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An open letter to former Target employees


Dear former Target employees:

I’m sorry.

I know you’ve heard that a lot this week, but really, I’m sorry.

Getting laid off sucks. I’ve been fortunate–I’ve never been fired in my almost 20 years in this industry (I was threatened twice, however). But, I hear it’s pretty much like getting dumped.

I know what that feels like. And I know it sucks. Hard.

So, I’m sorry.

Target employee

But, I wanted to write you today to tell you to keep your chin up this week. Because, when one door shuts, another one opens.

That’s right, I’m here to give you a pep talk! And, some frank advice.

As you start to recover and think about what’s next, I give you the following thoughts to consider:

Take six months. Hell, take a year.

Why do you HAVE to get a job right away? Some of you may have got a decent severance package. Some of you may have saved your dollars over the years. To those people, I ask again: Why do you have to get a job? Why not take a year off. Use that time to really live your life. Aren’t we always wondering what we’d do if we had the time? You now have the time! (unfortunately) Do something crazy. Move to San Diego. Hell, move to Taiwan. Or, just stay here and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but just didn’t have the time. Take some time, and do *something* (that’s not work).

Re-evaluate your career.

I’m a BIG believe in the “everything happens for a reason” mantra. I’m *this* far away from being that guy that completely believes in fate. But, I also happen to believe people create their own destinies. You’ve been handed a smelly pile of pig dung. That sucks. But, it happened. Here’s your chance to take that dung and make something good out of it. And, that doesn’t have to mean getting a job in the field you’re trained in. Take this time to re-evaluate. Take this time to look at the BIG picture. Take this time to take some time. And really think.

Whatever you do, don’t sit at home.

Back to the break-up analogy for a minute. When I was dumped my senior year in college, the worst thing I did immediately following that break-up was I sat at home too much. I wallowed in self pity. I cried. I slept. A lot. Then, I woke the eff up. And I started going out with friends. I met new friends. Before I knew it, I was back on my feet. I was back. Same thing here. Take a week. Have a good cry (I’m dead serious). Get it out. And then, get the eff out of your house. I mean, like every day. Go meet friends for coffee. Go to happy hours. Go to networking events. Go get drunk! Whatever you do–get out of the damn house!

Gain perspectives.

Getting laid off probably feels like the worst thing in the world. But you know what, it’s not the worst thing in the world. I can think of a pretty long list of things that are far worse. And you can, too. So, when you’re getting out of your house, talk to your friends, family and former colleagues. But, resist the urge to ask them for advice. Just talk to them. About life. About their kids. About what they really want to do with their lives. Just talk about THEIR stuff. That talking, those perspectives, it’ll help. It will give you a different way of looking at the world. A way that’s not so focused on “I need to find a new job at all costs”. Because, if you think about that 24/7 you’ll want to off yourself within a week.

The bottom line is this former Target employees: The next step is up to you. You’re going to get lots of advice over the next couple months. Lots of help (hopefully). Lots of shoulders to cry on. Take them all.

But, at the end of the day, this is on you.

You got the shaft. Big deal. Happens all the time.

What happens next–that’s what’s important now.

And that’s all on you. What are you going to do?

P.S.: Give me a call–I’d love to give you this pep talk face-to-face (and I’d love to help provide a few connections and introductions, if I can).


photo credit: Target via photopin (license)



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