A few weeks ago I was laid off from my job. Though I had been worried that this might happen, when it actually did I was shocked and devastated. For a brief moment, chaos ensued. I had just signed a year-long lease in Charlotte and was starting to make great connections in my new city. Would I have to move? What if I couldn’t find work? It didn’t matter that the job wasn’t leaving me feeling satisfied professionally or personally at all. All I could think about was the immediate impact of the change in my situation. At the time it seemed like the worst case scenario for my career. Now that I’ve had some space to breathe and digest, I’ve realized that this so-called “worst case scenario” has actually been one of the best things that could have happened to me.
Getting laid off forced me to stop hemming and hawing and finally go after my dream of being a full-time freelancer. It’s something I’ve talked about and wished for, but was always too scared to try to do. I’ve slowly been building up my client base over the years, so now it’s time to bite the bullet and really dive into it. No more squeezing it in at night and on the weekends and wishing I had more time for it. I had always thought about that lifestyle, but had been scared to try it. Now I’m living it and have never felt more energized and excited. Was getting laid off enjoyable? Definitely not. But would I have had the courage to pursue the freelance life otherwise? Noooo frickin’ way.
Sometimes the situations that seem the scariest and most unmanageable are actually exactly what you need to push yourself in a certain direction, make you realize what it is that you want or need in that moment, and help you break out of a cycle of negativity. You spend so much time dreading something that you don’t stop to think that there may actually be positives that come from it.
Instead of panicking when something crappy does occur, know that you have the tools necessary to get through it. This takes you out of crazed reactionary mode and puts you in a place to deal with it in a more logical way. Once I stopped thinking “HOLLLLLY CRAP” after I got laid off, I was able to figure out a plan that made sense to me and made me excited about my career again. Remember: you’ll get through it and you’ll probably be better because of it.