A transition in life is a very fragile stage that put us in a gray area where it can become our greatest setback or our most powerful opportunity. A transition involves change which brings uncertainty because we are not familiar with what’s ahead and emotions often go crazy.
Our brain automatically starts looking for solutions to this seemingly terrible transition and usually we make decisions based out of fear rather than from a place of love.
I was always thankful to have a job that pays the bills and allows me to live a comfortable life, but after 5 years sitting behind a cubicle I knew I needed to make a change in my life because I wasn’t happy with the direction I was taking. At one point, I started to dislike my mornings and the sound of my alarm going off at 6:00a.m. because it meant I had to be at a place where I didn’t feel fulfilled. By 9:00a.m. I wanted to smash my head through the computer monitor. I stopped caring about my work and became miserable realizing I was spending 10+ hours at a dead end job.
Back in August, I received a notice that would change my perspective on life and work forever.
It was a beautiful Monday morning in fall and I had just come back from lunch break when my supervisor told me that we were going to have a meeting in the main conference room. It seemed a little weird because our practice was to have meetings in the mornings when everyone is fresh, but I let that thought go and just told myself “here goes another meeting”.
As I made my way through the main hallway towards the main conference room, turned the door knob so gently, and opened the door, I was surprised to see about 50 people in the room, even some people from different departments I had never met before. Everybody was speculating, talking out loud, it was very noisy and you could barely make sense of what was going on. After a 10-minute wait, we see this tall man wearing a black suit making his way through the room towards the podium and immediately silence sets in; that awkward silence where you can hear even the tiniest pin when it drops to the floor. We were all anxiously waiting for what he had to say.
“The main purpose of this meeting is to tell you that there have been circumstances outside of our control that have led us to make drastic decisions restructuring our operations. Because of these decisions, your last day with the company will be August 31st……..”
I knew it was coming. I could feel the tension the second I walked in the room.
I was getting laid off for the first time in my professional life.
I remember standing in the back of the room looking around and seeing sad faces, happy faces, people crying, people indifferent, people texting, and even some people leaving the room as the “man in black” continued with his “consolation” speech. I left the room just after he mentioned we were going to get an extra month of salary to help us out in this transition.
I remember as I was walking through the hallway back to my cubicle, I couldn’t help thinking about what was coming next.
How am I going to pay rent?
Credit card bills?
Booze and girls?
Chipotle with extra guacamole?
I need to get a new job, start interviewing like crazy, and get the first offer that comes to me.
These and many other thoughts were running through my head all at the same time. I acknowledged them and let my thoughts flow without presenting any resistance. I knew I was just trying to come up with a solution based out of fear and I didn’t want to give in.
Instead, I remained calm and did NOTHING!
I avoided the temptation of trying to find a quick fix and took it as an opportunity to really choose myself for once in my life. For years I held several corporate positions in the mortgage and finance industry making good money but not feeling fulfilled with what I was doing and a part of me knew it was time for a change. I saw this as an opportunity to being intentional about my next step and truly understand what I’m here to do in this world.
I asked myself: what is the worst that can happen if for once in my life I decide to do something that I’m passionate about at least for one month just to try it out?
Stay tuned- tomorrow I’ll share what I learned during that month of following my passions…