“I lost my job. I am stuck in my apartment by myself. I feel alone.”
I have been coaching a few amazing women over the past 6 weeks who lost their jobs and have found me through a partnership that offered them pro bono coaching sessions during these difficult times.
These women were feeling lonely and alone and started doubting themselves “Am I good enough?” “Why me?” “I do not think anyone will hiring me.”
A similar pattern of questions kept coming up in our conversations: “I do not know what to do.” “What are some small steps that I can take to not feel overwhelmed yet still move forward?” “I do not want to be paralyzed by my own thoughts and the circumstances around me.”
They were undoubtedly struggling to not take their job losses personally. And every one of them were taking it personally and were hurt.
What I love about being a coach is that I get to tell these women, and all my clients, that I believe they are not broken, they are enough. I believe that they are whole, capable, creative, and resourceful. Between the two of us I might be the only one right now who believes that – as I tell them they laugh – and they do not need to be onboard yet. I accept them as they are, for who they are and that is where I start my work from (or I tell them my starting line for this running race is).
I might be ahead of them once we get “running” but I believe they will catch up to me. And slowly they do. They start leaving their self-doubts behind, even lap them, and realize they got ahead of me.
How did they get ahead? They started to share with me their resilience stories. They started to listen beyond their doubts and hear their perseverance and strengths that got them to this point in their lives. They cleared the internal traffic jam to meet their inner wisdom.
One of them touched me so deeply after one of our sessions that sitting and reflecting on the experience gave birth to the 3 Small Steps To Get A New Job Again that I want to share with you today.
And I am sharing it with you because I was asked to do so by that same wise woman who inspired me to create them in the first place.
You see, I shared these 3 Small Steps with her, and she could not wait to put them into action. Her experience and her feedback implementing these steps are the reason for me to believe that these steps can also help others. It can help you or someone you know who lost their jobs.
The proof is in the pudding.
She said, with a big smile, these 3 Small Steps had already changed her energy around her daily routine “It’s like I wake up lighter and happier every day just knowing that I have people who support me.”
This daily 1% shift in how she was choosing to think about herself has been shifting how she related to her situation during this crisis.
During one session she even surprised herself saying: “I am learning more about how to articulate the value that I bring to a company and what I am incredibly good at. I want an opportunity to make an impact in my next company. Not just a paycheck.”
Inspired by these strong and brave women I decided to share these 3 Small Steps with all my clients and with you today. My intention is to help you get your next opportunity to make your impact within a company. I believe that you are born to give your talent and potential to the world.
The world needs humans like you. We need you to step into your best self and remember who you are when you are your strongest and bravest.
Here are the 3 Small Steps To Get A New Job Again:
1. Create a small & caring support network around you
A. Choose 3 close contacts: a close friend, a former boss, a teacher, a mentor, an advisor, an old team member or a co-worker. Someone that you trust, feel comfortable with and respect.
B. Choose 1 coach: many executive and leadership coaches are offering pro bono sessions during this crisis. Tap into the power of working with someone who does not want to fix you; someone who holds you whole, capable, creative, and resourceful to figure out your next direction. [Resources to check out: InviteChange, GoCoachGo & Soar]
C. Choose 1 family member: someone who has always believed in you 100% no matter your crazy ideas. For me was my grandma. When talking with this person you want to feel that anything is possible.
Ask them to support you by holding you accountable specifically to call you once a week and ask you these 3 questions:
- How are you today?
- What are you most proud of right now?
- What small step are you committing to taking in the upcoming days?
2. Write down your story
D. Start chronologically: I suggest starting with high school or college and making your way to the present. “2001 I arrived in the U.S. with $100 and a backpack. 2002 I met my husband…” This exercise taps into your long-term memory and you start seeing a pattern in your life.
E. List the life changing moments & the big decision points in your life: We all have them because life happens to all of us. Think about moments that: you had a choice in, e.g. I chose to go to college instead of going to work after high school, and/or you did not have a choice in, e.g. mine was when my grandma died.
F. Write down your story of resilience: Most of us have stories that were passed down to us in our families – capture those. Or your own stories of growing up and moving through life while you had to recover quickly from difficulties. I grew up in Europe during Communism, so my family and I have a lot of resilience stories.
This is preparing you to identity your stories when you are preparing for your job interview. It is easier to give an example of your leadership when you cataloged when you were in a leadership position. This exercise will show you your strengths and your talents. That is what companies want to hire you for.
3. Start (re)searching for opportunities & creating ones where there are not any yet
G. Work on 1 company per day: create your own table or use the one that I put together below. Designate a day when you fill out all information in the columns for 1 company. This sheet will prepare you for the interview process and will give you talking points when speaking with your company contact (see Step 3H).
H. Find contacts in your network & your network’s network who are connected to the companies that you are interested in. At least 2 contacts if you can. Ask for introductions and more introductions.
E. Be transparent when talking with the company contacts (see Step 3H). You are not asking them for a position, your intention is to find out how is to work there, what is the culture like, and figure out if you would like to work there. Only after gathered enough data that you see yourself working there do I suggest asking for the best way one might apply for a job at that company.
Think about this step as you are interviewing the company if it is good enough for you to hire it to be the place where you will create your impact. If it does not pass your test, move on to the next one. Your clear understanding of what you are looking for will guide you. Remember to slow down to speed up. Use your contacts from Step 1 to be your sounding board before deciding on accepting a job.
Yesterday I was listening to Simon Sinek telling his story of resilience when he wanted to quit and give up writing his book Leaders Eat Last. He told himself no one would miss his book. He did not know why but he called up a friend and asked him “What do you do when you cannot complete the mission?” And that friend told him “This is what you signed up for.” His friend’s message was keep going forward and “I will be here with you… You can call me any time… I got your back.”
What I learned from these wise women who are struggling to understand why they lost their jobs was that being that friend who they called while struggling was an honor, was a privilege and is part of my mission as a coach. Working with these wise women has been truly a blessing.
As closing, I wish for you to find your “friend(s)” that you call when you have decided to give up on giving your best work, your best ideas or creating the biggest impact in your community.
Who has your back? Who is there with you right now?