When you lose your job initially, most of us repsond the same way, we are hurt! We are angry! Why…because SOMEONE ELSE made the choice to let us go. They took the decision out of OUR hands. Maybe several of us had been thinking about the undercurrent of disatisfaction at our jobs and wanted to get the courage to leave for a while. But they beat us to it. At the beginning, this seems like the scariest thing, someone making a choice for us about our future. How dare someone else make the choice for us?!?!

But after months of unemployment, it now seems scarier that I HAVE TO make a choice about what I want to do with my future in my career. There are so many paths to go down. Do you go outside the box and explore other things that you want to do with your life? Do you follow your dreams? Or do you stay in the field you’ve been in and just find another job that this time will bring greater satisfaction or more money or a new challenge? Or just do the easy thing and stay labeled as the same person and find the same kind of gig. Sometimes I find that I worry about taking the road less traveled and then realizing that I actually did like the beaten path better. There is that fear that where the road diverges, I may take the wrong road. Fear of choices. Fear of having no choices. Fear of the wrong choices.

Choices are also exhilarating if we really take the time to explore all the options. When I lost my job, I panicked immediately and set about to get my resume redone within hours of my phone and email being shut off. I had to HURRY! How on earth could I be unemployed? What would I do? Wouldn’t I be sad and lonely and rejected?!?!  It then occurred to me that I would be making a choice hastily. So now my advice would be to take the time to stew and simmer in the moment. To feel all the emotions openly and revel in all the choices that lay ahead. Take the time to take inventory and re-explore your skills and talents and see if maybe they can go a different way and be used in a new set of circumstances. To actually be excited to have choices to make!

As Americans, we have a whole lifestyle of infinite choices. When our mothers used to grocery shop, there were maybe a few brands of laundry detergent. Now there are dozens. Walk into any big box store, even to buy a tv or an appliance, the choices are so infinite that you need to buy Consumer Reports and do research or compare online. I think we have so many choices that it has become more of a stress to make decisions. You walk into a mall, there are so many stores, so many items, so many options. How can we ever be happy with so many choices to make? We agonize and debate endlessly over making the right decision on the material things we buy.

Yet in retrospect, with our career choices, more often than not, people choose to stay in the same field, same career path that they decided on when they were 18 and picked a major (or two or three) in college. Why is it that none of us really look into career counseling while we are still working and just to check in with ourselves? Why do we wait until we are in panic mode or at college graduation to make these big choices? Why don’t we look around just to get a sense of what else is going on in the world?  I think maybe at 40 we all should have to take time off to figure out if this is where we are supposed to be. Maybe it’s not realistic. But I am so thankful that I have been given this blessing in disguise. I am so grateful to fate that I have to look at the options and make choices at an older, more mature point in my life. I picked my last career based on who was hiring in a bad economy and staying in something that I was good at and was convenient, even though it lacked being challenging and lacked positivity.

All I can say is this, choices are something we should learn to embrace and not fear. But focus on the meaningful choices, like what to do with our life, how we want to live, how to treat those around us. And not so much on Tide vs All or Sony vs Samsung. Choices can be about being afraid, but they can also be about hope.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Buy Zenerx
    Jun 11, 2010 @ 10:10:38

    Hey, wonderful blog you got here! Keep up the excellent work!


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