Not so long ago I was working as a chef at a vegan restaurant. This was a dream job for me and I felt really lucky for doing something I love every day. I felt successful and I think I was completely satisfied with my life. And then from one day to the next, everything has changed. When they told me that I was laid off, I completely broke down. I didn’t want to believe that this really happened to me. I felt I just want to stay in bed all day long. However, this experience has taught me some really valuable lessons. Today I feel grateful that it happened to me and I truly believe that I needed to go through this. I want to share four life lessons I learned from losing my job.
1. It doesn’t define my worth
I think what hurt me the most is that I felt I am not good enough. When they told me that they will hire someone else I started to feel less worthy and I started to blame myself. The only thing I could do was wonder what I did wrong and how I could have done it better. I have always liked cooking and this job gave me a lot of confidence in it. And now that I lost it, it felt like I lost my confidence in my own skills too.
I needed some time to realize that I might was not good enough for one place but it doesn’t mean that I am less worthy. Now I know that although I lost a job, I still cook really well and have a lot of amazing skills that could be useful at another workplace. Blaming yourself never helps and it only makes the situation worse. Of course there are things that I could have done better, but I have done a lot of things really well and that is equally important.
2. I am not alone to face this problem
In the beginning, I felt that I couldn’t deal with this by myself. It was really comforting to see that I don’t have to face it alone because I had people in my life who were there to help me. That was when I realized how lucky I am for having a supporting partner and some great friends. With them, I could get through this difficult situation easier and I will always be grateful for them.
I also learned to feel gratitude for the things I have instead of just focusing on the things I lack. Yes, I might have lost a great job but I am healthy. I have a place to live in, food to eat, and amazing people to spend time with. We tend to forget these things when everything is going smoothly. As Wayne Dyer said, “If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
3. It is ok to take some time
The same day I was laid off I already started to look for some other companies and jobs online. I did not want to spend even a day at home. I thought I needed to do something to feel valued and worthy. The first day I woke up without leaving to work felt so strange. I had always wanted to have some more time, but now that I had the full day for myself, I didn’t know what to do with it. Somehow I felt guilty for enjoying my time. I was always telling myself that I should be doing something more useful.
Now I believe there is nothing wrong taking some time for myself if I feel I need it before starting another job. Now that I have some more free time, why shouldn’t I take advantage of it? Sometimes I feel that nowadays busyness has become such a norm. Our society constantly tells us that if we are not busy, then we are lazy. This experience has taught me that there is nothing wrong doing nothing sometimes. It is also fine to spend more time doing things I enjoy without any guilt. I started to do things I refused to do before because of the lack of time. Today I believe that it was the most important and useful thing I could have done for me during that time.
4. Life has a lot of possibilities
When I lost my job, I felt that I will never have a job again that I will like as much as I did this one. I saw it as the only possibility I could have.
When I tried to look for other possibilities I noticed that there are a lot of great things I could do. I haven’t found the right place yet but I am much more positive than at first. I know that I just need to be creative and put some effort in it and I will find something great. Even though I liked my previous workplace, I know that it is not the only cool job that exists. It might take a while to find the right opportunity but I have no doubts that I will get there.
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