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Where Life Takes You, and How You Get There

Where Life Takes You, and How You Get There

By Kurt Webber, TPG Consultant

It’s interesting, isn’t it, how things turn out in your professional life?  I recently spoke at a local function here in Tulsa that was set up to assist displaced workers find their next job.  The theme of my presentation was to help these unemployed individuals stay motivated during their job search…no easy task.  In addition to my presentation, 4 other presenters would be sharing tips and tools in various areas of a job search.

Knowing that some of my friends needed assistance in this area, I posted the event on my Facebook page roughly one week prior to my presentation.  Surprisingly to me, only one person inquired about the event.  He was a gentleman that I went to high school with, but we hadn’t connected since that time.

I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter why something happens.  What matters is what you do with the challenges.

Needing to leave right after I presented (I know, a cardinal sin for a presenter, but I had no choice), my former classmate called me a few hours later.  We talked for quite some time about the overall event, and my session.  One thing that he said really stood out to me.  Since part of my presentation stemmed from my experience with unemployment (I have been down-sized twice), he stated how shocked he was that “someone like you has been laid off…twice!”

Since the time of that conversation, I have pondered in great detail, his comment.  What did he mean by that and does being down-sized twice make me a bad employee?  Does being down-sized make anyone a bad employee?   I rationalized it by knowing that I was let go by a travel industry company after 9/11/2001.  I know my chosen profession, training, always gets hit hard in tough times.  I also know that the second time I was down-sized was due to poor financial decisions, and not my performance.

I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter why something happens.  What matters is what you do with the challenges.  I do know that now, more than ever, I am doing work that I love doing.  Helping companies raise the bar on who they are and how they treat their employees is the coolest thing ever.  Putting band-aids on employee wounds isn’t nearly as fun and rewarding as healing them as permanently as possible from within.

When people would tell me after I was laid off that things would be better I wasn’t sure I believed them.  However, I can safely say that I am better…less stressed and more rewarded.  So for all of you displaced workers out there, keep the faith, don’t settle for less, and know things will be better.  It just might take a little more time that you want it to.  But I am living proof that where life takes you will be where you want to be.

Kurt is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Public Relations. He and his wife Melissa are proud parents of two teenagers, Zachary and Madison. In his spare time, he enjoys attending his kid’s vast array of activities, reading books on WWII history and cheering on his beloved Sooners.

1 Comment

  1. Bryan Thompson 14 years ago

    Great post, Kurt. I’ve been laid off twice and it can be easy to play mind games with yourself. Even if you know in your heart that the reasons “weren’t you, it’s them,” your head can still wrestle with it. It can also impact your next work decisions, and when things go wrong there, it can feed those insecurities even more. This has been true for me.

    I think a good way to move forward and overcome these challenges is to give yourself time to assess what your best qualities are and – if you did make mistakes – write down what you could do better in the next place. Take time to grow as a person so you’re not plagued with useless guilt and insecurity. I wish I would have done those things earlier on.

    Great thoughts!

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