Sunday, August 30, 2009

Embracing Change

I heard from an old friend recently, who let me know that the company her husband works for was closing, and that he would be without a job by October. Her husband, Dan, is 53, and has worked for this company for over 25 years. In fact, he has never done any other type of work in his professional career. They were not worried, however. In fact, my friend told me that Dan was so excited, he could hardly wait for October!

How could this be? I coach people through this process every day, and very rarely hear this reaction. What makes Dan different? Only two things, his attitude and his approach to the situation.

You see, Dan works for a company in the automotive industry. He knew that, eventually, the odds were he would lose his job. He knew he had no control over that decision, and that it had nothing to do with the quality of his work. He could only control how he responded when it did finally happen. So, what did Dan do? He started making a list of all of the things he enjoyed, all of the things he was good at doing, and all of the things that were of interest to him. Dan then researched and found actual job roles in his geographical area that corresponded with his interests list. That potential jobs list now includes everything from an EPA water and soil testing specialist to a hot dog vendor!

When he went to work in his current job more than 25 years ago, it was an easy decision; good company, good pay, good benefits. However, Dan is now able to choose his next career. Where he works, whether for someone else or in his own business, and what he does, it's all up to him. By embracing the changes coming into his life rather than fearing them, Dan has transformed his own reality. He is not being downsized! Rather, he is being given the greatest opportunity of his life. He knows that it is within his power to make his next job his dream job.

Dan is so excited by the prospect of his new career, he wishes it were October already.

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