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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.

Please learn!

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?

This is not me; I’m not that good looking!

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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