Going Through The Motions vs. Focusing On The Outcome

February 14th, 2017

In yesterday’s blog post about being lazy and sloppy, I wrote:

“Because sometimes, in your job search, you just go through the motions.  You don’t have your heart in it, and you make mistakes that seem to be no big deal.”

Ah, going through the motions.

You may relate to having a kid clean the bathroom mirror, only to check on it and seeing streaks all over the mirror. Or, sweep the kitchen floor, only to see dust and crumbs all over the floor.

When I (the parent) ask them (the kids) to do a job, I want the job done.  I want the mirror clean, and the floor clean.  Somehow, sometimes, what they understand is “spray the mirror and then wipe a paper towel over it a bunch of times,” or “walk around the kitchen and swing a broom back and forth.”

I’m asking for a result, they are focusing on the action.

In your job search, are you working for a result, or are you just going through the motions?

Be honest with yourself.  Many times, I was just going through the motions.

The problem with motions is that, just like the mirror or the floor, the results are not good. They aren’t even unacceptable. The work has to be redone. It was a waste of time (unless you learn from it).

Don’t do stuff in your job search that gets no results, and that you’ll just have to do over later.

Oh wait, some things can’t be done over (like, make a first impression, do great in a first interview, follow-up appropriately with a networking introduction, etc.).

Put your focus on the results, not the motions.



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Lazy and Sloppy Do Not Make a Good Job Search

February 13th, 2017

For the last six weeks I’ve used a walker to get around.  It’s much more of a pain than normal walking, but I like the walker a lot better than crutches.

Six weeks is a long time to have a walker. I have at least one more week of “no weight bearing,” which might mean I’ll be done with this walker for in a week or two.  That will be an amazing day.

Thursday night, last week, I goofed up. I was tired, and tired of the walker, and got a bit lazy.  Sloppy. The front of my walker bumped into four things, and the back of my walker snagged the bathroom mat and folded it up. Each of these could have resulted in me getting off-balance and falling.

That is not a fun prospect. I want to be done with this slow-down period of my life, not hurt myself more.

Why did this happen Thursday night?  Because I was sloppy.  I went through the motions, but was lazy enough to make mistakes… mistakes that could have had dire consequences.

Not as dire as breaking your wrist, or snapping the screws that a surgeon put in your ankle, I see consequences that are dire for job seekers.


Because sometimes, in your job search, you just go through the motions.  You don’t have your heart in it, and you make mistakes that seem to be no big deal.

Mistakes in your communication, as you talk about your previous boss (the jerk!).  Or how you don’t brand yourself the way you should, or how you spend too much time doing things you know you shouldn’t (like applying to jobs on job boards… it’s like the guilty pleasure for job seekers).

I’m not talking about doing everything wrong, I’m talking about not concentrating enough and making small mistakes.

Above, I wrote “mistakes that could have dire consequences.”

The size of your mistake isn’t always equal to the size of the consequence.

I know the job search is hard.  Monotonous (like using a walker).  Tedious. Boring.  Not what you excel at.

But I want you to think about the time you devote to your job search activities: don’t be lazy during that time!  If it’s only for the next 30 minutes, be at the top of your game for that 30 minutes!

When I get on stage to speak, my self talk includes “leave it all on the field!”  For a one hour presentation, I might have a full day of travel, then driving to the venue, then a full day of travel to get home (many times, after 11pm).  It’s a LOT of time put into the one hour. But if I’m not on my game when I’m on the stage, it’s all for naught. No amount of planning for the trip, hotel, plane, car rental, food, etc. is worth it if I get lazy and sloppy on stage.  It’s all about that one hour.

That’s the way it should be for you. Whether it’s that critical 2 line email that takes you a half hour to get just right, or the phone call that turns out to be 40 seconds long, make sure you are on your game, and leave it all on the field.  Now is not the time to be sloppy.


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New Insider Information Videos: What Cheryl Snapp Conner Thinks of Hiring and Job Search

February 10th, 2017

Cheryl Snapp Conner was the PR Director at Novell, and then went on to start her own very successful PR firm.  I met her years ago, when I was just starting JibberJobber, and have always admired what she has done in her business, as well as how involved she is in the community.


I spent almost 40 minutes with Cheryl talking about her experience building her team, and we talked about entrepreneurship (specifically, the idea of a professional choosing to stop a job search and start their own business, like she did), as well as blogging (as a job seeker), personal branding, and more.

This interview is part of the Insider Information videos… the second one released (the first was with Ash Buckles).

To get access to this, and future insider videos, simply go to the videos page (Tools, JibberJobber Videos) and click on the “more…” link in the yellow box.  This goes to the payment page, where you can get one month access for $9.95, or a monthly subscription, or get 20% off (you pay $99) if you purchase a year of access (If you get it now, the year will expire July 1 of 2018, just because we got more videos to put in… nice bonus, huh?).

Want 50% off? Upgrade to JibberJobber for a year (which is 50% off of full price) and one year of the Insider Information videos…  you’ll get 50% off of JibberJobber and all of the videos.  One year of JibberJobber and one year of Insider Information videos will save you $120.

Any questions? Email me: Jason at JibberJobber.com

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PSA: Don’t “hit on” people on LinkedIn #CareerAdvice

February 9th, 2017

On Facebook one of my female friends posted a short note about getting hit on from people on LinkedIn.

I’d like to reiterate what many of us (guys and gals) already know: DON’T DO IT.

That’s it.  Just don’t do it.

If you are married, especially don’t do it.  You might have marriage problems (which is none of our business), but all the other person knows is that you are a creep.

If you are longing for a relationship, be aware that when you approach someone on LinkedIn (which many people regard as a professional network, not a social or friends/family network), that they might be there for business, not for advances.

I have a lot of female friends who talk about this to their friends and family.  Many of them post about the creepiness factor on Facebook.  What that means is that your brand might be some version of “creep” to not just the person you made advances at, but to all of his/her friends and family.  That’s a yucky brand.

Look, I know I’m not the morality police, and I really can’t tell you when and where to put on your hot moves.  Maybe it works for you.  But if you are interested in career management, and your personal brand, let me encourage you to be very careful how you approach (or, hit on) anyone, anywhere.  You can’t be regarded as professional from 9 to 5, but then after that be the creepy guy (or gal).  That creepy brand will find it’s way into your day job.

For anyone who has been a victim of online creepy advances, on LinkedIn or elsewhere, what am I missing? How should other victims respond?

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Planned Surgery Without Obamacare

February 1st, 2017

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I broke my ankle on the 2nd of January. I thought it was sprained so I put off having it checked for two full weeks.  My bad.

I didn’t want to go to an urgent care only to spend a couple hundred bucks to tell me it was sprained, and to just R.I.C.E.  So I just did R.I.C.E. at home, for free.

But then, after two weeks, it was time. It wasn’t getting better at all.  The pain and symptoms were too much, so I may have conceded to defeat, shed a tear or two, and got packed into the van to go to an urgent care.

I’m not here to give you any medical advice, but I want to share things I’ve learned in this latest medical “crisis.”  I have found information very difficult to find, and I believe that no matter what your insurance is, it’s powerful to be informed.

One of my biggest fears/annoyances is paying for a doctor only to have them refer you to someone else.  And that’s exactly what happened. I went to the urgent care where they took xrays. The nurse who took care of me 80% of the time (the other 20% was a P.A.) said “do you want to see the xrays?”  Of course we (my wife was with me) did.  “See that?  That’s obviously a break.”  Ugh… it didn’t look very small :(  “Let’s go talk to the P.A.”

The P.A. basically said “you have to talk to an orthopedic doctor.  We have one in our network…”

That cost $119.

45 minutes later we were checking into another urgent care to meet with the ortho.  He basically said “You have to have surgery.  If it were 2 millimeters separated I like to avoid surgery, but you are almost 10 millimeters.”  I asked “how much do you think this will set me back?” He responded “I don’t know, but I’m guessing between $7,000 and $12,000.”  He gave us a few surgeon referrals to call.

My goodness.

Because we didn’t have the first urgent care put a splint on (because they said we would just have to do xrays at the next place, and I thought they’d just do it there), they charged us an extra $80 to make a splint.  That was a bad choice on our part.

That cost $119 for the ortho to get surgery and $80 to make a splint (that would have been included in the first urgent care trip).

I spent a couple of days calling surgeon offices… that was not fun at all.  But one office stood out, night and day, from the others.  The office staff sold me on using their surgeon, not because they were in sales mode, but because they were very nice (even after knowing I was self-pay, or “pay in cash, before the service”). Learn more about those phone calls, and what I learned for job seekers, here.

On that Tuesday I had made an appointment for the following Monday (which was the earliest they could get me in), and possibly surgery that afternoon, but then I got a call asking if I could come in on Thursday. I was elated to get in earlier.

With the 20% self-pay discount, that appointment cost $200.

The purpose of this post isn’t to be a surgery-log… I want to give you an idea of how I got to a surgeon I liked, and how much it cost.  So far we are up to about $520… just to get referred to the right person, and for him to say “okay, I’ll cut you.” Aside from a splint, so far there’s be no medical care (but hey, the xray and diagnostics is worth something).


In my experience, a surgery will generate at least three bills: the surgeon, the hospital (or surgery center), and the anesthesiologist.  What do you figure each of those cost?

Four years ago I had emergency gall bladder surgery.  I went into the emergency room at 2:30 am and had surgery a few hours later.  No shopping around.  I was pretty much doped up from 3am until I came out of my anesthetics, with some big nurse over me telling me to “BREATHE!!”

I wrote about the costs here… can you believe that the surgeon, after his 50% off cash pay discount, cost only about $800?  The guy in charge, the guy calling the shots, the guy doing the cutting and repairing… $800.  That seems awfully low to me, especially when the total cost of surgery and ER was over $20,000.  The surgeon’s got less than 5% of the total payments.

Well, here’s how ankle repair surgery came out, for me.  Mind you, this was a “pretty simple” surgery, with two screws and no plates.

Surgery center: $1,305 (after a 75% discount!!)

Surgeon’s office: about $1,400 (I can’t find the exact number, but it was after a 40% discount)

Anesthesiologist: $600 (apparently this was only a discount of $40. I’ve never gotten a good discount from the anesthesiologist)

90 days followup visits with the surgeon are included, although I’ll have to pay for xrays and extras. And I’ll have to have physical therapy, which I’m hoping isn’t more than $500.  Altogether, this misplaced kick-resulting-in-broken-ankle is costing a little less than $3,000.

Not fun, but definitely better than the guess of $7,000 to $12,000.

How might you get an expensive medical procedure for such a low (or “reasonable,” or “affordable”) cost?

  1. You shop around. Let them know you are self-pay and ask if they have a discount.  Don’t argue, just ask. You aren’t negotiating, you are simply gathering information.
  2. Don’t go to a hospital for a planned surgery (if you can help it).  Check out “surgery centers” in your area. This is a MUST READ regarding surgery centers.

Now here’s the interesting thing: After the first frustrating day of calling surgeons the doctor recommended, I called the surgery center and asked them who they work with, or recommend.  That was my short list for calling the second day.

I’m not saying that not having insurance is awesome.  Not at all.  But for those of you who can’t get insurance, you need to know that not all hope is lost.

Oh yeah, for those of you wanting to do the math… assuming I paid $1,000 a month in insurance, with a $10,000 deductible, I still would have had to pay for this entire surgery out of pocket.  Just saying.

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Sunday Night: JibberJobber Transitions to Amazon Servers

January 26th, 2017

Almost eleven years ago this year I got laid off… just a few months later JibberJobber launched. At first we hosted on GoDaddy’s servers, but the site was just too slow and kept going down.  It was a mess that only lasted a few days.  I then arranged to host JibberJobber with a friend, who was a brilliant server admin from my last company.  That worked fine until he had a change in his career and wasn’t doing hosting anymore.  That’s when we switched to another friend I met while networking… and we’ve been in their server farm for years.

Sunday night, though, we move to Amazon’s hosting services.  Why didn’t we do this eleven years ago?  Because I didn’t think Amazon was ready to host JibberJobber.  Too often there were articles about how Amazon’s cloud went down, and tens of thousands of websites went down with it.  I figured hosting in-house, with our own physical server, would give us more of the control that we needed.  We had already proven with GoDaddy’s package that JibberJobber was too complex for a general hosting solution.

Obviously Amazon has matured a lot in the last eleven years. Big, huge websites host there, and I haven’t read about downtime for years. That’s not to say I’m confident there won’t be problems, but I think the problems that Amazon might have are a better risk than the issues that we currently have. Not necessarily with the company we are hosting with now, but just with owning our own server, and managing all that goes along with that.

All this is to say that Sunday night JibberJobber will be down for about an hour (if all goes well), after which JibberJobber should look the same, but will be housed in a different place.  What does that mean for you?

It should mean better security. For the last couple of years we have been hammered by bad guys who have been trying to take JibberJobber down. Sometimes they have been successful, and it’s been super frustrating to deal with. Attacking in the middle of the night, or on a three day weekend, was especially not fun, as it made us be more vigilant and reactive all the time.  There’s a special place in h e double hockey sticks for the people who do this.  We implemented the automated security we could, but there are still ways to get around that. My understanding is that Amazon hosting services provides some extra security that will help this fight.

It should mean a faster JibberJobber experience. Or server isn’t too shabby, but Amazon has some options that allow us to ramp up the hardware when things seem slow. Combine that with some some technical changes we are making with how we have things organized, at the server level, and we hope to see much less latency in the user experience.

It will mean that our developers have more time for YOUR experience. Whether it’s improving a particular workflow (or process), or working on a particular slow or cumbersome experience, moving to this solution and bringing on a dedicated server admin will mean my development team doesn’t have to spend time on server stuff, and can focus on development.

More reliability, faster user experience, and better development… all are good things.  In the back of my mind I keep hoping that this is the right solution.  Time will tell.

More of the back story: this switch has been talked about for years… and the last few months have been nonstop work to make it happen.  The amount of work, and the level of detail, to move from one hosting environment to another is crazy.  Lot’s of moving parts, lots of planning and coordinating and testing, and really, many points of failure.  Here’s to a problem free transition!

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Sometimes, You Need Real, Professional Help

January 23rd, 2017

I am a do-it-yourself kind of guy.  I want to figure out how to do, make, and fix things. I want to learn how things work.  I’m not the most handy guy around, but I do like understanding what’s going on, so I can maintain or improve things.

When I broke my ankle I thought it was a sprain. After two weeks I gave in and went to an urgent care clinic to get it checked out. Turns out my sprain, which I was optimistic that I’d recover from without paying for, was a break… severe enough to have to have surgery.  That conclusion came through three different clinic visits (because I kept getting referred to the next guy), and cost $600.

Without a doubt, the only thing for me to do is to lie on a table and have a surgeon cut me open and put screws in my bones. Like these videos (they are kind of nasty). That surgery happens in a few hours.

This is not a do-it-yourself situation.

When I lost my job, I was pretty sure that I could do it (find my next job) on my own. And you know what? I DID!

Oh wait… actually, I didn’t.

I spent months doing the wrong things, spending my time in bad places, with marketing material (think: resume) that was worse than average (average is already pretty bad)… wondering what was wrong with me, and getting more and more depressed.


But I was too proud, and cost-conscience to look for it. I was also confused as to how to make sure the person I found to help me was really qualified, and the right person for me.

So, I did it on my own. And failed miserably.

My job search would have been shorter, more focused, and more hopeful with the right help.

Don’t get me wrong… I feel guided to have started the path of conceptualizing JibberJobber. It was eleven years ago this year, and while it’s been hard, it’s also been an amazing journey.

But, I don’t recommend the path I took to anyone.  Entrepreneurship, sure, but I’d do it differently.  And when I talk to people who want to do it, I share my advice.

Back to job seekers, though, I’ll tell you, do all that you can do, and do the right things, but if there’s any chance you can get professional help, DO IT. That might come from an alumni career center, or a job club, or, there are hundreds of trained, certified qualified professionals that can help you.

No, they are not cheap, but they also are in business to get you back to work.  On the flip side, some are more affordable than others.

Do yourself a favor… if you are at that point of frustration, and you’ve done what you know you can, but aren’t sure what to do next, start to look for professional help.  The three groups I’ve been involved with over the years are The National Resume Writers’ Association, Career Directors International, and Career Thought Leaders. Each of those sites have a link to find professionals.

Once you do your research, and are ready to reach out, make sure you ask the professionals the right questions.  <– read that post!

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Are you asking the right questions? #ankle

January 20th, 2017

“Hi, I broke my ankle and know I have to have surgery. I’m self pay (or, cash pay)… can I ask you a few questions?”

This is how I started the phone calls to surgeon offices when I got back from seeing an orthopedic doctor.


“First, do you have a discount for self-pay, or full payment before the surgery?”

Yes, of course.  All of them did, except for one.  The discounts for this ranged from 20% (the most common) to 40%.


Insurance companies don’t want you to know that.  They don’t want you to know that there are other ways of paying for medical care.

They also don’t want you to know that they never pay full price – they “negotiate” (or bully) the providers to discount the service price…. a surgery I had four years ago saw 50% to 75% discounts, if you paid in full.  Do you know what that 50% to 75% represents?  The gross inefficiencies of dealing with insurance companies.  Talk to any doctor, or anyone involved in medical billing, and ask them how insurance impacts prices that you pay.  It is disgusting.

Oh sorry, I was on a soapbox for a bit there.   Let’s get back to the point of this post.

Oh wait, I’m not sorry.  You see, many of my readers are unemployed, and don’t have insurance through an employer.  COBRA is so expensive I think it is criminal.  And ACA, or Obamacare, is great, but if you make a certain amount, you don’t get any discount, so the price of insurance is more, in many cases, than a mortgage.  So yeah, on this blog we’ll talk about HOW to pay for things, like surgery, when you are unemployed.

Again, back to the point of THIS blog post: asking the right questions.

My second question was: “Can you give me an idea of the cost of surgery for a displaced medial malleolus fracture? It’s eight to ten millimeters displaced.”

The answer for the four I called the first day was “I can’t tell you any costs unless I have a CPT code.”

Well, of course I don’t have a CPT code.  And each of the calls were going nowhere.  That didn’t help my attitude any.

Sometime during my nap I realized that I was asking the wrong questions.  So the next day my calls in the morning went like this:

Hi, I broke my ankle and need to have surgery. I’m self pay, and was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me?” “Sure, I’ll do my best…” “Great. First, do you have a self pay, or cash pay, discount?

This is an easy question to answer… instead of asking them something that required a CPT code, I ask them something they can answer off the top of their head. The next questions were the same kind of easy:

When could I get in for an evaluation?” If it was two weeks out, then I wasn’t going to pursue them.

From the date of my evaluation, how far out would surgery be?” This gave me an idea of whether I’d be waiting for a month to fix this problem, or if they were able to prioritize me and get me taken care of quickly.

Can I have the surgery done at [my favorite surgery center]?” This surgery center is awesome, much less expensive than a hospital, and get this, gives a 75% discount for payment in full on the day of the service. WOW.

This round of calls went MUCH better than the day before because I was asking the right questions to the right person…!

Do you see where I’m going with this?

You know what the WORST question a job seeker asks?  It’s any variation of this: “I’m looking for a job, do you know of anything?” Or, of anyone, or any recruiters, or any openings…

This is THE WORST question. It’s like asking a surgeon’s admin how much a surgery costs, without giving them CPT codes.

What are your CPT codes?  They are SPECIFICS.

What are you looking for?


In what industry?

In what company(ies)?

What job titles are you interested in?

You see, when you ask some variation of “do you know of any openings?” You are asking THE WRONG QUESTION.

So, change your questions.  Ask easy questions.  Questions that the people can answer.  The first few might not lead to a list of openings that you would love, but they will start you down the right path.  As you go down that path, you’ll establish relationships, and build trust, so that when you ask other questions, harder and maybe more specific questions, the people you talk to will have better answers.

So how did my morning of phone calls end?

I asked the easy questions, and got the right answers (to those questions).

Did I learn anything?

YES.  I learned that one office has a staff that was really nice and didn’t treat me like I was burdening them.  They gave a vibe of “we respect you as a human” (and we want your business). The others?  They treated me like I was the IRS trying to set up a time to audit them.  Well, not that bad, but they didn’t give me an impression that I’d have a pleasant experience as their customer.

BONUS: The really nice office was so cool answering my questions, I decided to give it a shot.  I asked “Can you give me a ballpark idea of what this is going to cost me? I won’t hold you to anything, but I’m just wondering if this is a $5,000 thing, or a $20,000 thing?”

Her response?

Way different than any other response from anyone else (which was, I can’t tell you with a CPT code).  She actually told me, the buyer, how much a general, simple surgery would be.  That was my ballpark idea.  That was what I, as a consumer, wanted.

I asked the right questions, and finally got to the answer I most wanted.  And guess what?  She won her doctor a new client, probably for life.

Ask the right questions to get the right answers!


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I broke my ankle.

January 19th, 2017

Monday I have surgery.  And here I thought it was just a ligament :(

I’ll be honest, when I got the diagnosis I was ticked and a little depressed.  And then I came home and took the longest deepest nap I have taken for a long time.

Today I met with the surgeon (after having already had two other meetings to get to this point), and my surgery is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Why was I ticked? Because this is NOT how I planned on spending the first part of this year. I was going to do other things, like build a wall in my basement, work in my new shop, play around with the house we moved into in November, continue my exercise program, etc.  But since January 2nd I’ve pretty much been laid up in bed, with my ankle elevated.


Why was I depressed? Same as above, plus I thought I had been healing for the last 14 days, and it turns out the main issue wasn’t being healed.  Oh yeah, there’s the whole money issue… my heavens, how much would a surgery cost?

Ticked + depressed + immobilized = really deep and satisfying nap.  I still woke up grumpy, though.

Why didn’t I go in earlier? Because I didn’t feel like paying $300 to be told “oh you just have a sprained ankle… you need to do the RICE method.” (which is what I did).

I’ve sprained my ankle before… I kind of know the drill.

But this time, no… it was much worse than a sprained ankle.

I have learned a few things during this journey… I’ll share those in some upcoming blog posts.  For now, I’m going to rest… all of this typing is exhausting!

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Healing Hurts

January 16th, 2017

A few weeks ago I went downstairs, when no one was there, and gave our new kickbag a good kick.  When my son kicked it, the house would shake. I wanted to give it a try.

So I kicked it kind of hard, and nothing happened. The house didn’t shake.  Truthfully, the bag didn’t even move.  “Wow,” I thought, “that is heavy!”  Lesson learned: the kickbag is not for me.

Fast forward a few days and we’re in the basement, working on unpacking and moving things around (we just moved here a few weeks ago).  My son says “Hey dad, you should kick the kickbag.”  “I did already. It didn’t even move an inch!”  “Come on, kick it and let me see.”

So, I positioned myself, hoping that I wouldn’t twist the knee of the leg I was standing on, and gave a pretty good effort at kicking the bag, hopefully moving it more than an inch or two.  I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

The good news is that the let I was standing on was just fine.  Nothing twisted out of place.  But the pop/crack sound from my ankle, and the accompanying shock of pain, told me that I had made a mistake.  I was so focused on one part of my form that I didn’t think about where my foot impacted the bag. Turns out, kicking a kickbag (or, a cinder block wall, which is what the bag feels like), near your toes can cause some real damage.  Not to the bag, mind you.

What happened was that my leg kept moving forward kicking and, but the foot, from the tip of the toes, stopped at the bag.  And then ligaments said “you idiot! POP!”

And here we are. Two weeks in bed, with a few more weeks to go. The bruising patterns have shifted over the last two weeks.  Mobility has improved greatly. Swelling has gone down a ton.


Certain things hurt less… but there is still pain.  Based on past injuries I figure I’ll be walking okay in four more weeks, but still have pain. And I’ll be careful doing anything that would stress my ligaments. I don’t want to re-injure anything.

Behind all of that pain, healing is happening.  I’m not saying I like the pain. I’m not really embracing the pain.  I just realize that this is a weeks-long healing process, and pain is involved. Even though pain is a big part of that, and easy to focus on, I need to patiently acknowledge that healing is happening. I don’t feel healing like I feel pain, but that doesn’t make it less real, or less important.

This, my friends, is like what I went through when I got laid off.  It was painful… for a long time.  Even now, when I think about how it all happened, and why it happened, and the unfairness of it all, and how it impacted me and my career and my relationship with my wife, and my finances, and even my confidence in my professional ability… I still feel the pain.  Sometimes it feels like anger.  Sometimes it’s sadness and disappointment.  But it’s still there.

Has there been healing?  ABSOLUTELY.  

If you are in the throes of pain from losing your job (and your income, and your identity, your purpose), let me tell you that through the pain, healing is happening.

Healing, for me, came because of time.  “Time heals all wounds,” they say.  Time doesn’t erase all wounds, but it sure has a soothing way of decreasing the hurt.  It’s been 11 years.  Yes, I know… I should build a bridge and get over it.  But I’ll tell you, when something impacts you to your core, the way that did for me, you don’t just get over it.  But it’s not nearly as sharp and painful as it was the first year.

Healing, for me, came because of alternatives. Dick Bolles once told me that having alternatives gives people hope. And hope was a big part of my healing process.  When you don’t have alternatives, and you are hopeless, you can’t heal nearly as well or fast.

Healing, for me, came when I was able to rethink what my value was in this world.  As a breadwinner, my value was largely centered around my job and job title. It was my identity. It defined my place in my social circles.  It was really cool to say “I’m the general manager of my company.” What an ego trip.  When I got laid off, all of that haughtiness went away, and I found myself floundering. Who was I? I didn’t know!  During the time I was figuring out what I would do moving forward, I had to come to terms with who I really was.  And I realized I was much more than a title… even if the title was a big one. Stephen Covey talked about having faulty, untrusty centers.  A job title is definitely a bad center, and it took me losing mine to realize that I needed something much better.

Healing might come to you through any of those, or through something else.  Your journey might be different than mine.  But I want you to know that healing will happen, even if it doesn’t seem like it.  Even if it takes a long time, it happens.

A few years back I was camping with some friends. One guy was a pharmacist at a hospital. He worked with ER doctors and neonatal doctors, in high-crisis situations. I asked him what the most amazing thing he had learned, having worked in that environment for so long, was.

His reply was that he was amazed at the human body’s capacity to heal itself.  People coming into the ER with the craziest, seemingly fatal issues, and with some help, and time, they could actually heal.  Think about the miracle of that… broken bones, removed organs, seemingly hopeless situations… and given the right care and time, total healing.

My friends, I’m here to tell you, as broken and destroyed as you might feel, healing is happening.  Embrace it, have hope, and in time, you’ll be better than you ever thought you could be.

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