This summer my worst nightmare came true. My full-time job came to an abrupt end. Being thrown into the unknown terrified me at first. But once I got over the initial fear hump it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, despite the sudden lack of wages and predictability. Here are four fantastic things I found in this experience.
1. I had actually nothing left to lose
For the first time in almost two years, I was no longer living in fear of losing my job. The worst-case scenario had played itself out. And yes, it was very scary to be plunged into the unknown. But hey, no one died.
I actually felt like a huge weight had been lifted. My position had become so stressful in the last year that I had a long spate of migraines, and then finally a spell of depression. Having spent that last four months of my employment on anti-anxiety medication, I knew deep down that something had to change.
But when we are stuck in our cycle of ‘the real world,’ where we live from paycheck to paycheck, it is too scary to walk away from a job, even if that job is making us sick. I wasn’t brave enough to pull the plug by myself, perhaps because of my already fragile state of mind.
Sometimes, having the choice taken out of our hands can be liberating. Not always, of course! But for me in this particular situation, it gave me the opportunity to walk away from the painful loop I was stuck in.
2. I found out who my real friends are
I got to find out who was really there for me. My partner proved himself to be the rock that I always hoped he would be. I have always been a bit untrusting of people, so it was amazing for me to see how many true friends I had to lend me an ear and offer me a hand.
3. I got to re-invent myself
I had always planned to be my own boss someday. But again, I had not been brave enough to leap into the unknown. I had such strong feelings that I did not want to repeat the old cycle and possibly find myself in the same situation again, so this was my opportunity to make some changes.
I am now a freelance writer and marketer and I am building my own Marketing Business on the side. It is tough at the beginning but despite the dip in my earnings, I would not go back to my old life.
4. I promoted my personal growth
I really got a crash course in personal development that set me on the right path for my next career adventure. Losing my job made me face up to rejection and feeling a sense of failure. And making plans to move into the freelance world starting from scratch showed me just how resourceful I could be.
The most important thing I learned was that fear itself is worse than the thing you are afraid of.
I was scared of losing my job for so long. When it actually happened, having got past the initial panic I actually felt relieved. Suddenly, where there had been fear there was now an opportunity. Anything is possible if we are open to learning and growing.