Amidst the start of a busy holiday season with Thanksgiving in 2 weeks, Christmas catalogs popping into my mailbox, commercials for this season’s hottest toys and multiple social media posts touting how to make this year the “Best Christmas Ever” I am centering my time and attention on taking an opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons.
You read it, lemonade. It’s probably a good time for me to back up and provide a bit of the backstory of how I found myself in this state. Approximately 3 weeks ago I was one of many associates impacted by a workforce reduction. To put it plain and simple, my job was eliminated. To make a clear connection, this was the handful of lemons handed to me.
In a matter of about 2 hours I sped through the 5 stages of grief. First came the denial. “I can’t believe this is actually happening.” Then, shortly after I closed my work laptop for the last time came anger. “Really? I’ve always produced and been a team player. Why me?” Next up, bargaining. “Ok Lord, I know you’ve got this and you have a plan. If you’ll just give me the opportunity today…” Yeah, how can you bargain with God? I certainly can’t. Then, depression. “Why me? Why was I chosen? What if I can’t find anything? What if… ” Finally, acceptance. “When a door closes a window is opened. I’m talented, have loads of experience and I love to learn and tackle new challenges. I’m gonna rock this.” These are the waves of emotion and thoughts I muddled through.
If I said that this was the one and only time I experienced these emotions I would be lying. However, as each day passes the negative emotions lessen and the positive emotions strengthen. Buy why? How can I choose to stay positive while headed into the holiday season, a new year and quite frankly the uncertainty of stability? I can do this because I know this is a season within a long lifetime.
This is a short period of time that I must work through. How am I making lemonade? I keep myself busy leveraging the amazing career coach and resources I have access to. I network via social and professional connections. I’m reading, attending webinars and completing self-paced learning. I research open job positions and companies like it’s my job. Actually, it is my current job, so I treat it as such. I set daily goals and prioritize my task list of research, applications and connection follow up. I keep a daily Google calendar, complete with time-blocks by activity to stay focused and productive in this transition phase.
I don’t know where I will end up. What I do know is that the work I put in now will lead to a great opportunity where I will leverage my skills and abilities to contribute to a great place to work. After all, as Elbert Hubbard coined and Dale Carnegie quoted in his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, “If you have a lemon, make lemonade”. The choice is up to me and I choose to make lemonade. If you are in a similar situation, I encourage you to stay positive and make lemonade. After all, this is just a season.