In 2015, after three degrees (two of which were masters), I found myself on unemployment weeks after graduation.
The whole time I was getting educated and never mastering. The only difference between those getting paid right now and those being furloughed and applying for unemployment is mastering a specialization that is fit for the current.
Your ability to get in front of the “current” directly equates to your ability to generate CURRENCY.
If someone would have told me this some years ago when I first found myself applying to unemployment, I probably would have been able to make the shift faster, but I wasn’t conscious about the truth of my situation and how I ended up a statistic.
Another black girl. Another mother. Another dependent – on the government.
It’s one of the reasons I felt led to start my blog series on Unemployed to Employer, How Humility Proceeds Honor discussing how to navigate unemployment and create from the void. Many of the people applying for unemployment are feeling these emotions right now. Emotions of worry, hurt, pain, confusion, anger, upset and much more. It’s so real to you. And, let me tell you, you have every reason to feel how you feel. In fact, I encourage you to feel it because what you resists, persists. You actually want to deal with this head on and not shy away from what’s taking place as its unfolding.
Everywhere you turn, there are headlines shoving your new reality in your face as if you don’t matter or that all the hard work, sweat, tears and sacrifices you’ve put into your life prior to filing for unemployment doesn’t exist. I did a quick Google search and here are some of the headlines:
30 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims since mid-March
US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7%
U.S. now has 22 million unemployed, wiping out a decade of job gains
Reading these headlines arouses some past emotions I had dealing with unemployment. I just hated being a statistic! Especially when I felt I did everything I was asked to do. Go to school. Go to school on a full tuition scholarship. Stay on honors. Complete more than nine internships. And the list goes on.
I am not knocking education; I am a proclaimed academic. In fact, school provided me the opportunity to appreciate structure and discipline around goals. School is all about delayed gratification, right? It takes you four years on average to complete a journey you started. I learned to appreciate that in school and that’s one of the many things that has transferred into business.
But as I digress, your unemployment is not solely because of a pandemic. Although that’s the popular belief and explanation right now. Unemployment happens all the time. Unemployment occurs even in great economies. What unemployment sheds light on is the relativity of a particular role and within that role if you have specialized knowledge or simply a generalist.
The pandemic just heightened the reality of many roles and positions – differentiating those which are specialized from general.
I’ll share more in the upcoming posts, but wanted to get you thinking more extensively about unemployment, what being in that position really communicates and how you can rise above it powerfully.
When you are able to get in front of the current with specialized knowledge, you will always be in position to charge a price for your value and generate currency.
Currency is like oxygen. It circulates infinitely. The difference between those who have it and others who don’t is a system and structure to capture it.
The Digital Diplomat
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