17 June 2009

"In change there is opportunity"--(I don't know who said it originally but I say it all the time)

Years ago, back when only segments of the economy--as opposed to the entire economy--were failing, and there were swath-like layoffs at a variety of blue chip companies, a friend of mine lost his job. He was in his mid-fifties and had always been in the same, high-prestige, high-salary career and had spent most of his professional life with the organization that was now no longer able to retain him.

He was (and still is) an analytical fellow so he got to work on figuring out his next job. He called all his contacts. He updated his resume. He got up every work day and went into his home office and worked at finding a job. He followed leads. He went on interviews.

He did this for two years with no success.

His wife, also my friend, felt bad for him and didn't know how to help.

His daughter suggested he try something different, if only to get him out of the house and pass the time. So, he signed up for bartending school. A few weeks later, he got his license and applied for a job at a local restaurant. He got it. He started tending bar several nights a week. He found he liked getting back into society, chatting with people, being able to perform a competent service for which people were grateful, and getting paid--even if it was only a small fraction of his previous salary.

Within a month of starting this job, he got a job offer in his preferred profession and took it.

I think about that experience because I think there was a direct correlation between my friend working as a bartender and how he saw himself and, therefore, the image he projected to the world. His ego had taken quite a beating. He needed to feel good about himself again before other people would feel good about hiring him.

I think we all get stuck sometimes. We want things the way we want them and we don't see how staying in the same pattern limits us. Sometimes a simple change, even something way off from our focus, can make all the difference.

*raises glass*

Here's wishing each of you success in staying flexible, exploring new possibilities, and getting what you desire most in difficult economic times.


HKW said...

Love this!

Dmbosstone said...

This is such an inspirational post- thanks for sharing!

Narm said...

Great post. And great message - drink more.

That was the message, right?

Anonymous said...

Great point! I have thought about this myself. Just a fresh start to refresh the battery.

f.B said...

This was amazing. I am so, so glad I found this here blog simply by hitting that "random blog" button at the top of the screen one day a year or so ago. This is so much more than any random blog.

Al In The County said...


I once had a job in DC that I hated. I had a mentor finally take me aside and say "You know, you arent' contractually obligated to keep a job you hate. You just think you are."

It was a great eye opener.

repliderium.com said...

Excellent post! I will toast to that (several times)

Mike said...

"staying flexible"

I'm going to try and stay flexible .... but in a Narm kind of way.

Anonymous said...

Love this! So true! Wish I could send it my ex!

Barbara said...

There's a lot of truth in this post. I have recently thought about taking a job that would pay only a pittance of what I earned in my last "real" job, but I'll bet it would be a lot more fun. I'm thinking of trying to get a job in a cooking store. Wish me luck!

Felisa said...

I can relate. Not that I've been laid off but school this year was ehhh... but at the very least, it made me reconsider other options and I'm actually excited about what I'm doing next year (I dreaded what I was doing in the past).

G said...

Your words relate well to changing aspects of ourselves that seem impossible to do.
I like the way you see this world.

lbluca77 said...

We do get stuck at times. Then the days start to feel like one long day. This was a great post and I think we all need to see life from very different angles.

LiLu said...

Hell yes. I for one know that bartending COMPLETELY changed the way I see and project myself- and of course it applies to other situations as well, but oh, how I relate to this.

Cyndy said...

Thank you. This kind of thing has been on my mind a lot lately.

lacochran said...

HKW: I'm glad! :)

Dmbosstone: I'm pleased it resonated.

Narm: You always make me smile. Thanks for bringing the comic relief.

justjp: Seems to be essential at times.

f.B: Aw, thanks, f.B!

Al in the Country: A change of perspective can be a wonderful thing.

repliderium.com: Thanks, and cheers!

Mike: You better have the BenGay handy.

Anonymous: :)

Barbara: Go get it. Good luck!

Felisa: It's great to feel hopeful. Glad you're on a better track!

G: Thanks. Feel free to borrow my perspective.

lbluca77: You bet!

LiLu: Glad it struck a good chord.

Cyndy: Thank you for your comment. :)