Can a kick in the teeth help your career?

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.  (Walt Disney)

Can you believe Walt Disney said that?  He was such a nice guy!

Many of the happiest people I know were ruined at one point.  Some depressed people were also ruined, but they stayed that way.  It can be layoffs, bankruptcy, divorce, a major health problem or a terrorist act that is your personal disaster.  Often it is a combination of them, a major kick in the teeth.

One friend of mine was climbing the career ladder.  There was a disaster and he, his wife and kids all had to come and live in the basement of his parent’s house.  He took a dock worker job at trucking company.  He had no future. He learned that dockworker job and got promoted several times in only a couple of years.  Then he quit and formed a local company that expanded to several states.  He still loaded trucks when he had to… as the CEO helping out.  He won’t tell you he liked getting kicked in the teeth.  Instead, he’ll tell you it was a turning point.  It was the start of a new and exciting phase of his life.

Oh yeah, he got kicked in the teeth again and had the courts liquidate his company three years later.  Now he’s back at it. He didn’t enjoy it, but he just kept moving forward.

Happy or depressed, which will it be?  That depends on how long it takes you to put yourself in charge.  Being in charge is the subject of the next series of articles.  Positive steps you can take to prepare for or recover from disaster.

Something to do today

Talk to the 3 happiest people you know.  Get them alone.  Ask them if they were ever kicked in the teeth.  You may have to push them to find out.  Ask them about the list: layoffs, bankruptcy, divorce, health and terrorist acts.  I’ll bet you are surprised at what they call, “A blessing in disguise.”

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Later:               You vs offshoring

Prepare to be a manager

You are underpaid, right?

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