have no other option. You figuratively see graffiti everywhere that says: “NO WAY OUT!” Feeling paralyzed by the need to get back to work but the dread of going back to work is what likely threw you on the couch. The one at home and maybe the one at the shrink’s. But there is a way out and here is what I see that works for others and could work for you.
DARE TO SAY IT
Though our parents and grandparents may have never dreamed of happiness being criteria for choosing a job or career, it is very much part of who people are today. It’s OK to say so.
Dare to say out loud that you can’t go back from whence you came. It’s OK.
We can link the lack of physical and mental well being to a toxic workplace now and as much as someone might think we just need to ‘grow up and deal with it’, many people would rather stay on the couch than subject themselves to certain conditions.
GET MOVING AGAIN
Exercise, meet people for lunch, go to a museum—get your body moving again and be out in the world. After job loss, it’s fine to take some recovery time, but when recovery turns you into a wind up toy bouncing into the walls or eventually winding down to nothing, it’s time to MOVE. Any kind of movement will do but get out, move and be accountable somewhere.
DABBLE IN FICTION
Write down dream scenarios for your work. Drill down to what you really want as impossible as it may seem. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how or if you have any connections to make it happen. All that matters is that you knock the truth out of your brain and get it out onto a page. Just as you dared to say what you couldn’t stand, you now have to dare to say what you do want as far-fetched as it may be.
RESEARCH THE IMPOSSIBLE
Now, take that ‘impossible dream’ and start talking to people who might know people who might know people who can help. Scour the internet and even call people you don’t know to find out how they’ve accomplished what they done. Do approach people in a professional manner ( I can’t believe I have to even say that, but you would not believe the inquiries I get sometimes! People barking orders like my phone was the drive-up window at McDonald’s!)
The way you start moving the tides away from your couch and back into the world of work is to get your energy back by surfing the waves of change and possibility. When you explore, you’ll be amazed at the solutions that might come your way. NO WAY OUT, become THIS WAY OUT, and even if the end result is only a small change from your last position, it will have come to be with a greater understanding of who you are and what you want. With that knowledge, you are much more likely to make good choices and attract better opportunities.
If you take these steps, hopefully, the next time you are on the couch is just to kick off your shoes after a great day at work! Good luck and let us know how we can help.
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