By Yolanda L. Salazar
Being a member of a Rapid Response Team for the State of Texas, the WPMG Team was witness to many, many people losing their employment through no fault of their own. These were certainly stressful times for these individuals. WPMG would come in and do their job of conducting classes in Stress Management, Financial Management, Resume Writing, Job Search Strategies and Interviewing Techniques.
Upon conducting our Stress Class, which we always chose to do first, our trainers instructed these dislocated workers on the causes, symptoms and solutions of stress. This was very important because without these individuals de-stressing, the rest of the program was a loss. They had to get their minds around losing their jobs and what their next step would be. By de-stressing, their thoughts became clearer and enabled them to make choices as to what it was they wanted to do in their future.
We called our program, The Management of New Beginnings. That is because at this point in their life, they had choices to make. They had problems to resolve and they had to secure new employment. It was at this time that we would strive to enable our participants to be more choosy, more selfish and more geared toward what they wanted to do in their next job. Did they want to continue in the field from which they had just been removed? Did they need to just take any job to make ends meet? Did they require training in order to stay in a similar position? All these questions had to be answered prior to these individuals in continuing in their journey to a better tomorrow.
New Beginnings allowed participants to stretch their imagination and allow them to conceive other ideas and efforts of where they wanted to go. Some would go right back to work in very similar positions, if not the same exact ones. However, we did come across so many individuals who would always state to us, “This job is not where I wanted to be. I just got stuck here in trying to take care of my family. I really wanted to be a (teacher, nurse, accountant, photographer, chef, landscaper)!”
The choices were endless. When you choose a job that you want to do and not go with a job that you just need to maintain, it makes a world of difference. Fun jobs and careers are possible in your life, very possible. You have three choices in life: Give up, give in or give it all you’ve got.
With a lot of these individuals with whom we worked, we saw many transformations in their lives. Some who worked in sales and call center positions realized that they hated talking on the telephone. They wanted to be outside and be one with nature, if you will. A landscaper! A photographer! How about an inspector of something? It doesn’t really matter what you want to be. You just have to take the steps to get there.
As in the case with many of our dislocated workers, they were eligible for various programs provided through the Texas Workforce Commission. These programs allowed these dislocated workers the opportunity to return to school for training or re-fresher courses or specific vocational or technical programs. Many of these people took advantage of these programs and were able to receive certifications, licenses or the appropriate training needed in order for them to fulfill their new careers. It is very gratifying seeing individuals who were so low and stressed just a year or so earlier now accepting positions in a new field or career that they never thought would be possible for them.
I read in an article just a few months ago where “only 13% of employees are fully engaged in their jobs or emotionally invested in their work and focused on helping their organizations improve, according to the latest Gallup poll. It also said that 63% were not engaged or simply unmotivated and unlikely to exert extra effort, while the remaining 24% are actively disengaged or truly unhappy and unproductive.” (Only 13 Percent of People Worldwide Actually Like Going to Work, article by Jena McGregor)
Follow your dreams and stay away from those individuals who are dream stealers. Dream stealers are people who will not support you, will not encourage you and do not want you to succeed. Surround yourself with those positive people who help you make it from day to day. Those people have your best interest at heart. They want you to make it. They want you to be happy. They want you to succeed. Don’t waste your time on people who are not willing to be a part of your transformation. Find the ones who want to BE a part of your transformation.
Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.
Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.
Fun can only be identified by you. So decide for yourself what that fun job or career can be and move toward that goal and continue to follow your dream. And remember, your dream doesn’t have an expiration date on it. If it doesn’t seem to come together right away, keep breathing, keep moving and keep trying.
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