It’s taken five months, but at last, all three of our pets are getting along beautifully. Henry the cat–who thinks he’s a dog–was fine with the new puppy, Rudy–the black lab mix. But Bella, my wonderful therapy dog who is now going on 11, was not at all sure this was a good idea. She was territorial. Upset. And we saw a lot of snarling. But now, she plays with Rudy, still has senior privileges, and has discovered that it’s kind of fun to have another dog in the house.
This got me thinking about office politics and change. Yesterday I was speaking with the head of sales at one of my publishers, and after 26 years she’s had two bosses in the past month and her company is being acquired. I tried to lighten her mood by suggesting she read the book I wrote that they published: “The Essential Job Interview Handbook.” She laughed, but I could hear sadness and shock that the world she had been part of for so long, was coming to an end.
We can read statistics about the number of jobs and careers we’re all likely to have, but that doesn’t lessen the hurt. You’ve built something, been part of something, and now it’s gone. Chances are you aren’t the only one affected. And you know people who have gone through this before at other companies. Like my wonderful cat and two dogs, share the dish. Help each other. Acknowledge that this is a rough time, but take one small action every day to move forward. That could be updating your resume, making a networking call, or starting a list of organizations that interest you.
Today I’m flying to Chicago to give a talk at my college: “The English Major: What You Have, Where It Could Take You.” Like my message to the students, remember that you have choices, that few careers follow a straight line, and that you’ll be surprised by what comes next as long as you put in the effort. Share the dish.