It All Starts Right Where You Are

by Leilani Carbonell

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate as of May 2019 was 3.6%. Little did I know I would soon contribute to that statistic when I lost my own job later that summer. Here’s what I’ve learned to get through this experience:

Allow yourself to feel all the feels.

The article, 5 Stages Of Grieving And Healing From A Job Loss based on the work of psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, states that understanding how a layoff affects you is an important step for your recovery. 

You will feel a range of emotions. It’s okay to feel anger, fear, and frustration. Process and admit to those feelings but don’t let them control you. 

Know that your career does not define you.

Maya Angelou has said,  “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’” 

I’ve had a successful career spanning two decades with titles that I thought measured my value. Confronted without a “title” forced me to re-evaluate who I am and what really matters. We are so much more than any degree or certifications we hold. Titles are merely formalities in an organization, but it does not tell the story of who you are.

Lean on your squad.

Join a support group to help you through the tough times. I’ve vented and cried with my friends through my ordeal and it has helped pull me through those times of feeling like I’ve failed. At the same time, my girlfriends were a source of inspiration, motivation, and a needed “kick in the butt” to help me realize my worth and that I can move onward and upward. 

Be grateful.

In the past, I’ve lived and breathed my work. The day I was let go I took my kids to the zoo. We had the best time. I let myself enjoy the moment; not worrying about that unfinished project, the emails I needed to be sent out, or the calls I was supposed to make. I am grateful for these past six months to have had more time than ever for my family and myself. But, I also realize that I can ALWAYS make the time for my loved ones no matter how busy work or life gets. 

Live your truth.

Ellen DeGeneres gave some sage advice from a 2010 Katie Couric Interview in Glamour Magazine:

“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.” 

While being laid off has not been easy, I’ve had the time for quiet reflection about my next steps. One is diving deeper into my truth. For me, it’s pouring into my new company, SIS Circle (SIS stands for strength in sisterhood). SIS Circle provides events and space that supports the whole woman; her wellness, career development, and personal growth. This past October we launched our first summit focused on the theme “resilience.” The energy and love at the summit were confirmation that I’m on the right path and I can’t wait to provide more opportunities to support women in 2020!

I want you to start where you are in 2020. 2019 is gone, reflect but MOVE forward!

Peace and growth,

Leilani Carbonell

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