Finding Meaning in a Job Search

October 15, 2009

In outplacement I once met a displaced executive who was very angry after being let go from his previous job. He had been treated unfairly and was so consumed with anger that he was unable to get on with his life.

To help him regain his balance, he’d met several times with his priest who said, “You must to get to the point where you can pray for your former boss.”

One morning my new-found friend boasted that he was finally able to pray for the one who had done him wrong. “Every morning,” he said, “I pray that my former boss will get run over by a bus.”

After a good laugh, we both agreed that wasn’t what his priest had in mind. What he needed was to forgive and then move on without hoping for revenge.

When I’ve been in transition, I’ve tried to find the purpose and meaning within the circumstances. Even though things usually seemed confusing at the time, I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. I’ve learned that if I’m patient, somewhere down the road understanding will come.

The biblical story of Joseph tells how he was treated unfairly, punished unjustly and then forgotten. It must have been a lonely, painful and confusing time, but it was not wasted time. Joseph sorted things out and later, after achieving great career success, said to those who had wronged him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.”

Somewhere, embedded in your circumstances, you can find meaning. Somehow, even when you’re in a free fall, you can discover opportunities to learn and to grow. Heroes are made in the midst of strange and uncertain times. Be a hero.

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