Can Your Job Loss Engender Gratitude ?

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Image courtesy of rosemary ratcliff /

Image courtesy of rosemary ratcliff /

Well crap, today started out like every other day until you found yourself joining the ranks of the unemployed.  You’ve been canned.  Sucks, I know.  What now ?  After going through the full spectrum of emotions, you realize something must be done.  A new job ?  Sit and mull it over for a while ?

I’ve Been There… Three Times.

I recall each of those days all too well.  They were all the same: starting as normal as usual when my boss came into my office, quietly closed the door, and gave me the news.  Each time it was an amicable break-up.  No crying, no authoritative escorts to the door, and no burning of bridges.  And, thankfully, no super long meetings with HR.  I accepted my severance pay and went home to ponder my future.

Throughout my career, I was grateful for each job I had.  I was genuinely thankful for the opportunity to work for the companies that hired me.  But once I was canned I wanted to leave as quickly as I could. Many good-byes, phone numbers and e-mail exchanges,  and warm wishes passed along.  Yet I was chomping at the bit to get out of there.  I was done.  Ready to accept my fate.  Ready for it all to sink in.

Looking back, I realized that each occurrence had warning signs.  The frequent closed door meetings. The downward gaze of management who – I later realized – were aware of my impending doom.  And let’s not disregard the request to share my knowledge with other co-workers.

Meeting of the Ends

It has been six years since my last lay-off.  Within a week of that cold Day in February, I became the newest member of the work at home world.  I initially tried my hand at freelancing – with mild success – allowing me to help pay the bills.  I was obtaining long-term clients, I was having fun, and I was able to fulfill my desire to be in total control of my career.

Then tragedy struck.

A year after my last job loss, my husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Yep, the big yucky “C-Word”.  My freelance work came to an abrupt halt.  He was #1 as work was put aside.  I lost my clients.  I lost my income.  The “not knowing” of many things was almost overwhelming.  Thank goodness for family and friends.

My husband is doing well now, so I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a career altering life change.  For him and me.  He is now retired and I continue to work at home.  I didn’t go back to my “old” freelance type of work.  Nope, instead I developed this blog as a means to help others.

How My Job Loss Allowed Me To Engender Gratitude

I’ll admit, not being gainfully employed was a strain on our finances.  All things considered, though, we came out the other end (almost) fully intact.  I learned many things during the entire process, and I allowed myself to accept all with an open mind.  I tried not to feel sorry for myself, even when times were extremely stressful.  Heck, I even learned to be flexible when it came to meal planning (I was a “you’re lucky I cook at all” kind of person).

I retained my dignity, and I believed in myself.

I realized that things happened for a reason.  In my personal situation, I realized that losing my job allowed me to care for my husband.  It would have been very difficult to do so while trying to hold a full-time job.

Most importantly, I learned to be grateful with what I had.  I learned that gratitude could result from a job loss as new doors would be opened.  I let those doors open and accepted the opportunities.

Even if my husband had not gotten sick, I bet a million bucks I would still be doing what I am doing now. Those open doors I mentioned…well, they still would have existed and I still would have scouted out my opportunities.

Your situation and life’s circumstances may be different from mine, but take this to heart.  When a job loss happens, look at it like an opportunity to do what you truly want to do.  Whether it is a new career choice with a different company, the spark of a business idea, or the chance to simply stay at home doing “fun” home-based jobs, realize that this is your chance to accept new challenges and be grateful in the turn of events handed to you.  Job loss can engender gratitude.

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About Kathleen Lewis

After many years of working for someone else, I was faced with the opportunity of doing my own thing. I grabbed the chance to develop my skills and share my knowledge in the areas of working at home and finding online work.
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  1. This is a truly inspiring message. I lost my job about a month ago and have been considering changing field of expertise.

    • Kathleen Lewis

      Thank you for visiting, Stacey. I think now is the perfect time to consider a change of interest. Best of luck to you!

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