I have been in that spot more times than I care to count, starting with getting dumped by my first true love Mike in high school, to being downsized at more than a couple of places of employment. Being a musician, you are constantly facing format changes, owner changes and just plain places closing their doors, so you are never expecting to keep any gig and always looking for the next one. My musical life and the attitude that all musicians share of being “temporarily” employed has made my corporate life upheavals so easier to handle and made me somewhat of an expert on change and moving on.
A former co-worker of mine really brought this to light recently when she was facing downsizing and had to hit the job boards. She found a great new position and told me this week, “They did me such a favor by getting rid of me!”
That being said, the pain and rejection can be a little hard to get past. To help out, here are three tips for walking past that closed door with swag and more than a little attitude.
- SET UP YOUR PITY PARTY TIME: One week, one month, one day. Pick a time for your pity party and stick with it. For a big life changing event (company you worked for and helped
build for ten years gives you a two week package and a “Thanks for playing!”) you might need a real soiree, but at the end of your party you have to pack all the pity party decorations and favors in a trunk and toss the key. LITERALLY. On the day you set, imagine the trunk, imagine putting the negative feelings and thoughts in it and close it! When someone brings up, “Boy, they really screwed you…” Your reply is, “I don’t talk about that anymore, because I am moving on.” Is it hard? Hell yes, but you are doing yourself a huge favor by not letting constant talk about your misfortune keep you from that next exciting adventure in your life.
- LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD: Now that you have trunk packed, your next step is to take a mental vacation. Imagine all the things in life you have always wanted to do that you now have more time to look at. Total career change from carpenter to TV star? Adam Carolla did it! Feel like writing a novel or starting a blog? Very doable. Trying out one of those new online dating services? Why not? You may not do any of the things you think about during this little trip, but dreaming about the possibilities gives you some time to mentally recover and it will lead you
to the next step…
- GET DOING: Like all trips, the mental one has to end. You may have come up with some realistic possibilties during this time, but the next step is stop thinking and get doing! By the way, spending every day watching four hours of “Law and Order” reruns is not doing! Get your resume finished and posted on job boards. Go out with that guy that a friend of a friend says you will really like.
Will everything fall into place immediately? Of course not! You will have lots of setbacks on the road to your big comeback, but it is out there. You just have to make it happen and when it does, it will feel better than you can even imagine. The job I have now is one of the best day jobs I have ever had, but it took me two other fairly unhappy jobs to get there and I got to say, that has made me appreciate it that much more!
“When a door closes another door opens.” A corny motivational poster, but a true one. As long as you aren’t spending all your time standing behind the closed door!