Positively Expert – A Guest Post By Clint Van Camp

19 06 2009

Spent the day hanging without a truly miraculous friend today named Clint Van Camp.  The following is his latest:

“Becoming an expert does not always turn out to be something you are striving for.  Having faced three corporate layoffs from downsizing, one corporate bankruptcy, and a year off to combat illness has made me an expert of sorts.  It wasn’t the expertise I was planning on when I started my career 30 years ago.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is how positive vibrations will do wonders when it comes to downturns in jobs, economy, or life.  For positive vibes in troubled times you need family, friends, interests, and passions.

Know what your interests are.  When a layoff hits, take advantage of the extra time and use it to pursue interests.  It usually doesn’t matter what what the interests are as long as you enjoy the pursuit.  It could be family, volunteering, clubs, reading, writing, sports, church activities, attending classes, or any number of things.  Find your passion.

If you don’t know your passion, the layoff is a good time to figure it out.  Look around you.  What kind of things do you collect?  What kind of books are on your shelf?  What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?  What kind of pictures do you like to save?  What hangs on your walls?  What do you have in the closet or stowed away in a box.

My three corporate layoffs lasted 6 months, 4 months, and 2 months respectively.  That is a lot of useful time!  After the first job loss, I spent a couple of weeks figuring out what a layoff was for.  Then I stepped up my involvement in volunteering as a fire fighter, coaching youth baseball, and even providing electrical labor on the construction of a new church.  A couple of layoffs later it became teaching, writing, and workshops with people having common interests like writing and education.  This sharing of thoughts is where your friends come in.

My favorite layoff experience came in June 2004.  We knew the corporate division was in trouble when only one out of ten sites in the nation was generating revenue.  I was on the ninth tee in a golf tournament when I received a call stating I had officially been terminated with our building being liquidated.  My golf foursome roared with laughter, probably to the wonderment of other golfers on the course.  It only briefly interrupted our golf shots as we played out the eighteen hold tournament.  As an acknowledgement and celebration of transition, it was a great way to begin a layoff – with friends.  The job lost that day was one of the best I knew, working with some great people.  It was time to move forward without looking back.

Oh yes, you should dedicate time to finding a job during a layoff.  It will be a lot easier when you are enjoying some of the time you are blessed with.  They say being involved in extracurricular activities will provide networking to learn of potential employment opportunities.  This leads to the possibilities for interviews.

To summarize this new found expertise of handling layoffs, I would say keep your day job if you can.  But if you can’t, look to make the layoff a positive experience.  Remember to find your interests, drive toward your passion, share with friends, and keep the vibes on the upbeat.  Know that all is in the hands of God, positively the Expert.”




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