“Tomorrow’s another day. I’m thirsty anyway. Bring on the rain.”
(Thanks, Jo Dee Messina)
“We’ve discussed it, and we’re gonna have to let you go,” my boss said. I had my headphones in, and I was walking around my dark living room, avoiding Legos and colored blocks my two-year-old had enjoyed an hour earlier. I took a deep breath and responded, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
Six months earlier, I had a similar conversation with a different boss. “Got a sec to jump on a call,” was the text message I received. “Definitely. Gimme 5,” I typed back. I gathered my laptop and notebook and headed downstairs to my home office. “Hey there,” I said, as he answered the phone. “Michael. We’re gonna have to let you go. It kills me to do this, but for the sake of the business, we need to.”
What. Two times in six months. Come on.
Getting laid off is one of those things that happens to other people, that I read about, or heard about, or watched happen to people in movies. It isn’t something that I thought would happen to me.
I have skills. I have degrees. I have intangibles. Really.
I’ve simulated plenty of tough circumstances in my mind. A close friend dying. A devastating car crash. A terminal illness. But getting fired wasn’t conceivable, let alone twice. I hadn’t consciously prepared. This was very new territory.
And what about my family? I had a two-year-old and a wife. We weren’t struggling, but we didn’t have savings for this type of rainy day, especially when one day turned into two.
On both occasions, after a few minutes (or hours) to myself — breathing, walking, checking in with what I’m grateful for in my life — I knew what I had to do.
I had to talk to my wife.
We sat down, and we got to work.
To weather both storms, we took the following steps:
- Identified all possible forms of income.
- Contacted people in our network.
- Revised our budget.
- Updated our calendar.
- Managed our physical, psychological, and emotional health.
- Took action.
One of the actions I took was to ramp up my learning from experts. Consequently, I caught an interview where Dorie Clark, author, professor, rockstar of reinvention, interviewed Jenny Blake, author, coach, and master of the pivot.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
It’s not clear when the storms will be over, or how they’ll come to an end. But in the meantime, I’m thirsty. So bring on the rain.