Take Charge, Don’t Let Someone Else Do It

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Take Charge, Don’t Let Someone Else Do It

By: Phil Holleman


Boy, there’s a lot going on in the country these days. We had the debt ceiling debate, the S&P credit rating downgrade, the wild stock market fluctuations, etc.

One other thing I’ve noticed is the uneasiness the business community has in expanding their operations in the uncertain economy. Some companies are still laying off employees. For those who have been laid off, it appears the middle and higher paying jobs just aren’t available like they were.

What that means to me is each one of us has to take the time to evaluate our lives and find out how we can take charge. That’s right! How we can take charge of our lives.

I learned this the hard way. I let a corporation take charge of my life for 31 years.Within those 31 years, I was laid off twice. the first time was in 1989 from Centel Cable Television Company after 8 years of employment. The second was in 2009 from Convergys after 19 1/2 years of employment.

By letting these companies take charge of my life, they had control. I let them take control, thus they were able to take charge of my life. They could tell me what to do and when to do it.

I realized this happened a few months before I was laid off from Convergys. That is, I realized I had let a corporation take charge of my life. It’s too bad it happened when I was 53 rather than 23. I could have saved a lot of time and a lot of moaning and groaning.

I knew I had to take charge of my life. Basically, it was a matter of standing on my own two feet instead of being propped up by forces over which I had no control.

It was interesting when I was laid off from Convergys because my co-workers were surprised by how well I took the news. There were two perspectives which I understood which so many employees don’t.

First, I understood the business decision for the layoff. If there’s no economic justification to keep the labor force as high as it was, the number of employees has to be reduced. That makes good business sense. In my business, as much as it would hurt, I would have done exactly the same thing. Convergys took charge in their best interest.

Second, I knew I had to take charge of my career, because an employer doesn’t have my best interest at heart. Their concern is to be financially responsible to shareholders and investors in the business. Rightfully so. A job is a privilege, not a right.

Maybe there’s a third perspective. I have never been one to let my career dictate who I am. I was an accountant for a while, a trainer for a while, and a systems analyst for a while. I never got wrapped up in those positions. They didn’t dictate who Phil is.

That’s why I get sad when I hear stories about people becoming depressed because they can’t find a job as an accountant, trainer, or systems analyst. From what I hear and read, a lot of those jobs may not come back. They may be gone for good.

When that happens, it’s time to take charge of life. It’s time to re-group and evaluate where we are and where we’re going. I learned something from Dan Miller, which has become one of my credos. Dan has said, and I paraphrase:

No job is secure. When you work for someone else, you have one customer, your boss. You lose that customer, you’re out of business.

When we are employees, we should always keep that in the back of our minds. We are always at the mercy of the employer. Hey, my hours at my part-time job have been cut back. The owner felt it wasn’t cost-effective to keep me at the number of hours I was working.

The important thing to remember when we take charge of our lives is there are options. They may not always be the options we expect, but there are options which can bring the outcome we desire.

Yours in good health,

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Phil Holleman spent over 11 years struggling with major depression. He became an “expert” at being depressed! After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created ABoldNewLife.com to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use your inner strength to be freed from the bondage of depression.

Phil wants you to have the  FREE special report: “7 Mistakes You Make When You Suffer From Depression”.  Stop feeling hopeless, sad, and unworthy. Get this report now!


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Lori August 11, 2011 at 10:06 am

Great post Phil. It is so important that we think about our careers differently. Even if you have a great job with a company and don’t think you could ever be laid off. Work on your skills and update your resume. If you continually develop your skills and increase your knowledge there will always be a place for you at that company or somewhere even better!


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