I don’t mean to trivialize the aspect of being suddenly, involuntarily, unemployed. One of my sisters, the one raising her grandson, just watched her employer shutter that business, her source of income, forever. And I also remember the paralysis that gripped my mind and soul when I was faced with the slip that is pink. I have known many central-Ohioans who have been “in transition” and are now back in the saddle, thanks in part to volunteer resources such as Scioto Ridge Job Networking Group which makes available professional career consultants in addition to peer-to-peer networking and support.
The Christmas cinema release, UP IN THE AIR, is part romantic comedy and part existential crisis. As I’m not a film reviewer, I’ll say no more about it other than it IS topical, in light of the corporate downsizing trend, now about to enter the third year. But there’s a lesson to examine, from the mission the lead character performs in his travels over 350,000 air miles annually as he visits the casualties of the American economic adjustment. He’s a hatchet man-for-hire by the HR departments who decline to deliver exit interviews face-to-face. With a civilized degree of sensitivity, he encourages the victims, now 1-in-10 among our neighbors, that a page awaits to be turned in this chapter of their life. Anyone who has ever gone on to do great things has sat where these fired vestiges of our downturn are sitting, and in fact, Clooney counsels, they would not have become great if their hiatus in employment had not occurred.
In the perspective of many film goers, perhaps this character’s message and delivery is as formulated and calculated as his mission is efficient in the process of corporate America shedding its skin. But my takeaway…when one encounters this reality as a former earner…then this IS the time to explore options that might have once been dreams, to jettison some stuff that your life no longer needs, and to harvest the abundance that awaits as your next adventure. Envision this process to be as engaging as George Clooney’s smile.