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From Redundancy To Rock Star: How The Worst Thing Can Be The Best Thing

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From Redundancy To Rock Star: How The Worst Thing Can Be The Best Thing

Being called into the COO’s office to be told your job is gone was one of the worst days in my professional life. I have never lost a job, EVER.

After being headhunted for my dream job to be let go 12 months later was crushing. I thought it was the end of my world. That was three years ago. My life now is completely different.

I am so grateful to my previous employer for taking my safety net away. It pushed me into this life.

As a lifelong employee, my head was filled with uncertainty – how would I survive without a regular income? My security was gone. My purpose seemed pointless. I spiralled into depression because so much of my being was tied up in what I did.

Life is your stage and you are the star

As I slowly emerged from my self-imposed exile – locked in my home, living off my redundancy package, sulking and feeling sorry for myself – it dawned on me the worst thing can be the best thing. I seriously went from redundancy to rock star – on a stage of my making.

Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. It’s easy to look back with rose coloured glasses and see what you want; to forget the despondency and the loss of identity. To brush aside the negative and focus on the positive (after all, life is meant to be sunshine and rainbows; you only need to look at Facebook to see how perfect everyone’s life is). But life is not sanitised and we need the ‘bad’ to balance the ‘good’. There is nothing wrong with admitting things are not always peachy.

My ‘worst’ thing set me on a path I could never have imagined. Starting and running my own business, meeting incredible people I would never have met stuck at my office desk, learning more about who and what I am, developing skills out of sheer necessity I now rock at and feeling a sense of accomplishment that comes after facing adversity.

It’s all about perspective

So … how do you turn the worst into something worth shouting about? When you are neck deep in the proverbial, it is hard to see beyond the now. Have you ever had someone say to you when things are looking bleak ‘every cloud has a silver lining’?  At the time, have you wanted to bop them on the nose? Those are the people who have come out the other side. They have perspective. They have been through the dark times and have learnt a thing or two.

Here’s what I’ve learnt

  1. The choice was and is ALWAYS yours. Giving away your power to a boss or any other human for the prison called safety – like a weekly pay packet. As Richard Branson says ‘screw it, let’s do it’.  Everything is a choice. I chose to stay in that job (and while it was my dream job, it was not my dream environment) and put up with conditions that were not ideal. Whenever I hear someone say ‘I do not have a choice’ – you do. It may not be the ideal choice but it is always up to you.
  2. You are the expert –you know stuff … heaps of stuff about what you do. I have been perfecting my skills and abilities for decades. You ARE the expert – everyday, you are solving problems for your clients based on your knowledge and experience. You intimately understand your product offerings, the services you deliver, the solutions you’ve created.  That have value. People want to know what you know. People want to have access to knowledge. It is worth sharing … and you should share it.  Business has no room for shyness and modesty.
  3. There are opportunities EVERYWHERE. Existing within your four walls means you may only see the day-to-day … and eagerly awaiting TGIF.  Tear those blinkers off and you will find opportunities daily – to create new services, to collaborate, share knowledge to hungry audiences, and live life on your terms. You just need to open your eyes and mouth – look and do not be afraid to ask.
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Showing 4 comments
  • Brad Reibelt
    Reply

    Great story Annette. I can relate to this as I have been in the same position and haven’t looked back.

  • Megan Winter
    Reply

    Great article Annette. And good point about being an expert … I still go into things thinking “I’m going to tell people stuff they already know” but it’s never the case. Love your words that there is no room for modesty in business.

    • Annette Densham
      Reply

      Thank Megan. I always thought everyone know how to get PR and come up with stories … I am constantly blown away when presenting to people when they gush about how much they learnt. I also had to learn to get over being modest -a strange thing for a PR person – but I am better at promoting others, not me. I am better at it now.

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