COVID-19 lay-offs is a reality millions of Americans are facing and reports mostly focus on the drastic numbers that are only expected to increase. It’s daunting and scary, and when it happens to you it’s real and abrupt. It is an end – but it is the opportunity for new – at least that is what I have been telling myself and others for the last five weeks since I was laid-off due to COVID.
Adapting and making a positive impact on the people I interact with and the work I do have been consistent north stars throughout my personal and professional life. When I was recently COVID laid-off these stars were set ablaze and I’ve been clinging to them every day.
My initial reaction was to go inward, feeling hurt and aggravated. I had anticipated the lay-off but the reality of it was gripping. That lasted for three long days until I quickly grew sick of feeling powerless and stuck.
I made the choice to move forward. I thought of the impactful words of my first boss and mentor at the start of my career 20 years ago, “you have got to learn to adapt”. I also remembered something I have long believed, “if it is to be it’s up to me” – which doesn’t mean I am without support. On the contrary, I’ve received incredible support from my family, friends and extended network, and I’m grateful. What it does mean is the drive to blaze a new path forward is up to me – including the action of asking for help AND helping others. Sometimes turning my focus entirely to positively impacting others helps me the most.
A renewed fire and mantra were lit within me: adapt, take action, make a positive impact. It’s a daily practice and some moments are easier than others. This is the way I chose to move forward in strength for myself and others in my daily life, and in the work I do in marketing, consulting, business development, and business coaching.
I share this less to tell my own story, but rather to shed light on part of the COVID-19 unemployment discussion that often takes a back seat: getting unstuck and moving forward every single day.