Friday, June 19, 2015

Ice Cream Flavors of Work

It’s been a long day—started at 7:00 a.m. and finished at 5:30 p.m. My day? Helping human resources at a Fortune 500 company with notifications for the downsizing of production and salaried workers. So, how was your day?

Some of us have had a day like this. Maybe you were notified once upon a time or recently notified—downsized, excessed, terminated or fired. No matter what it is called, there is a loss. The company lost you along with your skills, education, leadership, ideas, dedication, etc. You lost your career path along with your salary, insurance, 401k, co-workers, and a place to go 40 hours a week or more.

Life is filled with beginnings and endings and that encompasses our career. I always celebrated the beginning of  new employment. It was a time of excitement, electricity, new challenges, new people and new possibilities. And then, there are employment endings.

Endings come at different times and in different ways. Some endings are by choice and some are imposed.
Endings are like the flavors of ice cream. Some are smooth and predictable like your retirement day; maybe the flavor is Vanilla or Chocolate. Sooner or later, we will generally have one of these basic flavors.

Sometimes the flavor is Rocky Road. Remember a time when you had an off day at work, missed a deadline, had conflict with a co-worker, or a poor performance report. The taste of Rocky Road offers those big learning moments with its chocolate ice cream mixed with marshmallow and nuts. Soft and hard…Rocky Road is full of contrasts and gives us something to chew on.

The flavor of the day during the recession would have to be Elephant Tracks. The flavor of chocolate ice cream with a swirl of chocolate and peanut butter cups was a gooey mess and we struggled to eat our way of it. The elephant like the recession had a heavy impact on our lives, careers and businesses.

I have had the privilege of meeting wonderful, talented people who are making the most of the recession, working hard to have a rebound or new direction. I am amazed to see people who are coping, networking and supporting one another to find innovative ways to keep moving forward.  It’s so true, tough times call for a tough attitude! I have seen people volunteering, updating their education, thinking outside the box and using creative self-marketing to move through uncertain times.

We are amazing human beings. We continue to look forward and not backward. We fight the role of victim and self-pity. I wish you well as you persevere in your job search or recreate your career path. What’s your ice cream flavor?

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