Dealing with Layoffs, 7

January 27, 2009

So you lost your job. You’ve been laid-off. Business gurus call it downsizing. Management calls it rightsizing. In your heart you call it dumb-sizing. But whatever it is does not matter now. At no fault of yours, you’ve been handed the papers.

Hi! We’re continuing with our on going series entitled “Dealing With Layoffs.” Today we’ll deal with the 5th emotional stage every person has to go through as he or she experiences loss of something valuable – including his job.

1st stage is Denial. 2nd stage is Bargaining or negotiations. 3rd stage is Anger. 4th stage is Depression and then finally the 5th stage is Acceptance.

You’re not alone in this.

Listen to this guy’s story:

When he was 7 years old, his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality, and he had to work to help support them.

When he was 9 years old his mother died.

When he was 22 years old he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school but he lacked the education.

When he was 23 years old he went into debt to become a partner in a small store.

At the age of 26 his business partner died, leaving him a huge amount of debt that took years to repay.

When he was 28 years old and after courting a girl for 4 years, he asked her to marry him and you can guess what she said, she said “no!”

When he was 37 years old and on his third try, he was elected to congress. But 2 years later, he failed to be reelected.

When he was 41 years old his 4 year old son died.

At the age of 45 he ran for the senate and lost.

When he was 47 years old he failed as the vice-presidential candidate.

At 49, he ran for the senate again and lost.

Frankly I don’t know how many times this person has to pass through the 5 stages of emotional conditions. Pick himself up and then face the world with a brand new resolve and a brand new strength and then seek to conquer it. Because at the age of 51 years old, he was elected president of the United States of America. A firm believer and follower of the Bible and his name was Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln came to accept that trials, ordeals and losses are part and parcel of life but he chose to accept this with a healthy disposition and made trials worked for him.

The Acceptance stage is the most dangerous stage. This is where you have to decide to give up and be a failure all your life or this is the time when you decide to make your experience work for you so that you end up becoming a stronger person – raring and daring to conquer the world ahead. Again it’s your choice.

My friend who is a scuba dive master would remind me that many tragedies under water happen because people simply quit. His story still reminds me.

A diver had become trapped while exploring the wreckage of a sunken ship. He tried everything he could think of to get out, but with no success. As his supply of air ran lower and lower, he discovered that his biggest battle was against the urge to give up and die. But he kept trying. Finally, his air tanks nearly empty, he succeeded in attracting another diver’s attention, and he was rescued! If he had given up, the result would have been tragic. Once he accepted the fact that everything would be useless, then the end would come.

Job loss is a temporary situation. Your attitude and the choices you make are permanent. They become a part of your character. You’ve got to have the quality called: “stick-to-itiveness.” This term may not be in everyone’s vocabulary, but its meaning is clear. It refers to a person’s ability to stay with a project or face a negative situation, work on something else with all of his heart and might until the desired results are achieved.

Just imagine what would have happened had this quality been absent in other people. The farmer who sows his field but abandons the farm because of dry weather. Later the weather changes and the crop flourishes, but the owner is gone. Because he didn’t “stick to it,” he misses out on the harvest.

The businessman who fails in his first attempt. Decides never to go back into business and remains a bum all of his life. The couple who face difficulties in their relationship. Decides to give up and break apart leaving their children to inherit a broken family.

Acceptance Stage means you’re willing to accept that something inconvenient has happened. Good. Thank God for the learning experience. Now it’s time to move on and look for better things ahead. May take a little time but if the heart is right and the spirit is willing and the dependence on God is there, then the journey has begun.

Learn from Abraham Lincoln, the main character of today’s message. He says: I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Anne

    Great! Sir Francis this is very helpful to us, God bless!(=

  2. Darwin

    HI sir francis,

    Goodday, I just want to share my story to you and to other people.

    My life is blessed. I am working in a multinational company, during my stay there I remember the seminar during my last year in college wherein Mr. Francis is the guest speaker. The seminar was great I learned a lot, I learned to continue improving myself.

    So I took up my master’s degree. During my second semester in the graduate studies my work and studies do not complement each other. So I need to decide whether I will continue my studies or not. To cut the story short I decided to quit my job, hoping that after my master’s degree I will have a better job awaiting for me.

    But 3 months after I finish my master’s degree still I haven’t a job yet, most of the companies is on freeze hiring. then last week I need to go hospital because appendectomy, Now I feel down but after I read your blog I am now in the process of acceptance. sure I will, I will focus on whatever I had.

    thanks for inspiring me again.

  3. Tif

    This 5 stages to acceptance (or death, as some people call it) article, made my day. I remember the story “Shake it off, and step up”, about a donkey who was trapped in a pit, and the villagers decide to bury him alive, pouring dirt on him. But he never thought that they were burying him, instead, he shook the dirt off, and stepped up, one pile of dirt at a time, and in time, he got out of that pit. That’s the principle of “shaking it off, and stepping up” that we need to remember during times of failures and every other negative experience that we face.

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