30 Days of Boundaries: Day 11 - Second Domino, Job Loss

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Have you ever lost a job? Fun, isn't it? It's never an entertaining situation. You may find yourself in a role that, quite frankly, wasn't a match for you and it was probably the best thing to ever happen. At the end of the day, if it's not the right job for you, you want to get out of it. 

Yesterday, I shared about my heart attack. To kind of continue the story, I had 17 weeks to recover after the cardiac event. Then, when I went back to work, I was promptly let go. Now, mind you, there were some circumstances and some things that I did while I was employed there that my employer didn't particularly care for. Was it worth of losing my job? I'm not the right person to ask that question. However, I realized that the job was no longer mine to have.

I want you to put yourself in the mindset of where I was. Seventeen weeks prior, had a heart attack, nearly lost my life. Then, just as I'm starting to get back to normal, I find out that I don't have a job. This was in 2009. If you recall, that was right during the time of the economic recession of the United States and Canada. When General Motors and Chrysler were bailed out by the government in order to survive. There were many, many, jobs being lost, and mortgage challenges, and homes were being foreclosed left, right, and center. It wasn't exactly the best time to be unemployed. Being in the Windsor, Ontario, area, which is a sister city to Detroit, you can imagine the number of jobs that were available were not bountiful by any stretch.

When you lose your job, you have the opportunity. I know this is going to sound weird, but work with me here. You have this opportunity to reflect on what worked well and what didn't. I definitely had a lot of time to do that because my job search lasted a long time. I picked up a lot of ideas and options of what I wanted to do differently because whenever you have a change in your life, such as a job loss, you have this opportunity, and you should take it, to really look and see what did you do well? What didn't you do well? What do you need to work on in order to learn from this experience? Because I had skin the game, and I lost that job. I was to blame for that. I was responsible for that.

Whenever something like this happens, yes, it's natural to be upset or potentially excited, because you hated that job and you got out of it. It was the best thing that ever happened to me to lose that role, because it was a big component to my heart attack. The way I was going about the job, being so driven and not taking care of myself, I didn't establish any boundaries when I was working there. I was checking emails from 6:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. every day, including weekends, because I was getting emails at 6:00 a.m. in the morning and 11:00 p.m. at night.

When you are working and you're in your job, you need to take a long hard look as to how you're doing your job and what you're doing at your job. Do you leave your job at home or is your job your shadow? Is it constantly following you?

If you work from home, obviously, it could be a problem because you're home and your job is the same place, but you have to establish boundaries around your job and your work ethic. To the point, I actually worked remotely for a few months in that job that I was let go at and to the point of making sure that I tried to establish boundaries. I wish I would've stuck with them because I didn't last long.

I would literally leave for work, I would go out the back door of my house, and then I'd open up the front door of my house and start working. Then, when I finished my work day, I would do the reverse. I did that for about three or four days, and I thought, "This is corny. I'm not going to do it anymore." I probably should've kept doing that, because it provides a clear beginning and end to your work day. For entrepreneurs, and people that work from home, and even people that actually go to the office, when you go to the office and you get in that door, start working. When you leave, leave. We're not robots. We're not machines. I wish somebody would've told me this years ago. Would've made a gigantic difference. 

If you are like me and you've lost a job before, your homework is to write down in the emotions that you felt. They could've been happy, sad, maybe you're still dealing with a job loss and you're trying to work your way through some of those things. Are you taking the time to learn and reflect from the things that went well? If there's some areas that you want to change, we can take a look at that too.

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about the job search world. Obviously, after you lose your job, unless you're able to not work because you have boatloads of money, you have to find another job to provide income. I had an interesting job search. I will talk about it a little bit more tomorrow. The spoiler is I'm calling it the Buffalo Bills of job search. I'll explain more on that tomorrow.

Until then, cheers.