A bad phase strikes at your confidence, at your belief that there is something out there for you
A friend of mine is facing a peculiar challenge these days. Coming out of a tough phase in her career, she is now all set to begin a B.Ed. course later this month but has a good 20 days to spend at home. You’d think she would spend the time catching up on things she would otherwise not have the time for, like hobbies or yoga, but somehow she is not feeling enthused about anything and is quite depressed, not knowing what to do with the time she has!
Does this sound familiar? We spend hours working in the office day in and day out hoping to find a bit of time for ourselves, but when time gets thrust upon us it becomes more of a burden rather than a boon. Most of the time it is unplanned – when you are looking for a job or when you are out of a job or when you are taking a planned sabbatical – and it seems like a demon sitting on your head like ominous doom.
I’ve been through that myself and I know the anatomy of that feeling. It was a chance statement from someone that actually helped me find the key to escape from this temple of doom. A school friend of mine, during a particularly bad phase of his, said, “I’m not that worried, I’ve always felt that there’s something good in store for me”
It’s when I started believing in my future that my perception of the world started changing. A bad phase strikes at your confidence, at your belief that there’s something good out there for you. Whether it’s a breakup with a girlfriend, a pink slip, a poor performance appraisal, that’s where it hits you. But there are other people in the world that you meet and jobs that require you and opportunities to perform.
If and when you start believing that, you start working towards it and get out of the self-fulfilling prophecy of its not my time! Let me illustrate that with two examples.
A relative of mine, who had joined a start-up, found himself out of work for one and a half years during the recession. In the eight years he was working before that, he had cribbed about not having time to go for a trek, but in those one-and-a-half years he didn’t go for a single trek.
On the contrary, a friend of his who also got chucked out of a job took three vacations during that time with his wife, catching up on stuff they never had the time to do earlier. He took up one short assignment and then through his connects found a job. Both of them took at least a year to find jobs through their contacts and had reasonable family support during their lean time. Both are doing well today…but only one enjoyed the break thrust upon them.
I remember a client of ours, during the recession he called on us to do a massive organisational transformation project. He said “We’ve grown rapidly but in this period we’ve got low business but plenty of time. The recession will end sooner or later, I want to prepare this company for the next level of growth and hence this is the right time to do this project.” I think there’s a message for all of us in that line and I’ll leave it for each one of you to decode it for yourself.