Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Example: Effectively coping with change, part of Embracing Change.
- My favorite example of someone using a process to effectively cope with change involves a marking professional I met unexpectedly before a speaking engagement a few years ago. I was booked to deliver a pro bono talk to a gathering of unemployed professionals who met each week at a local school as a part of a job seeker support group. My job that day was to motivate and inspire them, but little did I know that I was the one who would be inspired. When I arrived, I saw over 100 people in an auditorium listening to a speaker.
The women speaking was a local business person and the volunteer coordinator for the group. She was busy describing many articles and websites that might be of use to job seekers. I thought that when she was done, she was going to introduce me. As she appeared to be wrapping up, she spotted someone in the audience. She blurted out, "Sean! I didn't see you sitting there. "Would you be willing to come up here "and share a little bit about what you've been up to? "I think everyone would enjoy listening to you." Sean stood up and walked to the front of the room. He hugged his friend and then began by saying, "Hello everyone, I'm Sean Taylor.
"Many of you know me from around town." Standing next to him, his friend said, "Just spit it out Sean." He said, "Okay, I'm a happy father, a lucky husband "and an expert bass fisherman. "I'm also a successful marketing executive "with 20 years experience who was recently downsized. "Through no fault of my own, I went from "six figures to no figures, fast. "So like all of you, I've had to quickly "adjust my perspective and my behaviors. "After a few days of feeling like a complete failure, "just sitting around doing nothing, "I decided to get any job I could for the short term.
"Any job, period. "I used to run a team of 30 people. "For the last few months, "I've been working on a team of 10 people, "cleaning offices at night. "My building is 1500 Main Street from midnight to 4 AM. "And as of two weeks ago, I've begun to learn the fine art "of demonstrating food at the grocery store." He said, "It's been challenging, "but I'm happy to report that I'm doing well. "In fact, it's become clear to me "how much I have to be thankful for. "So far, I'm keeping our house, "keeping my family fed and clothed "and oddly, with these two jobs, "I still seem to have more time to play with my children, "compared to my old executive role." That day, witnessing his comfortable confidence and conviction moved me.
It made everyone in the room realize that sometimes you have to dig down deep, swallow a little pride, and do what it takes. And that when you do, you realize what really matters and that clarity allows you to start planning your next move. It was a great gig and I had a blast chatting with Sean and others in attendance. The very best part of this story is that I was lucky to run into Sean at a shopping mall about a year later. He saw me and smiled as he walked over to say hello. He told me that he had finally secured a new position similar to the executive role that he lost, but in many ways, much better.
I'm always looking for a great networking story, so I asked him how he found out about the position. He said to me, "I was demonstrating "food at the grocery store. "It was easy. "While I gave away samples, I made the decision to try "and chat with folks and get to know them. "A few months in, I was demoing a new soup "and up walked a man who, thankfully, loved the soup. "Turns out he was a senior marketing executive for "one of my old employer's competitors. "He found out who I was and the rest was easy." I said, "Wow!" Then he added, "Guess where my new office is?" I said, "Where?" He said, "1500 Main Street." He had literally gone from cleaning the office at night to sitting in the office during the day.
I said, "Congratulations Sean. "It must feel great to be back on your feet." He looked me in the eyes, grinned, and said, "But Doc, I never fell down." "I never fell down." Sean reminded me so effectively that day that perspective is everything.