by Judy Rose 

What happens to you when you lose a job or your business fails?  Sooner or later, in every career, some sort of major loss occurs. And when it does, you may find that you lose more than the work and the money. You may find that you lose parts of yourself.

I lost a very good job about 10 years ago when my employer downsized the business. Without a place to go every day, without the work I knew, without the office camaraderie, without the paycheck, I became unsure of myself. I became hesitant and indecisive. I became irritable and snappish. I was sad. I was angry. I was bored. I flailed around a lot, one false start after another. Nothing really engaged me. Where was the Judy I knew? I couldn’t find her.

So I stopped. Like an injured lioness, I needed time to lick my wounds before resuming the hunt. Once I got most of the those-fools-didn’t-know-what-they-had and I’m-too-old-for-this, out of my system, I was ready to think about the future. I started with these questions: What do I want? What am I good at? What do I enjoy? How can I make money? Eventually, answers came.

Once I decided on writing and editing, I was ready to talk to people. I listened to ideas, adopting some and rejecting others. I joined NAWBO – maybe the best advice I got. As I focused on what I could do instead of what I’d lost, I became more confident. I realized that my venture may be new but my skills were 40+ years in the making. I got stronger. I had purpose and direction. I was a new me!

It’s bad enough when you lose a job, but you may be able to console yourself with the idea that it wasn’t your fault. When you decide to close the doors of your business, it may be much harder. In either case, you have to move forward. These are the lessons I want to share:

  • Allow yourself to feel what you feel. The only way out is through.
  • When you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.
  • Decide what you really want.
  • Be patient.
  • If you fail, you can start again.

Once I stopped dwelling on my loss, I realized that the new me wasn’t new at all. It was just a resurgence of the real me. I hadn’t gone anywhere.

Judy Rose
Judy Rose (NAWBO Blog Editor) writes original copy for marketing and PR, websites, blogs, newsletters, and other business materials. She also assists clients by polishing and adding vitality to existing text, and offers a unique strategic editing service called Writing Repair. Learn more about Judy’s blogging services.