Just about one year ago today, I lost my third job in two years.
It sucked, to say the least. It shattered my soul and depleted my already dwindling self-confidence. It fueled my very real and human doubts, my fears and insecurities. But after the initial shock wore off, I noticed something positive about my new reality… Suddenly, I had LOTS of free time! I decided to take advantage of it.
I cooked healthy foods and spent time doing the things that I love. I got certified to teach yoga and even scored my first teaching gig! I discovered that spending countless hours on my mat helped me maintain my sanity through the emotional roller coaster of being unemployed for the third time. I appreciated each moment of freedom like it was my last by staying focused on the present.
Even though I tried to make the best of the situation, I knew realistically that this wasn’t a long-term solution. However, I knew my summer of fun couldn't last forever! Eventually, I would need a way to pay my bills and sustain myself. Something had to change — but if I jumped back into another unrewarding career, I would end up with the same results. As a result of endless hours of reflection during months of unemployment, I realized that a traditional 9-5 job just wasn't for me.
With the help of yoga teacher training, it became clear to me that I needed to follow my true passions — travel and yoga. This newfound confidence and clarity felt different — I finally had purpose and direction in my life.
But once again, I let fear set in and I became afraid of the unknown. I realized I had to make a choice, so I chose not to let fear lead my life anymore. I took a leap of faith and bought a one-way ticket to India to teach yoga and travel the world.
I'm still on the road as I write this and it's been the adventure of a lifetime. An adventure filled with excitement, self-discovery, introspection, new perspectives, and blossoming friendships. It has also given me time to reflect on everything and extract knowledge from the seeming chaos of being completely uprooted.
If find yourself dealing with career uncertainty, here are some tips to help guide you along the way:
1. Forget the PLAN you made for your life.
Put simply — let it go. Inevitably, life won’t go as planned and there will be heartaches, grief and pain amidst the good times. Planning out every detail of your future creates unrealistic expectations sets yourself up for disappointment. Learn to go with the flow of life and maybe doors will open that you never knew existed.
2. Embrace difficult moments and see the opportunities that can arise in a crisis.
Know that these times are temporary. Nothing lasts forever. Learn to embrace the transition and reflect on the good underneath it all. There are always lessons to learn and blessings in disguise. A mantra that always helps me: this too shall pass.
3. Remember: YOU have a choice.
We all have choices. Everything we do in life is a choice. And one of the most important choices we make is how we respond to adversity. Your choice will indeed dictate how the next course of events will go.
4. Follow your intuition.
If there’s anything I've learned from losing my job three times, it's to listen to my gut. Listening to your heart’s intuition will never lead you astray. If something doesn't FEEL right, it isn't. Think less, feel more.
5. Know that you get what you NEED, not what you want.
You won't always get what you want in life, but you'll always get what you need. Sometimes life presents you with a blessing disguised as a tremendous hardship. Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, losing my job was exactly what I needed. It gave me time to realign my focus and decide what I really should be doing with my time. As a result, my life changed for the better.
6. Don't let FEAR hold you back.
Fear will motivate some and hurt others. No matter how it affects you, remember that it's simply an illusion. Pushing fearful emotions aside and stepping out of your comfort zone is the best way to learn and grow.
7. Practice acceptance instead of resistance.
Acceptance has been one of the more difficult lessons for me to embrace. After a third job loss, I had no other choice than to stop resisting change and start accepting the way my life was unfolding. Once you let go of the resistance, accepting your current reality is liberating. Surrender yourself to the present moment and accept life in all its forms.
You are exactly where you're supposed to be.