In a society that is built upon the need for employment, a fall from grace can cause a whirlpool of negativity, where the subject of employment brings great pride to mothers like, “my baby is a doctor/engineer/astronaut”, however shy away from mentioning the dreaded demon of redundancy/ unemployment.
We find ourselves wondering why the world is unfair, how could we have avoided this situation, and most importantly, when will they invent time travel so that we can return and fix whatever mistake lead to this disastrous situation to begin with.
Once we think with a clear mind, we will find that the most common condolence is absolutely true; everything happens for a reason. This is the first step along the path of betterment.
Having recently gone through the turbulence of finding myself in the unemployment line, hopefully having navigated myself through those tides, I can say from first hand experience that there are certain steps we must all take in order to reach calmer waters.
First, allow yourself the time to grieve, but do not let that hinder your future plans. “There are plenty of fish in the sea” is true in every scenario, and not just in failed relationships of the heart.
Second, take stock of what you have, not your loss, it does not have to be a dinar figure in your bank account. Your ability to wake up in the morning, go walking, running, drink dairy, consume carbs etc. Is all testament to the fact that what does not kill you makes you stronger.
Third, believe that you deserve better. We are all guilty of accepting negative situations for fear of losing what we have. We accept working in toxic environments under the false pretenses of character building, steady paycheck and fear of the unknown. The most socially acceptable remedy is to not let go of something until you have secured something else. However, sometimes life throws you a curve ball of forced resignation.
Fourth, believe in yourself. The epitome of cliche. We are all capable of so much more than we realize. Having been a runner for most of my adult life I never would have imagined I would possess the intestinal fortitude for an ultra-marathon (220KM over the 6 days). For comparison, the first YEAR I logged my mileage through technology had me at 365KM. Now I was doing 220KM over 6 days. Insanity right? Wrong. Insanity would be to not try. Whilst most people took time off for this challenge, I did it DURING my regular work week; meaning I was suited up in the morning and sweating it out in the evening. Now take that and apply it to any challenge you come across in life.
Fifth, the truth shall set you free. We all lie during interviews, we should not mention the exact reason for seeking employment, to always provide a noncommittal, cookie-cutter response to an open ended question. I learnt during my experience that honesty is the best policy. Some would say that by informing your interviewer of your current joblessness, you give them the opportunity to devalue your worth. Codswallop (to quote a beloved hairy giant). You are applying for an opening, that opening has a specific level with specific compensation and benefits attached to it.
Sixth, you are a brand, know your worth. Having lived on most of the professional social networking websites for the past 2.5 months, I came to the conclusion that in order to differentiate yourself from the herd of job seekers, you need to highlight all of your strengths. Not just those that look good on a CV. For an office based drone in a monkey suit, I could write, “works under pressure”, or I could give them a sample of that story above.
Seventh, your network is your net-worth. Go through your contacts and figure out who can provide assistance. Many will come to your aid, but few will actually follow through. It is foolhardy to assume someone will do the work for you, but do not underestimate the power of a person sending a CV to their friend or employer on your behalf. In my case, I believe it was the assistance of an ex-colleague with whom I interacted briefly that lead to my current opportunity.u
Whether or not these opportunities come to fruition is unknown, what I do know is, I discovered a great deal about myself and what I have to offer because of the situation I find myself in. So it may very well be the best thing that happened to me. Since my wife, she is the best thing that happened to me. And our son – him, too).
For more on Ayman, follow him on Instagram @lordaymz.