Greetings. This is Part 1 of a 3 Part series about how you can learn from my mistakes and not allow your ego to sabotage your job search.
I am not talking about healthy ego responsible for confidence; I am talking about unhealthy ego, the destructive force pictured to the left.
Part 1 will discuss how I sabotaged clear thinking about getting my next job. Part 2 will discuss my ego’s impact on my ability to network. Finally, Part 3 will conclude with how I hurt myself in interviews.
Part I: Sabotaging clear thinking for my next job
I was a high earner on Wall Street. Besides running for fun and spending time with my family, I really didn’t have any outside interests.
My marriage wasn’t great either. I lost my job; I lost my life (so I thought).
How I compounded the problem
I felt superior to others even before losing my job:
- I always felt better than those that made less money
- I identified as a “banker”; what other profession even mattered
- None of my “ordinary” friends could spend $6k on 2 Mets/Yankees’ tickets for their son like I did-it was the World Series in 2001
I felt extreme anger
- How could Credit Suisse lay me off; I had so many skills and made them so much money?
- Didn’t they know I had a $12,000 monthly mortgage payment?
- How could they first recruit me away from Merrill Lynch then just toss me to the gutter?
I felt confused
- Where was I supposed to go every day when I woke up?
- What do I tell my friends and family who looked up to me (or as I thought)?
- Do I call my clients and now former working colleagues?
- When my wife suggested I start working at Starbucks to fill some of the time and get health insurance, I couldn’t even fathom the “fall”
I called my two best friends and asked for a $500k loan so I could continue my lifestyle. They said sell the 4 bedroom on the Upper West Side and downsize your life.
So, they were abandoning me also?
I spent hours on the phone with friends, alternating between complaining and reminiscing about the good old days of extreme drinking and other XXX rated activities.
I did nothing productive, nothing.
What should I have done?
I should have gone to a psychotherapist instead of yell at everyone.
I could have used this “fall” to understand lay offs are part of a person’s professional journey.
I should have realized that my soul was not made up of money and feeling superior to others is my ego’s way of hiding insecurity.
I could have realized that how I responded to this crisis would serve as a foundation for how my kids would respond to any crisis as they aged.
I should have set up a daily, weekly and monthly plan to:
- Nurture my body through an exercise routine
- yoga 2x per week
- running 3x per week
- gym time 2x per week, preferably working out with a punching bag
- Improve my attitude
- meditate ½ hour every day upon waking
- listen to inspirational speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins 2x day
- lose 15 pounds over 3 months
- volunteer 3x per week
- Document my hard and soft skills, adding a new one each day or week to make a really big list
I could have done so much, but I did so little. Tune in next week to learn how not to let your ego interfere with your interviews.
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