Losing your job: A blessing in disguise?

April 27, 2009 4:23:47 PM PDT
Job seekers are having a tough time right now. California's unemployment rate has risen to 11.2 percent. While that may make you cringe, ABC7 talked with an expert who says losing your job may be the best thing that could ever happen to you.

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If you're worried about losing your job, maybe don't like what you do for a living, or have joined the ranks of the more than two million unemployed in California. Perhaps it's time to seize the moment and ride the tide of change.

"Look for, again it's a cliche, but the silver lining, if you will, in the dark cloud," said Bay Area native Mike Robbins, who is an author, motivational speaker and coach.

Robbins works with Fortune 500 companies and individuals on personal development and job transitioning. He says this recessionary economy is a perfect time to re-evaluate your skills and pursue what really drives you.

"Even though it's counter-intuitive right now, because a lot of people are scared -- they just want to keep their job if they have one, or find something that will pay the bills -- what if we use this opportunity, this sort of window, if you will, of difficult times to allow ourselves to pursue something that we're more passionate about," said Robbins.

Robbins himself discovered his professional calling through his own major career losses. Originally drafted to the New York Yankees out of high school, he chose instead to go to Stanford University. After graduating as a star baseball player, he achieved a childhood dream to go pro, but after three seasons with the Kansas City Royals, an arm injury ended it all.

"When I hurt my arm it was devastating because that had been my entire life. So it took me a few years. I ended up getting a job in the dot-com world," said Robbins.

But during the Bay Area's dot-com bust, his Internet career also ended. He says that pushed him to explore what he really loves. And now this author of a second new book, "Be Yourself: Everyone Else is Already Taken," is offering some solutions to others who have lost their job.

"The best things people can do -- be honest about how we're feeling. Reach out for support from people who can help us. And then the third thing is to ask us, you know, the important questions. Ask ourselves those questions -- what do I want? What's important to me?" said Robbins.

Most importantly, he says, be true to yourself, find the opportunity during this economic adversity and take action.

"Michael Jordan had a great quote. He said, 'I missed 100 percent of the shots I never took.' So we start taking shots, even if it feels scary or risky, maybe this is an opportunity to try something you've never tried before," said Robbins.

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