Taking Back Your Career Power

Losing a job can actually turn out to be a positive experience in the long run. After working in ugly, unhappy circumstances, you might even feel a sense of release when you are “released.” If you reclaim your power, you will emerge stronger than ever, more clear, and in control of your career and your life.

You might be thinking of leaving your job. If that’s the case, read on and learn how to take charge of your career. These are the six steps to taking back your power:

Write your complaints on paper. A University of Texas study showed that people who journal about their job loss typically get a new job 25% faster than those who don’t. Sit down at your computer and write the most angry, vile account you can. Then, print it out and burn it. This little “ceremony” can help you get past the anger and move into a space of power.

See your role in your job loss or dissatisfaction. Determine what mistakes you might have made. Decide how you might handle things differently next time. One job seeker remembered that she openly criticized her job and the company, just as management was planning a RIF . No wonder she was one of the first ones to go! This exercise can also help you understand that YOU CAUSE your life.

Accept your feelings. Understand and OWN your feelings. If you block your feelings, you are blocking your motivation. As you accept your feelings, you accept yourself. If you want to be empowered, you have to first accept who you are. Your parents or your siblings might express the opinion, “You should have been grateful to have that job.” No one else’s opinion matters. Your feelings do.

Define your satisfactions. Look at your job situation and define what the good elements were. Remember the successes, the joys, and the fun. One nurse leaving the labor and delivery department of a hospital remembered her absolute delight in giving newborns their first baths. You’ll want to capture your satisfactions, so that you can recreate them in the next job. (Catherine Jewell uses the FIRE model of Career Satisfaction. If you would like a copy, simply reply to this email and request one.)

Define a vision. Using the negative experiences you have had, define the way you would like things to be. For example, if you had a boss who micro-managed you, your new job vision would be a democratic boss who respects your ability. Having a vision is the first step to fulfilling it. Once you have a Career Vision in words, check it frequently and imagine yourself in that new position.

Make conscious choices. We get our power back by making careful, conscious choices about our lives. Each time we make a choice, we build self-confidence and self-esteem. Any time you are unsure what action to take, call someone and ask for advice. Then CHOOSE. Remember: making no choice is a choice for inactivity, failure and depression. Making a careful choice is the road to success.

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