Martyr No More

By Clyde C. Lowstuter

If you consider yourself victimized in your job loss, you will remain powerless.  From my own personal experience, I learned the painful lesson – there is zero power in being a victim. As long as I blamed my boss, I was not taking complete responsibility for my exit. About the time I mastered martyrdom, I had the blinding epiphany that I was totally accountable for getting zapped. Without fully realizing it, I had been operating with a huge entitlement mentality chip on my shoulder. When it dawned on me that I was the author and architect of my dismissal, I thought – “Bummer, now I have to grow up!”

Ultimately, people take their cues from you. If you project negativity, uncertainty, or seem apologetic when you interact with them, that’s the lens through which people will judge you . . . and distance themselves from you.

Tip #1 – You don’t have to assume complete Sunshine Benchaccountability for your termination; however, you get to.  You probably exited because you did not build strong endorsement with your boss. So, master keeping people in the loop; you will learn the valuable skill of communicating up.

Tip #2 – Acknowledge your emotional state and appreciate one thing which you can control.  “I’m bummed – and – I’m enthused about making this networking call.  If I  created coming out – I can create getting back in again!”

Tip #3 – Deeply search for and learn from the profound gift of feedback that your termination offers. This will make you a stronger, more insightful, authentic person.

As part of your job search mantra – declare:

  • The greater the clarity of my gifts and my life’s purpose, the more I am resolved to let nothing stand in my way.
  • I am able to be fully confident, bold, capable, and successful in my next endeavor.

Best of luck on your exhilarating journey of self-discovery and mastery.

P.S.  Share with me your passage; I’m interested.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Bob Gerst

    Sorry – as both the person who has pulled together layoff lists and having been a recipient of the message – not always is it caused by something the laid off did or did not do – other than they were in the wrong department, or the last to be hired, or with a skill the company had decided to outsource or the boss can do it an his job too or any number of situations. I think that it is to simplistic to say “look at yourself and learn” – my two cents worth.

    1. Clyde

      Thanks, Bob, for your comments. You are correct that there are circumstances that clearly seem beyond a person’s control and that there wasn’t anything significant that s/he did to derail her/his career. Regarding being “simplistic,” you are right again. We ask our career transition clients to unpack what was going well and what could they have improved. We explore the level of trust, respect, candid communication, and results achieved beyond expectations. This is a simplistic approach to discover where, when, why our client might have had some erosion of confidence from the boss. Then we help our clients learn the skills to close the gap for the next job.

      I grant you that it might be exceedingly difficult to step back and “learn from the experience,” but if done objectively with no blame to self or others, a person can have some incredible insights. My biggest insight from being zapped (as mentioned above) was to more effectively communicate up to my bosses, support across to my peers, and develop my staff more consciously. Accordingly, I applied that lesson in my next job and my achievements were markedly better. Thanks again, Bob!

      TO OTHER READERS – what positive insights / lessons / epiphanies did you have after being involuntarily separated?

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