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August 29, 2009
Free at Last

Seven is the magic number. Seven years of gainful employment. Seven years of give and take. And, it came to a screeching halt with seven simple words: "We're going to have to let you go.” Cue the music and dramatic sound effects. I welcome the uninvited fear that starts to settle in immediately. I say hello to the thoughts of uncertainty and confusion. I greet the natural feeling of ‘now what’ that has so graciously walked into the front door of my life.

Yes, folks, I am a victim of the recession. Read unemployed, downsized and now "in transition." I am a card-holding member of Team Unemployed – one of the millions of Americans dealing with job loss. I am aware of the programs provided by the government to facilitate entry back into full-time employment. However, I also realize that with nothing but time on my hands, I can concentrate on finding a rewarding career, not just a job – there is a difference.

I choose to take a stand with outstretched arms and proudly exclaim, “Free at last. Thank goodness, I am free at last!” Read smiling, elated, overjoyed and grateful. Don't get me wrong, losing your job is not easy. However, losing your job is not always a bad thing. According to the book, “Secrets of the Hidden Job Market: Change Your Thinking to Get the Job of Your Dreams” by Janet White, positive thinking is the key to manifesting positive things in your life. White describes that having a happy life is as simple as combing what you know how to do (your skills, knowledge and education) with what you love to do (your hobbies and interests).

In my mission to find my passion, I must first realize that my passion already lives within me. It is important to have a clear mind and give myself permission to pursue what I love. During my past four months of freedom, I have taken a close look at my skills and abilities as well as identified what truly makes me happy. I learned that I enjoy project management, guiding people, and 'connecting the dots' - basically I enjoy getting things done! I value ideation and creativity as well as travel and writing.

I continue to remain positive and surround myself with positive energy. I joined a job club/support group of others who are job searching. I increased my social media participation by joining Twitter, LinkedIn groups, and commenting on industry blogs. My attendance at networking events has not only expanded, but it has also become more strategic. Informational interviews and referrals are a way of life these days. All of this is an effort to be social, be positive and remain relevant in the industry and community.

As my journey of self and professional discovery continues, I look forward to the new places and ventures it leads me. My destination is PASSION. And, after all the seminars, workshops, and mental exercises...I am confident I will land on the ground with both feet...IN CHANEL BOOTS!

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Connector. Listener. Doer. Beginning in the sports industry, and then in the nonprofit sector, Ramona Collins has executed a variety of marketing campaigns. Her passion is creating branded experiences and events for clients. Ramona’s specialties include event marketing, public relations, sponsor activation and branding. She walks the beat of her own drum while writing, traveling and observing life.

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