About four years ago, I was called into my boss's office for what I thought was a routine weekly meeting. Our business had been in a decline, but my record stood on its own. Even though we had been laying off managers left and right over the past two months, I in no way felt my position was in jeopardy because of my past performance and long record of success. I was wrong.
Initially, I felt betrayed by my direct boss and extremely upset. The new general manager tried to talk to me, but I had little time for anything he had to say. The man never gave me so much as the time of day and knew he had to get rid of me from day one merely because of my salary. However, I expected a bit more from my operations manager with whom I had worked side by side for the better part of eight years.
After the initial shock subsided, I realized that I was now out of work in one of the worst possible times. Dozens of managers in my field were being laid off every month and the word on the street was that the position itself was going to become obsolete so companies could trim payroll. After filling out hundreds of applications and going on dozens of interviews, my attitude truly went south and I felt there was no hope.
One day, after months of being depressed over the situation, I realized that I needed to make a change right now or I would be stuck in this rut forever. Instead of focusing on finding a job, I motivated myself by my achievements. Yes, finding a job was the ultimate goal, but so was staying positive and continuing to get my name out into the market. Luckily, unemployment benefits were extended, so I had the benefit of not being rushed in finding a position until I found the right fit.
I started to look at local charitable organizations that could benefit from my expertise. Since I was in the food and beverage industry, there were plenty of opportunities to strut my stuff and have people take notice. I immediately went through my list of contacts at my old job and started to offer my services free of charge to the different events that were held at the hotel every year.
Instead of focusing on the negative, I was able to use this positive and not only dig myself out of a rut, but also help worthwhile causes. In addition, people started to take notice of how much more organized these functions were and how much more financially beneficial they were for the different organizations. Eventually, my hard work paid off and it led to multiple job offers.
By using different outlets and in keeping myself busy, I turned a negative into a positive and am now on a different life path than I was just a few short years ago. No, I am not doing what I had initially planned, but I am much happier, make more money, and have a much better quality of life. If I had never decided to help others when I myself needed help, I would probably not be nearly as successful as a person and in life as I am today.