logo-large-thinkergy

Blog

Everything listed under: Covid-19 pandemic

  • Post Featured Image

    How to Quickly Bounce Back After Losing a Job (Part 2)

    Two weeks ago, I shared with you the first six of twelve recommendations on how you can bounce back after losing your job in a pandemic-plagued, depressed economy: Recollect yourself after the knockdown. Reframe your situation and embrace the opportunity. Release and let go of the baggage. Rediscover your true identity. Revalue your true worth. Recalibrate yourself and take a positive outlook while facing your present reality. 

    In today’s final part of this two-articles set, you can learn about the remaining six action strategies you can use to pivot your career after a job loss. And of course, my twelve action recommendations also work if you want to proactively design a second career that you want to transition gradually into in the coming years.

    7. Recognize your values

    “Your core values are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul,” said the American author and leadership coach John C. Maxwell. The next thing that you should do to sharpen your core identity is to spell out your core values. Your values describe your principles or standards of behavior and your view of what is essential in life. For example, my topmost values are creativity, freedom, education (learning and teaching), and achievement.

    Why is it necessary to recognize your key values? These clarify how you prefer to do things and simplify decision-making. For example, when I assess an opportunity, I simply ask a few questions related to my values:

    • Does the project excite me and allow me to be creative? 
    • Do I have the freedom to decide how to approach and execute it? 
    • Can I learn something from it? Or does it provide me with an opportunity to teach something worthwhile to others? 
    • Would a successful completion of this project feel like a worthwhile achievement and investment of my time? 

    If the answer to most or all of these value-aligning questions is “yes, “I will go for the opportunity. “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier,” accurately noted Walt Disney’s brother Roy.

    8.Realize your passions: Do what you love doing

    If you ask people about their least and most favorite day of the week, most people name Monday as their least favorite and either Friday, Saturday or Sunday as their most favorite day. What does this tell us about them? They dislike their work. They only do their job because of the money it pays. 

    How about you? How much do you love your job? Do you like it so much that you hardly can’t wait to get back to work each day?

    Steve Jobs commented that after he got fired from Apple in 1985, “I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.” In other words, you’ve got to find your passion.

    Unfortunately, nine out of ten people settle for a job that pays the bills but doesn’t profoundly touch their heart and soul. When they started, work felt good, as there were still many things to learn, and they enjoyed the external recognition and perks that came with it. But as time passed, many people are proficient in their job but don’t feel passionate about what they do. They don’t burn for it. And while most jobs are secure in normal times, they may eventually be asked to leave when times are bad. When organizations need to downsize to survive, who are the least likely to lose their jobs? Those who are both competent and passionate about their profession.

    So when you design a second career that will keep you in work until or well past your retirement date, find something that you love doing. And remember the words of Steve Jobs: “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

    9. Reveal your purpose

    “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart,” noted Steve Jobs. We all have to pass on one day, perhaps sooner than we think. What positive contributions will you make to humanity that go beyond satisfying the immediate needs of yourself and your close kin? Why are you here?

    We’re living at a time when the world needs more people who not only work for the money but do important work that they feel someone needs to be doing. We may call these purpose-driven people real-life superheroes. Because just like superheroes, what gets them going is the intrinsic motivation to fight for a worthy cause larger than oneself.

    Can you picture a new role that allows you to contribute to a worthy cause and gets you paid? What superhero purpose can you imagine committing to? If you haven’t found one, consider exploring the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 to discover what crucial human development cause resonates most with you. In my case, it’s the goal no. 4 (Quality Education), which connects nicely to my purpose of developing creative leaders and innovators.

    10. Reassess the odds of success

    You may have worked for years or even a decade or more in a specific role in a particular profession or industry (for example, you might have been a credit analyst in the banking industry). Apart from reassessing your passion, it would help if you also reassessed how well your profession and industry will go forward. Why? 

    In the 2020s, many well-established industries are predicted to face major disruptions and transformations due to technological shifts in the new technologies that will drive the Sixth Wave (digitalization, clean-tech, and bio- & human-tech). The current health crisis and related economic crisis will likely speed up, front-load, and exaggerate these transformational trends. Moreover, digital transformation and automation will reduce the number of white-collar jobs in well-reputed professions and industries. What does this mean if you’re hunting for a job or plan to design your new career? 

    You might need to move to a different industry with good growth prospects for the coming decades. So, if you worked as a financial advisor or a credit analyst in a bank who recently cut headcount, and you enjoy this kind of work (see point 8). Then, you may want to explore becoming a digital currency advisor or a data analytics manager in a fin-tech company. Of course, this may require you to take classes to acquire new know-how and develop new skills. (We all will have to invest time and money to reskill and upskill ourselves to keep up with the transformations of business we’ll see unfold in this decade).

    11. Realign yourself to a suitable career ecosystem

    In TIPS, Thinkergy’s personality assessment tool for the digital innovation economy, we include a section in the report called “Hot or not?” Therein, we tell you what ecosystems (business functions, industries, organizational types) are “hot fits” for your particular TIPS profile and your related cognitive style. The report also warns you of “not” ecosystems that you ought to better avoid. What’s the difference between the two? If you work in a “hot” ecosystem, work feels EEE (easy, effortless, and enjoyable), while in a “not” environment, it feels DDD (difficult, de-energizing, and drudging). 

    Ask yourself: How well did you fit into your old role? Did it feel EEE? If it was a “hot fit,” why did they let you go? If you think the fit was not ideal, ask yourself: What other ecosystems might be a better fit for me? (Or even better, take the TIPS online test for USD 89 to unveil your TIPS profile and find out more about your related “hot” ecosystems).

    12. Rearrange the pieces until a splendid new career picture reveals itself

    Once you have collected all essential mosaic pieces that you need to design your new career, lay them all out on the floor. Look at each piece individually, then step back to take in the full picture, and ask yourself a couple of questions: 

    “So what? So what does it all mean for me? How can I align my identity, talents, values, passions, and purpose in a new career that allows me to make meaning and make money in the next one to two decades? Should I shift to a new professional role, industry, business function, or organizational type that aligns with my unique ingenuity, or that offers better odds of success given the transformation of the economy in the coming years?”

    Then, begin shifting and rearranging the mosaic pieces until suddenly, a picture of an exciting new career emerges in front of your mind’s eye. The more effort you’ve put in all preceding stages of the development process, the clearer, more energizing, and more beautiful your vision of a new career should be. And this clarity, energy, and beauty will give you the creative transformational momentum and stamina to make it happen. As Richard Buckminster Fuller noted: “When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

    Conclusion: The comeback is always greater than the setback

    “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary,” said Steve Jobs. Consider following Apple’s ingenious innovator’s advice if you have to pick yourself up from a recent job loss, or if you want to proactively prepare for a second career that keeps you happy and active well past reaching the official retirement age. 

    We cannot control what happens to us, but we do have control over how we respond to it. Follow the example of Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs and transform a job loss into the start of a self-determined new career in line with your true identity, values, passion, and purpose — or in other words: in line with your unique genius. 

    • Have you recently lost your job due to the COVID-19 crisis? Or are you concerned your job might be on the line? What if someone took you by the hand and guided you step-by-step through the 12 steps to discovering an exciting new career in harmony with your unique genius? We’ll be soon launching an online course that we will be running later in Q3.2020 that will do just that:
      • In the program, we will first help people recognize their true talent with the help of TIPS. 
      • After that, we will guide a selected few applicants through the twelve steps to rediscover your genius (based on chosen exercises and contents from our Genius Journey method).
      • Finally, we help you design a new career that is in harmony with it.
      • Contact us if you would like to learn more once we release the program.
    • Would you like to learn more about TIPS? Check out our TIPS website to learn more about our 21st-century personal assessment tool for business and innovation. And consider taking the TIPS online test (USD 89) to uncover your TIPS profile and preferred cognitive styles.

    © Dr. Detlef Reis 2020

  • Post Featured Image

    How to Quickly Bounce Back After Losing a Job

    What do Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs (and admittedly, I) have in common? Right, we’re all creative business leaders (although I am still operating on a lower level of fame and success on the innovation mastery pyramid). But here’s another exciting thing I share with these celebrated innovation heroes that might surprise you: At some point in time, we all got fired from a job because we didn’t do what we were told and chose to engage in more creative work over boring drudgery. 

    If you’ve just lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, or if you’re afraid you might be laid-off in the coming months or years, then take consolation: It happened to world-famous, ingenious business leaders before. And in fact, getting fired was truly instrumental in making their careers take off. Today and in two weeks, allow me to share twelve action strategies on how to bounce back and rise to new heights after losing your job. 

    1. Recollect yourself: Get up to begin rising up

    For many people, it is a shocking, traumatic experience to be asked to leave by an employer for whom they’ve worked for several years, or several decades. Losing a job can feel like a defeat or cause feelings of significant loss or even grief. Some people experience a similar emotional roller-coaster like the loss of a loved one. In such situations, we pass through five stages of grief and loss: 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance. It’s okay to allow yourself to feel these different emotions, and it’s important that you eventually accept the hard reality. 

    “Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith”, noted Steve Jobs with reference to being fired from Apple. It’s part of the human experience that at some point in life, fate hits us with a sucker punch. Losing a job feels like being knocked to the ground. But you’re not knocked out yet for as long as you can muster all your inner strength and faith. Get up on your feet again, and keep up the fight. As Muhammad Ali said, “You don’t lose if you get knocked down; you lose if you stay down.”

    (If you’re still employed, proactively prepare ahead. Then, you’re ready to take a blow whenever it may come, or even better: strike first.)

    2. Reframe: Embrace the opportunity

    Whenever I get knocked down in life, I recall one of my core mantras: “Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me.” This mantra helps me quickly shift my state from negative to positive, and I trust that the adverse incidence will eventually lead me to a good outcome.  

    Likewise, after you lost your job, reframe the situation. Realize that “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity,” as Albert Einstein noted (who failed to land a job as a university teacher until 1915, although he had already published his famous paper on special relativity in 1905).

    The Chinese character for the word ‘crisis’ consists of two pictograms — ‘danger’ followed by ‘opportunity.’ So, a crisis offers both dangers and opportunities. 

    What’s the opportunity in your job crisis? To design yourself a new career built upon your unique genius, and then pursue it with gusto. Here, know that the word ‘crisis’ originates from a Greek word that translates as ‘decision’ or ‘turning point.’ View your job loss as a decisive turning point in your life to restart your career and finally do what you should have already done a long time ago to add more and deeper meaning to your life. 

    3. Release: Lose the baggage

    As part of the process of grief and loss mentioned above, many retrenched employees spend a lot of time dwelling on memories, lamenting on the injustice of the loss, feeling resentment and anger for managers involved in the decision to let go of them, and so on. Don’t be one of them. 

    Resist the temptation to carry around your old job’s heavy baggage and the traumatic process of separation. This won’t help your efforts to find a new job, but rather keep you chained to a past that has now passed. So, resolve today to let go of the past, to let go of the heavy baggage of your old job, and to let go of all the heavy feelings that come with losing it. Letting go will set you free and open the pathways to a new career and a better future.

    Steve Jobs describes this liberating notion as follows: “Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

    4. Reconnect to your true identity

    “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation,” noted the great Irish playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately, in most societies, nine out of ten people hide their true selves behind a social mask that earns them the external approval of others. The chances are that you’re one of them.

    After you’ve lost your job, now is a great time to finally throw away that ridiculous mask, stop playing a role, and start being who you really are. You need to reconnect to your essential core, your soul, your true being. How?

    Set aside time for introspection and ponder the question: “Who am I?” Moreover, gain fresh insights into your unique personality by taking assessment tests that profile your personality and cognitive styles. Invest time to complete at least three different personality assessments or cognitive profiling tests. Invest a bit of money in at least one “for pay” assessment tool as they tend to provide you with a more comprehensive test report with more discriminative results and deeper analysis.

    What profiling tests should you use? You have a choice between more than two thousand alternatives. For example, you may want to try out M.I.N.D. Design (free and very time-effective), 16 Personalities (a free variant of the MBTI test), and our TIPS profiling test (USD $89 with in-depth 36-page report) created for business and innovation in the 21st century.

    Think of these tests as an opportunity to collect fresh mosaic pieces to bring into sharp relief your true profile. In particular, your test results and profile description may give you novel insights and a deeper understanding of your unique talents, related strengths, and your preferred cognitive styles.

    5. Revalue: Acknowledge your worth

    Losing a job is an event that dents one’s self-confidence. Hence, set aside time to list all the right reasons for why you are worthy (your knowledge, skills, experiences, achievements, accolades, prizes, and other goodies).

    Consider asking your loved ones, good friends, and trusted former colleagues to give you feedback on how they see your talents, strengths, contributions, and other aspects that highlight your worth as an individual and within a workforce. (If you can take it, ask them for suggestions on things to improve or do better in future too, thus already staying true to the spirit of the next point below). The primary purpose of the exercise, however, is to allow you to revalue the true worth of the unique human asset that is you — and that your former employer was stupid enough to let go of.

    6. Recalibrate: Be positive, but keep it real

    In his book Good to Great. Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, Jim Collins investigated what factors enabled eleven companies with outstanding financial performance to establish leadership positions in their industries and rise from “good to great.” One of the distinguishing factors of great companies is that they “confront the brutal truth of the situation, yet at the same time, never give up hope.”

    Follow this maxim to help you rise from “good to great”, too. Confront the brutal realities of your present situation:

    • You lost your job.
    • You have to deal with a negative monthly cash flow.
    • You have to find or create a new job in a depressed economy.

    Yet, at the same time, always stay positive that if you work hard and don’t give up, you will turn things around eventually and use this temporary setback as a starting point for a successful new career.

    Walt Disney expressed how he lived this maxim as follows: “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”

    Interim conclusion: Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom

    Today, I shared with you the first six of twelve action recommendations on how you can bounce back after losing your job in a pandemic-plagued, depressed economy: Recollect yourself after the knockdown. Reframe your situation and embrace the opportunity. Release and let go of the baggage. Rediscover your true identity. Revalue your true worth. Recalibrate yourself and take a positive outlook while facing your present reality. And how about the remaining six action strategies that can help you bounce back after a job loss? Come back in two weeks for the final part of this two-article episode.

    • Have you been let go due to the COVID-19 crisis? Or are you concerned about your job security? In the second half of Q3.2020, we’ll be launching a free webinar and a special online training program wherein we’ll guide a group of high-quality job seekers and outplaced managers through the twelve action strategies. Contact us if you would like to learn more about the program.
    • Would you like to learn more about TIPS? Check out our TIPS website to learn more about our 21st-century personal assessment tool for business and innovation. And consider taking the TIPS online test (USD $89) to uncover your TIPS profile and preferred cognitive styles.

    © Dr. Detlef Reis 2020