Nobody likes to receive bad news. The emotions unleashed can take days, weeks, even years to pass.
If you’ve ever lost a job for reasons beyond your control, you can relate. Even if it was a job you didn’t like, no one gets fired or laid off on good terms. Or if you’ve owned and lost a business, it didn’t make you think, “That was exactly what was supposed to happen, and I’m glad it did.”
But maybe—just maybe—it was, and maybe you should be!
It’s all a matter of perspective. The way you process an unfortunate event determines where you go from there. Often you’ll find, as you move onto the next job or the next project, that what you earlier perceived as a failure was exactly what needed to happen.
- Was it nothing but headaches and drama?
- Was the business doing well?
- Did you deserve to be let go?
If you were laid-off, consider the reasoning behind management making the move.
- Was it a last resort to keep the business afloat?
- Was it a way for management to seek greater profit at your expense?
In the latter case, do you really want to work for a company like that?
If your business failed, once you process the disappointment, anger, and sadness in the immediate fall-out, go over the ways you came up short as an owner, or the various circumstances working against your success.
- Did you do everything possible to help your business succeed?
- Did you rely on troublesome clients?
- Were you a conscientious boss who paid attention to your employees?
- Did you use other trained professionals to help out in areas not your specialty?
Part of the “moving on” you need to do involves an honest reckoning with why your business failed. See the reasons clearly, and you’ll know better for next time.
That’s the important thing: lose the work, but don’t ever lose the lesson. There are new adventures ahead, and your unfortunate experiences, though disheartening in the moment, make you more prepared for them than most others would be. Bad news received, processed, and dealt with might very well end up being the best thing that could happen to you. You just don’t know it at the time.