By Bethany Mascena Tracy, N2’s Director of Recruitment
During an economic downturn, many companies turn to their most precious resource – their people – and start reducing headcount for a quick boost to their bottom line. This leaves talented, laid-off employees wondering, “What’s next?”
Throughout my career, I’ve asked myself many times, “What’s next?” Whether we start to ponder our next step because of an unexpected layoff or an intentional life shift, here are five things we can do to own our future:
Take a Breath.
Walking out of a meeting with a former employer, I immediately had new business cards printed to start my job search. At a business breakfast the next morning, I handed out cards under “My Own Company, Inc.” I didn’t miss a beat. But I also didn’t take a breath. I hadn’t stopped to figure out what I wanted to do next. Here’s what I now know I should’ve done: Breathe In. Breath Out. According to the American Institute of Stress, “Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain… which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body – it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.” Without a quiet, calm mind, it’s difficult to think clearly, which is necessary for anyone looking to own their future after a life-changing event.
Reframe Your Thinking.
How is this situation a gift? I had to ask myself this question when I wasn’t promoted to a role that I believed I deserved. Being passed over for a promotion or being laid off can often feel the same. Disappointment. Failure. All the emotions. By reframing the situation, we take the negative and find the positive. By reframing my thinking, I turned a time in my life when I wasn’t performing the work I knew I was capable of doing into one of the most memorable periods with my family and friends. By remaining in my role instead of moving up, I was able to take 12 vacations that year traveling to Alaska, Costa Rica, Cape Cod, Florida, and many places in between. Somehow that promotion didn’t feel as good as my toes in the sand.
Find What Gets You Excited.
A business coach once asked, “Is this a hobby or a business?” I excitedly answered, “a business.” To which she replied, “Then let’s figure out how to make money doing what you love.” What do you love? Whether it’s cooking or coaching, writing or working with people, figure out what gets you excited and then figure out how to make money doing it. In other words, start with your why, then find the how.
Ego can stop us from doing work that we really enjoy and that really matters. Humility may seem like the opposite of what we need right now. (Don’t we need to be confident? Walk into that job interview with swagger?) Humility, when practiced regularly, reminds us that we are no more important than anyone else. But here’s the key: Humility also reminds us that we are no less important, either. Humility allows us to respect the space between where we are today and where we want to be.
Look for Growth Opportunities.
If COVID-19 lockdowns taught us anything about business, it’s that there is opportunity if we just look for it. Seek business opportunities that match your skill set. Sales or marketing professionals could launch an N2 Company magazine. Great cooks may start a meal delivery business. A teacher might decide to dive into online teaching. Opportunities are everywhere… if we look.
Eight years ago, my business partner decided to leave the business we built for a full-time job opportunity. Without a realistic plan for me to run the business without her expertise, I was left thinking…”What’s next?” I took a breath, determined I could reframe my thinking about what this meant to my job prospects, started to get excited about a business opportunity to start a Stroll magazine in my community, humbled myself to learn the blueprint for launching a magazine, and saw the unlimited income and growth potential offered by The N2 Company. Today, I own my future…and you can too.
If You’ve Been Laid Off, You’re Not Alone.
Hear from some of my fellow team members who, like me, turned to N2 to own our future.
“I got laid off from my previous job on a call where 425 of us were laid off and the VP delivering the message told us all that he was getting promoted. I was on maternity leave when I was laid off. I spent a few extra months at home with my new baby and decided I needed and wanted to get back into the workforce because it was something that I really took pride in. I searched for ‘work from home’ jobs and found n2 on a whim! As a self-motivated person, this job has been such a blessing to me and my family. The hard work you put in here has an immediate impact on your income. No more waiting for an annual COLA increase of 3% annually, you can increase your salary here monthly. If you have helped any company in any industry become successful, you can create your own business here and increase your own bottom line rather than your boss’ bottom line.”
—Natalie Jostes, N2 Region Manager & Area Director
“Thirteen years ago, while I was in the process of planning my resignation from my job 6 to 12 months down the road, I unexpectedly lost my job and had to make a career change. Though I didn’t have the plan figured out completely, forcing me to make the move to do something out of my comfort zone was the greatest blessing of my professional life and I haven’t turned back. I’ve been able to be home with the family for dinnertime, baths, book and bed, take vacations when I wanted to without asking for permission months in advance. I was also able to make a real difference in the local business community, helping small business owners to solve a major problem they face every day. It’s been incredibly rewarding from all angles.”
—JP Hamel, N2’s Chief Revenue Officer
“My position was eliminated after working many years as a corporate executive. I knew I wanted something different, I just wasn’t sure what that was. So I prayed about it: God, please show me a sign. A recruiting email from N2 miraculously landed in my inbox. In the body of the email was a video link with the founders of the company and about 200 signs from God. I stepped out in faith and could not be happier. I now have two successful publications and I am a Performance Coach helping other Area Directors reach their goals.”
— Danielle Harbour, N2 Area Director & Performance Coach