Success Story: The following story is a composite of those from several coaching clients.

Depending on circumstances and timing, being laid off can be a shocking and extremely challenging event, or it can come almost as a relief, a reason for moving on. One of my clients, Mark, had known for several months that his job would end. This had given him time to think about how he would reposition himself for another job, accomplish personal goals, and create more of a work-life balance. This was why Mark first came to see me for career coaching.

Notification acted as just the breath of fresh air I needed to begin many new initiatives. I joined a gym in town, hired a personal trainer, and have a goal of losing 30 pounds by May.  As you know, I’ve been thinking about volunteering with the elderly. Yesterday I walked into an Assisted Living center near my house for volunteer information, and I attended a social event to meet some folks and get a feel for the place.

 I also attended my first Al-Anon meeting on Wednesday and will likely become a regular at either or both of two meetings weekly. This is a whole other, very important issue that I’ve needed to address for years; it is coming to a head as I witness my daughter now in the depths of her own problems with substance abuse.

I’ve got to dash off to attend the website design course I finally enrolled in. I owe you another e-mail on timelines and how you and I might continue our work together, but wanted to get this off to you now.

It is amazing that Mark had any time to email me with all of these new initiatives in his life. He also helps care for his elderly aunt. Since his lay off, he has had time to address issues that have been weighing on him for some time: health, his daughter’s mental health, and getting the professional training he wants and needs to move on. Mark has given himself a few months before beginning the job quest, and he will be better positioned for it with more training under his belt and a sense of accomplishment. As he and I discussed, he will then be faced with continuing with the initiatives he has begun and integrating them into his life once he finds a job. He will strive to maintain more balance between the personal and professional.

I wanted to share Mark’s success story as an inspiration for those going through a job lay-off or transition. Ask yourself, “Is the bear eating me or am I eating the bear?” If you can get on the more powerful side of that equation, you can use your energy to engage and grow like Mark is doing. Choosing a positive approach over fear is the first step in eating that bear energy and making it work for you.