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Finding Fulfillment in Jobless Times

News that United Airlines is cutting 9,000 positions or Boeing slashing 5,000 jobs may seem to be something bad happening far away. However, when Albertson College cuts 18 positions or Jabil closes doors or you read from this paper other waves of downsizing in local organizations, that?s not news but reality.

Both the affected employees and survivors are bewildered. Survivors mostly predict their future based on what has happened?and conclude that they too could be victims. The darkness faced by those laid off can only be understood by those who have walked in the same path. In addition to the loss of a paycheck and health benefits, one?s sense of purposes suffers as well.

There is however other avenues of finding fulfillment when the storms seems to cover any sign of rainbow.

After leaving my job to pursue my dream, professional speaking, training and writing, I realized there were community activities that I could devote some of my time and talents on, albeit with no monetary returns.

That was the time Boise State Football team had gone through tough times. They had lost their coach Pokey Allan to cancer. Pokey is the person who brought the humanity of American football, a sport I had never heard of until 1986 and never developed interest until recently, into my life. Mr. Allan?s death, led BSU to hire another coach who was let go after his first season. Then Huston Nutt was hired but left after leading BSU to one of its, then, great achievement?beating U of I. Dirk Koetter was hired.

Without the advantage of knowing the sport or even watching a game, I wrote and faxed an article to the head coach on how a team can overcome opponents the way villagers overcame menacing water buffaloes. That was followed by another article even before I got a response. Dirk called and asked if I could present my perspectives to the team. After my first speech, we worked on off and on field presentations that develop players beyond the sport.

When BSU won the conference championship in 1999, Dirk gave me a football and a coach?s uniform, making me the only person I know with a coach?s uniform for a sport he has no clue of the rules. Dirk wrote, ??Even though you never played football, your understanding of how a team must function as one to be successful is amazingly accurate??

Whether you have a job or not, life in the workplace has changed. No position is secure. But your sense of purpose in life should not limited to just one aspect?a job. Here are strategies for finding fulfillment with or without a job.

1. Understand that rainfall and mosquitoes, like opportunities and challenges, come together. One can spend their time complaining about mosquitoes or use time to find how he/she can use the rain to produce crop.
2. Know your world and what needs done to make it better. Are there areas other people can benefit from your expertise?
3. Forget job description and do what needs to be done. Narrowing one?s performance to a job description or ?turf? just limits creativity and growth.
4. Take risks and leave your comfort zone. Be the visionary and explorer of your life. Don?t be afraid of failing or rejection. Be afraid of not trying.
5. Before asking, ?What?s there for me,? ask, ?Is what I am doing helping someone?? There is no substitute to the fact that helping others overcome their obstacles is a sure way for finding intangible and tangible returns.

Some returns are invaluable like a letter Dan Hawkins, Head Coach BSU Football team wrote to me saying, ?Dear Vincent?your motivational talks to the team and your special sessions with our key leaders have helped us reach a higher level of performance on and off the field?you are truly a blessing to us??

Suffice to say the experience one gets in serving others can be the platform he/she needs to move to the next level. Now I also work with Arizona State Football team.

Strange but difficulty times help us realize, better than before, the richness and beauty of life in ways sometimes hard to fathom, especially if we choose to focus on building a future instead of holding on to a past we can?t reclaim.

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