Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Greetings Faith!

Faith

Hi Lois, how’s it going?

Lois                         

It’s been going really well. I’ve been contemplating a lot about rage and civility and my thoughts as it pertains to that, so I don’t always put it on the outside of somebody else, but recognizing both those components within myself.

Faith                    

That’s a good thing to do.

Lois                        

It’s been a tough one.

Faith                     

I know, right?

Lois                       

It’s so easy to say, count to five and then, oh crumb, we just talked about that, I’m in trouble. So by the way, if you missed that podcast, go on your favorite app where we are playing right now or to our website www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com, and check that out because it’s a powerful one on how to manage rage and civility, whether or not you are facing it or you are dealing with it in your own self. We’re going to continue with a few more of the challenging transitions that you might be facing right in this moment. So Episode 59. Transition: The Impact of Losing your Position.

Faith                     

Wow, and that brings up so much because when we lose a position, we feel that we’re losing a part of ourselves. And that’s why it becomes so personal and we get very intense about it, whether it’s a job or whether it’s relationship or whether, oh, there’s so many things that we’re going to just address here today on this, but it’s not losing you. You remain. That’s what I hope we get out of this podcast. Today’s to know you remain. A position has gone or changed or morphed, but you remain.

Lois                       

And the reason this is so hard is because we tie ourselves, we intertwine ourselves with our position, with the person that we’re with, with our jobs, with whatever you’re doing. We become part of that. We become enmeshed and really tangled up in there. So when that ends, and especially if it’s an unexpected job loss or a change like that, we are like, well, who am I? Who am I? What’s going on? Because I’ve identified as such for so long as faith pointed out, we still are who we are, but we forget that in that moment. So we are here today to kind of unpack some of that. I do want to share that this is real and all of us feel this. So about six years ago I made a big transition from what I’d been doing for a very long time and when I stopped broadcasting live, I remember being on a plane and my husband and I were landing in a foreign country where I had to list my profession. And it was the first time in 30 plus years that I didn’t write down broadcast journalist. Because I wasn’t anymore. I suppose you can lie at that who would know, but I knew myself that’s not what I was doing and I was literally having another hot flash on top of a hot flash on the plane trying to decide what I was going to write down. I was caring for my parents. I was writing. I was…what am I going to put as my profession? I felt that that was so important to do and I realized in that moment how much I had tied being who I was and could I separate? Now, I would love to tell you that in 30 seconds I made the decision to call myself a writer or a freelancer or whatever I did and it was okay. But it has taken me the last few years to really let go of the tethers that this profession, and any profession by the way, had on me as a hold and how much I wanted to identify as such. So I would go to a party and someone will say, well, what do you do? I would like b-line for someplace else. I didn’t want to explain again what was going on. This is how you feel when you are removed from something, even if it’s by choice, so it’s not always unexpected, but something happens where you transition out of something that has given you such identity for years.

Faith                   

Oh, that is so, so true. I had the same experience, very similar when I lost my own business after 22 years of being in it. And I had several businesses all through those years, but my main core one was I was in the fireworks industry. And when I had to go to war, so to speak, with the secretary of state here in my state over it, she was trying to eliminate the actual fireworks industry. And so I went to war with that and I lost. And so all at once here, something that I had been so involved in for so long and had been so successful at was in a matter of six months gone. I remember the very last day I left the huge warehouse that I had and I locked the door and I walked out and I sat in my car. This is all I’ve known. My identity was in what I did. I didn’t know who fully I was and that was actually the end of one aspect of my life and the beginning of a whole new journey of discovering and I didn’t know it at the time. I just sat in my car and cried and said, well, I guess I better go work at McDonald’s now. There’s nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s, hear me, but here I had been a successful businessperson all throughout the tristate area and beyond. Now I felt like there was nothing and so it was like, I need to go flip hamburgers, and that was how that just told me something like, oh my goodness, I don’t know what to do. Same thing. That was the best thing to happen because that was a turning point because then the journey began to like, there’s got to be more.

Lois                       

We can both promise you and we will through this podcast that there is an amazing light at the end of the tunnel. But right now when you first encountering this, there is no light. It’s awful. It’s awful, and you feel numb and yes, you really don’t know where to turn. So we want to acknowledge that this is extremely difficult. So anybody who says, oh, it’s a new window opening, I hate those lines when you’re right in the middle of it, right? No, it’s true. Later, and by the way, it will open up, but it takes some time. So we want to walk through some of these steps with you because you know you might go through anger, you might go through self blame and longterm we can tell you that this transition will probably open up. But short term, there are a lot of things you’re going to be facing right now that are really challenging and tough for you.

Faith                    

Oh, absolutely. For me, I was a whole year in mourning and I went off. I was like, I don’t even know what I did for that year was like I was putzing around, but I was in deep, deep mourning. All those feelings, anger, pain, depression, sadness. I mean, oh my goodness. It all rose up inside of me. That is part of the process. You have to feel some of this. We all deal with it differently, but it is a part of the process.

Lois                      

And years later we really do promise you that these changes are most likely for the better and that new life is going to spring out of this loss and that we’re both flourishing now. But that sting, even when we both just talked about it right now, can you hear it? I still feel it. It’s still there. Which is really kind of interesting. You know, it still affects us. So how can we help you as you work through this blow of a position of losing a position? We are now doing somethings that are very different than we ever anticipated doing and they’re bringing me a lot of joy. I know, and it’s giving me life where I thought I couldn’t use some of these other gifts. Because like you said, I thought maybe I’d have to go just be a cook someplace because I know how to do that. But is that really what I want to do for the rest of my life? Now I get to use the talents and skillsets that I know because I put them to new use again.

Faith                   

Right? Oh Man. There’s so many things that come rushing in. I think every doubt, every insecurity, everything, every failure we’ve ever had comes rushing in like a storm and it just becomes a tumultuous place inside of us. So we believe a lot of negatives about ourselves in that moment and so one of the key things to help is to begin to go, wait, what are the good things about me? What are the positive things about me? And, and I did do that. It’s like, no, I know I’m good at sales. I know I’m good with people. I just don’t know what it’s gonna look like next. I did keep telling myself, no, I know this about me. And you have to counter the lies with truth.

Lois                      

Yes, you absolutely do. So identify this loss. Really say, this is real. Don’t let anybody whitewash that for you because it’s real. It’s hard. You’re going to grieve a lot of things. You’re going to grieve the people that you worked with, the camaraderie you had in that kind of space or the line of work you were in. Even if you were solo doing that, your schedule changes. It makes it more difficult. So identify and acknowledge that you know what? This is really hard and don’t let anybody take that away from you. That’s when you can come to the place as you identify what’s so hard about it, that you are not your job, you are not your job.

Faith                   

That’s hard to believe in the moment.

Lois                        

And that’s why we have to start someplace and the more we start identifying the pain that’s associated, we start to realize I’m hurt because of all these things that surrounded that – and I’m not that. Right. When you said earlier about looking for those positives, that’s part of making a plan, and when you look at what the next is going to be, take those skill sets that are really real and that are a part of you that don’t go away because you don’t have that job.

Faith                    

And I think another part of that plan along with that is do something not immediately in the first few weeks, which I didn’t do, but if I had not done anything at all that would not have been good. Eventually, within I think it was probably like six, seven, maybe eight weeks, I can’t remember, but I got together with some friends and we began to think about a possibility. We began to think about what could happen and we would go for breakfast and we would just talk and we would do that like once a week, let’s meet for breakfast. What’s happening in your life? What’s happening in my life, what are the possibilities? And we began to dream again because one of the things that can be devastating is that when a position has been taken, we lose that vision. We lose that dream to see beyond our current situation. That was a huge help to me to just step out and begin to take some new steps.

Lois                      

Talk with your friends. Your friends know you really well. Was that a good fit for you? Do you just need to find another place where that kind of fit? Is there or is there another fit? Is there another direction you can go in? Just as before when we’ve talked in podcasts, we don’t take everyone’s advice as gold. It is helpful for those that we trust and who have played an important role in our lives. To be able to speak to us and say, this was really great for you. Would you be interested in looking in that direction? The great news is if you’re not, you can easily say at that point, well, no I really don’t want to do that. And it’s a great marker for you. So bring in these people who can actually help you with that and then look at what you learned even if it’s painful, how you ended it. What did you learn through those years in that position that are going to prepare you and shape you for the next place you go?

Faith                    

Yes, and if you need help with that, see a professional because that person can help walk you through some of the triggers, some of the things that have hooked you in the loss of position, and you can take that time to discover and understand more about yourself so that it’s not there the next time.

Lois                      

In so many job interviews, they’ll ask you to share your strengths and then they’ll say, can you share your weaknesses. And this is a really good time to remind yourself, and to at least look at, were there any things that you were doing that maybe either caused the loss of a job? Or maybe you were laid off and it had nothing to do with anything you did or didn’t do. What could you do better if you stayed in this kind of field in the next position you’d go to that makes you more valuable?

Faith                 

Well, it’s excellent. What can you do? Yeah, it’s a time for reflection and to understand what happened here. Even if you’re laid off, it’s a time for reflection of could have planned better. Could I have put a maybe a little bit bigger nest egg aside? Because what am I feeling? I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’m not going to able to pay the bills. Oh, I don’t want to have that happen again. So make a plan and say, I’m learning something here to do it differently for the next time, so take advantage of the situation to learn how to give yourself more security and a good foundation to step off of.

Lois                       

And as you make that plan to move on and move forward, really consider how you can rewire your brain and the anger you might feel toward why you lost that position. If it was an unexpected loss or if somebody actually did something so that you lost your job, how can you reframe that so when you go in for the next interview or you share things with people, that doesn’t become the highlight and people see you as someone who’s angry over this loss. It’s very difficult and that’s why Faith, your point of not rushing out there immediately is so good because sometimes the wounds are just too raw.

Faith                

Oh my goodness, they are and you know, if it’s a financial situation and you need the money right away, we’ll maybe just do some temp work. Yes. You know, just do something to get some income coming in, but don’t make it a permanent situation until you’ve worked through those feelings. Because you do not want to carry that forward. And that is where I would encourage you to spend a little bit of time with a professional to really have a place to go where it’s sacred space where you can just vomit it out and get it out. Somebody will hear you and somebody will walk it with you and help put some of the understanding that maybe you can’t see as to what’s going on. Because yeah, you want to leave it, you want to release it, and that takes a process.

Lois                        

It does and especially if you’re moving onto something that’s not quite what you had done before, you might be required to learn some new skills. Yes. I mean as faith and I are working this out in our second year of our podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois, we have had to learn a lot of new skills and some of them come with amazing growing pains because it just takes time. It’s making mistakes and figuring things out, trying something here and all of these mistakes are good mistakes by the way. You have to learn, because the only way you learn to not do it that way is by, by doing that and going, you know that didn’t work so well. And so we’ve been moving in another direction, but be ready and willing to approach these new skills with this is going to be interesting.

Faith                  

You absolutely have to have this process happen. We learned from our mistakes we learn from our trip ups, but that’s how we get stronger and don’t give up. That’s the other piece is that if we feel defeated, we’re going to want to give up. And you’re going to have days of defeat, so take a deep breath, do what you need, nurture yourself, be kind to yourself, but don’t give up and keep moving.

Lois                       

We’re in Episode 59. Transition: The Impact of Losing Your Position. So keep going forward. I had a great conversation the other day with a friend and it’s hard. But treat looking for a new job like a job itself and have a schedule. Because for those of us who like to have structure in our lives, one of the things that happens with the loss of position is we lose that structure. Yeah, and so if you can build into your day, even if it’s calls you have to make or revamping your resume or learning this new skill or researching something about a new profession or a profession in a different location, those are things that can. do. You know if you build that into a calendar, write down somewhere on a sticky note. You will feel at the end of the day that you’ve accomplished something instead of this frustration that you were sitting there with, what am I going to do? And you may still feel what am I going to do, but you will feel that there are certain things that you’ve checked off your list and it means a lot, on a personal level.

Faith                

It really does. And going to breakfast with my friends was a part of that. That was kind of like looking for the job because I was lost because this has been what I’ve done ever since I was a teenager. So how in the world was I going to do anything else, but by going and spending that time, that was like doing job interviews for me because I needed to find out what else is in me, what else are my interests, what else is stirring within me? And out of that, within a year I started a nonprofit and so I went into something completely different. But the 12 years of being in that nonprofit brought me into doing what I’m doing now, of being a psychotherapist and working with people. So each was a stepping stone that I couldn’t see. I didn’t know was there. And that’s the same with your job interviews and putting out applications. It’s like – put them out there, throw them out, doesn’t even matter. It’s like just put every single one that you can possibly think of. See what comes back to you, see what excites you, and you can make a better choice, I think by doing that.

Lois                     

And when people ask to meet with you, meet with them, the most you can lose is a coffee or a phone conversation. Nowadays with skype or zoom, you can also talk with somebody and not even have to go in person. There are plenty of ways to engage that might spark a new thought for you so that you hadn’t anticipated before. Don’t be afraid of that because most every single meeting that we’re having, I know in terms of what we’re doing with this podcast, seem to generate a different idea. Possibly a different direction. For some we say, no, no thank you. But it was an interesting idea and maybe another time it’ll venture off into that direction.

Faith                    

Intentionality is a good word for this is that be very, very intentional about stepping out and yeah, you’re going to have wobbly legs at first, but just keep stepping out. Talk to the next person, go to the next meeting, go to a conference, things that can inspire you, whatever it takes, do what works for you, but keep moving.

Lois                       

And be kind. And this is one of these that is really interesting for me. I remember when my mother would tell me if I was discouraged at school or something hadn’t gone exactly the way I wanted, she would encourage me to do something for someone else. Because when you take your eyes off of everything that’s going on in your life right now and actually do something that someone cannot respond to, your brain chemicals do something different. So if you’re in a tough spot right now and it may seem impossible for you to think like this, but if you can find one person that you could show an act of kindness to that cannot repay you, it does something that you realize – I’m still really worthwhile and they’re really worthwhile and I can offer to do something for someone. And this is not an expensive venture. This is kindness, but it just takes the focus, even if only for a moment or a half day or whatever you choose to commit to someone, it takes the focus off yourself. Because I think we get so enmeshed with what am I going to do? Well, there most likely is someone out there who has it worse than you and finding something that you can offer. For me, it was as if I needed a break through something in my brain and went, oh, well, what about this idea that only came because I had let go of only thinking about myself.

Faith                   

That’s absolutely true. If the focus becomes your belly button. Well, then it’s like that’s what the focus is going to be. You’re only looking at yourself. You’re only looking down at yourself, inside yourself, and there’s a whole big world out here. And your canvas becomes very, very small when it’s all about just how you feel. And when you can be kind, when you can do something, when you can offer something out, go work in a soup kitchen for a day or a weekend and it will change your whole perspective. You know, do something for someone else. It’s a great time. If you have the time, do a little bit of volunteer work. You can set your own time. It will change your perspective because we get so into our fear or into our loss or into rejection. We forget that there’s something so much more that’s going on in this world. And then see the goodness in life to the kindness can also be, I need to look at what is good, taking a hike, getting away. Just getting out into nature itself brings back a perspective that, oh my goodness, it’s not just what’s going on inside of me.

Lois                        

Because when you stay open, we can speak from experience, Faith and Lois sitting right here, as to what happens when you keep your hands open for what could come next. So we had both gone through different kinds of transitions and we are still working in professions as well. You’re in a psychotherapy and I’m in life coaching and we’ve brought together those skills and talents into this podcast where we are learning new things every single week. We are talking to new people and engaging in ways that we never thought we would be for. So there is the light at the end of the tunnel and it really is and it’s a bright light that faith and I are sharing right now, which is awesome, and it didn’t happen overnight. This took years in the making, even for us to come to this place. And now we’re in our second year and we’re so thrilled to be with you and sharing what we’re learning and growing through along the way, especially as we even moved into this segment of doing transitions. A transition within a transition.

Faith                 

But we’re finding that in transition, there’s so much more to life there.

Lois                       

Remain positive in your transition. You’ll be surprised at how you will be rewarded by keeping an outlook that has a promise of a new life.

Faith                   

Losing your position can be completely devastating and it can open doors you never imagined. We hope that wherever you are in that transition, you will look forward to something that will infuse your life with joy.

Lois                      

If you know someone who’s lost their job, please pass along our podcast and follow us on our social media platform for all of the transitions we’re sharing with you. And join us next week for Transition: the Impact of a Breakup.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.