I came across a LinkedIn post that caught my attention and I thought it was a timely topic to use as a starting point for this blog. Where do you start when you are starting over?
Well in this particular post, we are going to focus on the larger theme of life long learning, the necessity of failure in order to achieve success, and how letting go of your preconceived limits, boundaries, and more than likely grossly incorrect perceptions of what you are and are not capable of accomplish with a little planning, strategic execution, and timing.
So let’s say you never even saw the writing on the wall. And then one day, after 18 YEARS of absolute loyalty to the company through multiple M&A’s, you get called in to a conference room with dozens of your peers and your informed that you are a part of a Reduction In Force (RIF), your end date is in 30 days, and if you are in a pay band which does qualify for a golden parachute, you’ll receive something in that regard via email. If you don’t get it, you didn’t qualify… I personally witnessed that happen to one of my relatives. They were not prepared and they had become too comfortable in the routine of the day-in-day-out mundane routine of Monday through Friday, year after year.
They never spoke up about the RIF publicly. They had a sizable and significantly powerful personal and professional network. They didn’t mine the cache but instead self belittled and did the self doubting worth spiral.
The shame cloak of the proverbial “car wreck”reminded me of the same way all “negative press” was to be managed in my nuclear family since as long as I can remember. If there was anything bad or negative that ever happened, the party line was always to be “Nope! There is NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Everything and everyone is fantastic! Yes, praise Jesus, God, The Holy Spirit, yes indeed. Even the dog got his JD from UC Berkeley this Spring! Send our love to your family! Bye-bye!” .
That’s not healthy. It’s actually super unhealthy and it equals being in a toxic and abusive environment and relationship with yourself.
With all that said, I’ve found that things I had miscatagorized as EPIC FAILS were often in fact crucially necessary parts of “The Journey” on the proverbial road to success. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t learning. And without knowledge expansion you aren’t building on skill sets or finding your forte’s and/or boundaries; you are stagnanting, and calcifying in the place that your stuck.
My father, the late Dr. Parviz Rafizadeh-Raffii, always said it best:
“A body in motion stays in motion and there are only two outcomes in any pathology - you either get better or you die.”
I’ve adopted that really raw and real life advice into my own mantra, “Grow or die”. If I fail, I fail hard and I make SURE that I take my lessons learned. And once that’s done, I don’t think about repeating the follies of the past.
This BBC article makes the case for my you need to speak up and leverage the network you have. You never know who knows who. The solution to your layoff could be the person you speak to next or who you run into at the grocery store. You never know, you could even meet them at church or at your child’s school. Be creative when mining your resources and think outside of the box; you are the creator of your own destiny and your own success.