Two newsletters ago I asked you to think about the last time you stopped to analyze the major events in your life, those instances where you faced a fork in the road and had to make an important choice that transcended the rest of your life.
In that newsletter (you can access it here), I shared the first of three pivotal points in my life. In this newsletter, I will cover a second one, which also provided me with important lessons, some of which could be applicable to your life as well. I am sharing them with you so they can motivate you to identify those pivotal points in your professional or personal life and draw insights and lessons that can help you enrich the rest of your life.
This second pivotal point happened midway in my corporate life, during a day that started as any other, yet quickly transformed into a nightmare I had never thought could happen to me: I was told that my job was disappearing and I should look for a job in another company. I was caught by complete surprise.
It took me several days to recover from the shock, a few weeks to organize myself and start my job search, and a number of months to land my next job. I had to temporarily downsize my living accommodations, negotiate lower school rates for my kids, and tighten the belt on our expenses.
Through this experience, I learned several life-long lessons:
There is always an upside to seemingly bad events. My family grew together. We started praying together every evening. We shared the events of the day and supported each other during this difficult period. We also learned to live within a reduced budget and in a much smaller place.
I was positively surprised to find so many people willing to help me find a job. Once I decided to “bite the bullet” and openly ask for help, I started getting job leads from all types of people: current and previous co-workers, close friends and distant acquaintances, even people who didn’t know me but still wanted to help. The job I landed came through a referral from a previous boss.
I learned to assume 100 percent responsibility for my life. I learned not to take my job for granted and to proactively think about my professional career beyond the company I was working for. I also learned to be more humble and sensitive to the needs of others, especially those who, like me, were searching for a job.
Have you been through a similar situation in your life? Would you share with me the lessons you learned? You can use this link to post comments, ask questions and request topics you would like to see in future issues.
I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the U.S. football coach and motivational speaker Lou Holtz: “Everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.
In the next newsletter, I will share more suggestions on how to learn from the pivotal points in our lives. Stay tuned!
Percy M. Cannon
Author, Business Consultant and Professional Coach
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