PMM Inspiration: How I Lost My Job But Gained a Career

lost my job
PMM Lifestyle Editor Natasha Nurse

I recently lost my job. An unfortunate result of “corporate restructuring”… whatever that means.

Was it a surprise? Not really, since there was a round of layoffs and office closings in August. Was it a crappy move to do it right before the holidays? YES. But the strange thing is, when it happened, the strongest feeling I experienced wasn’t anger, resentment or sadness, but confusion.

When reflecting on how I spent my time between 8am – 5pm on Mondays – Fridays, I was struck by how unmemorable my life was. It was as if all those minutes, hours and days never existed to me in a meaningful way; all that I have to remind me of that part of my life are paystubs.

The moments that actually brought out fond memories and true emotions were the ones I spent writing and meeting the wonderful women and men in the plus size fashion world through my work with Dressing Room 8 and PLUS Model Magazine.

So I was still confused. One part of me was frightened by the unknown and not having a steady paycheck. However, the other part of me was overjoyed at being able to reclaim precious hours of my day back.

My initial response was to Google terms such as “what to do when you get laid off” and troll job sites and LinkedIn to calm my fears. None of that gave me any newfound comfort and only intensified my growing anxiety at being unemployed. So instead, I took a step back and decided to explore the other emotion I was feeling: joy.

This prompted me to reach out to a number of people I respected, who had gone through similar experiences and came out of them happier and more successful.

What I uncovered boiled down to a few simple concepts that helped change my mindset, and as a result, my circumstances. Rather than feeling beaten-down and panicked, I realized I was already setting myself up for a career based on the activities that brought me joy outside of my day job.

Instead of job-hunting and looking for my next 9-5 paycheck, I’m heading into 2016 with a bright outlook and many business prospects (and some clients) from my work with Dressing Room 8 that may turn into life-changing opportunities.

As best said by this Chinese proverb:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”

2016 is my now: the year I start my career and stop “working.”

I found these basic tenets extremely helpful and practical in changing my outlook and life. I want to share them with you in hopes that they help lead you to success, independence and joy as well!

  1. If you have a passion, then you can create a business. We’ve all heard stories of billion dollar businesses being started with only $700, or people going from being homeless to a millionaire — so what’s stopping you? If you have a true passion for something and the confidence that you’ll be able to deliver that to the world in a better or new way, then you can absolutely create a business based on that. The only question you have to ask yourself is whether you value stability and predictability over independence and financial freedom. The choice is ultimately yours to make and if you don’t choose, life will choose for you.
  2. Ask for advice (and take it!). Don’t reinvent the wheel – ask someone who has the experience you are seeking. Bring a notebook with you next time you speak with a mentor or someone whom you respect because advice is not something that can be automatically absorbed the first time you hear it — you need to re-absorb it often and reference frequently to fully incorporate it. It makes it easier if you’ve compiled it all in one central spot for easy reference. Some of the most successful people are ones who had tremendous mentors – if you’re lucky enough to have one, don’t waste it. If you don’t have one — go out and find one!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” – Henry Ford

  1. Some cliches are actually true. Believe in yourself and fake it until you make it. At the end of the day, your thoughts, your ideas, your actions ultimately impact you the most. There is a difference between simply saying “I think I can” 100 times a day and actually believing you can and visualizing your own success. If something doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned, then it wasn’t meant to be and move on. We spend too much time dissecting the past and not enough time planning and building a vision of our desired future. Plan for and visualize your designed outcome and act the part. In fact, your body language can help shape your level of confidence. The saying is fake it until you make it because you will make it.

As best stated by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” I wish you all a joyous and successful 2016!

Please reach me directly at if you’d like to learn more about my coaching services and how I can help you achieve your goals.

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