Bank CEO's advice to everyone losing their jobs
If you're one of the many people across the finance industry feeling the crushing weight of layoffs, you're not alone. You're not the first and you certainly won't be the last. And if you think there's no coming back from this and your career is over however, one banking boss begs to differ.
"Almost 32 years ago to the day, this 29-year-old guy lost his job, along with many other talented people. It was quick, unexpected, sad and incredibly final. I was recently married, just purchased my first home and beyond excited as we were just starting our own family.
The finance industry is unique in many ways, but there are also many similarities to every other industry. Cycles affect every company and the period from feast to famine can feel instantaneous and surreal. In business, bad things happen to good people at every firm and it is very easy to get angry, jaded and take it all personally. This note is not directed to the people at any one firm. Right now, every single firm (including ours) is facing hard decisions and nobody is immune.
The point is that while it did not feel like it at the time, losing my job (which I loved and fought so hard to get), in hindsight was one of the biggest blessings of my life. It forced me out of my comfort zone and caused me to pick myself up off the ground, shake myself off, think deeply and strategically about what I wanted to do next, and then create an action plan and make my future happen.
If the world didn't give me a tough break, I never would have had the impetus or courage to make a change. I was on a path that was respectable, lucrative and fairly predictable. I don't want to say "cruise control," but in hindsight I was.
The sudden loss of my job forced me to reassess my goals and priorities, find out who my friends really were, and truly take ownership and responsibility for my career. I never again took anything work-wise for granted and it gave me a clarity of purpose and a keen sense of urgency to get my act together.
It is way too soon for anyone who has lost their job recently (or is worrying that they will in the near future) to have this mature perspective right now. Everyone is too close to the harsh reality of the pain that occurs when you feel personally betrayed.
This is not personal, it's business.
Sometimes business sucks. But sometimes these harsh experiences allow for a true reset, and the result can and will be a much more satisfying and rewarding career for just about everyone. Hang in there, the sun will come out tomorrow and your friends and family will help you figure out what is next. This is not a reflection on you, your abilities or your self-worth. How you deal with all of this will be. Get to it."
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