Turn Negatives into Positives
It’s no secret that sometimes things happen in business—and in life—that you don’t expect. No matter how much planning and foresight you try to have, no matter how well things seem to be going, almost inevitably some challenge pops up, and you find yourself on a path you never saw coming.
One such thing happened to me during my last semester of college. I was working as a receptionist/customer service rep in a job I liked and fit in well with my school schedule. I planned to work there through graduation and then seek a job in publishing. But my plans were abruptly derailed when I was unexpectedly laid off. I was hurt and angry—I’d worked hard and been a good employee, and it felt like a slap in the face. Even though I knew in my head that the lay off was a company cut back and not personal, in my heart it felt personal. I was embarrassed and frustrated and felt like I’d failed. On top of that, I wasn’t sure what to do. How was I going to find another job that was flexible enough for my class schedule for just a few short months?
After the initial shock wore off, I started thinking. Even though being laid off was definitely not what I’d planned, maybe there was an opportunity for growth in there somewhere. I decided to look for an internship in the field I hoped to work in after graduation to get some experience. And not two days later, I saw a flyer on campus for an internship with a local publishing company. I ended up working there that semester and for several months after I graduated, which not only began my career in publishing but game me valuable experience. Had I not been laid off, I may not have even noticed that flyer and my path may have been very different.
Negative, unexpected things happen. But what we do with those things after the initial shock wears off can be positive. Look for the lessons these negatives bring and try seeing them as unexpected gifts from the universe. I’m not saying to be all Pollyanna and brush over the disappointed or hurt—that’s definitely human and important to honor. But after you work through those feelings, know that you have the power to turn those negatives into positives with a little creativity and determination. Try turning one of those negatives into a positive this week and see how it goes. Then come back and share your experience with a comment. You can do it!