When You Lose Your Job, Do This First…

Dear Reader, 

There are a few moments that feel like a punch to the gut no matter who you are or where you come from. 

These moments, ranging from breakups to being the victim of a crime, can really set us back emotionally, and the effects last much longer than the event itself ever did. 

One of the most common of these moments is losing your job. 

Whether you were fired or laid off doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s a devastating experience. 

Not only do you have to deal with the logistics of getting a new job and finding a way to make ends meet until you do, you also have to deal with the emotional side of things – the blow to your confidence, the temporary feelings of depression, the worry that you might never have it that good again…

For 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average duration of unemployment was slightly over 22 weeks… 

And that 20% of people were looking for work for 27 weeks or more…

Five Or Six Months? 

That’s a lot of time to worry and feel bad about yourself. 

When my guest Dylan Werner got laid off from his job as a firefighter due to budgetary constraints, he was crushed. He’d worked towards the goal of becoming a firefighter for ages. Getting hired was a struggle – it’s very physical and competitive, so he’d had to give this goal his all. 

He worked there for eight years – eight long, difficult, arduous years…

And now… it was just over. 

He understood the reasoning behind it – the city he worked for simply didn’t have the money, and as one of the firefighters with the least seniority, he was the last in and the first out. 

Shortly after they let him go, the fire department called back – they wanted him to be on the crew again, but this time on a short term contract. 

At the end of the term, they let him go again, with the statement, “You’re just not a good fit for this department.”

Any of us who has ever lost a job knows what hearing that feels like. It’s disappointing, it’s embarrassing, it’s depressing. 

Dylan felt no different. He was devastated because he’d worked so hard to fit in and serve well and be appreciated, so to have it all end like this was a blow to his confidence and his pride. 

He went home and sat on the couch without an idea of what his life could possibly hold after this. 

After the initial fog lifted, he began to take stock. 

What else could he do? 

What skills does he have that would serve a life outside the fire department?

He thought… He played music. He had some experience with graphic design. He had been practicing yoga for years… 

Because he’d just been burned by his last dream, he wanted to go with the safest option possible, so he turned to graphic design. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t make enough to pay his mortgage, though, so he had to move and rent out his home. 

It was then that Dylan decided he wasn’t going to play by the rules any more. He was going to go his own way. 

He decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue what he loved – which was practicing yoga – full time. He began teaching part time, then progressed to full time. 

Now, Almost A Decade Later…  

He’s given more than 400 workshops in over 60 countries, taught at some of the world’s most prestigious yoga studios, and he inspires millions on social media. He is now a world-famous yogi…

He’d never have had any of this if he hadn’t lost his beloved firefighting job, though. 

He can now look back on that loss with the perspective that only time can bring, and in a weird way, he knows it was a good thing because it helped him find his true purpose. 

That’s the kind of clarity real loss can bring. 

If you find yourself going through a similar situation,  you might be tempted to shift into immediate action – combing the job sites and connecting with whomever you can on LinkedIn just to get back in somewhere. 

And those steps are very necessary…

(Not all of us can turn a hobby into a well-known business, after all.) 

But there’s something else you need to do, too…

While you’re putting your career back together and figuring out your finances, also take some time to check in with yourself. 

Look at the loss as a pause – a time to reflect on who you are, what your true skills and passions are, and what you want your life and legacy to look like. 

The answers you find might surprise you. 

Once you’ve put in the work to really identify what you have to offer the world and the kind of people you can help the best, and then looked for opportunities that would take both of these things into account, you might find that your job search suddenly begins to feel different. 

It Takes On A New Meaning 

You’re no longer scraping by to replace lost income…

Instead, you’re on a quest to find something meaningful – something that will serve you and your new employer better than ever before. 

Listen, we only get one lifetime, and every single one of us wants to find some meaning from our time here on the planet. 

Instead of letting your time be defined for you, take the opportunity to define it for yourself and then never go back to the old way again. 

Only then will you see how far you’ve really come and how much you can actually achieve. 


Brian Rose

Brian Rose
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored

You May Also Be Interested In:

Colin Powell: A Good Man

Good morning! Grab your cup of coffee and join me for a shorter, sadder Rude today. I so admired Colin Powell growing up, hoping he’d run for President.  But one terrible decision haunted him until the end. But let’s start with all the considerable good of his life. The Man Former Secretary of State and...

Brian Rose

Brian Rose is an MIT graduate, with a degree in engineering. Upon finishing school, he immediately began working on Wall Street. An advanced technical trader, Brian was trading a book of $100 million at the age of 22. He spent years on Wall Street, working in New York, Chicago and London. He made millions, but...

View More By Brian Rose