by Linda Pate
Many of us have experienced job loss or layoffs, or know someone who may lose their job this year. This can be very devastating and frightening. I recently read a wonderful book titled, Fired Up: How to Win When You Lose Your Job penned by Wil LaVeist. I had an opportunity to speak with him to discuss how he climbed back after a major fall from being fired!
How important is it to stay focused when dealing with being fired?
WL: Your emotions will be all over the place, but if you don’t manage them, they can get you in trouble. You’ve still got to provide for yourself or your family if you have one. Bills still have to be paid. You have to keep your composure so that you don’t make initial mistakes that jeopardize these things.
What was your Achilles heel in this situation?
WL: Physically, or in the natural, I’d say it was my “Brooklyn We Go Hard” mentality. I’m laid back and calm and under control, but I can get angry quickly if I feel as though I’m being disrespected. So, when I was being pushed, I pushed back, when I should’ve used more wisdom and read the situation better. Spiritually, I wasn’t focused on what God had for me professionally. There’s a mission He has for me. I was thinking about providing for my family and money, which isn’t necessarily bad, and actually what a responsible man ought to do.
But God has a bigger plan, so He had me go through this to produce the book and be focused as I am now. Like most people, I get distracted and don’t always obey Him. I still stray, but I’m very clear on what I’m supposed to be doing. Writing inspiring books that draw people to Jesus Christ in an unconventional way and doing public speaking engagements is what I’m supposed to be doing.
How do you truly win when you have lost your job?
WL: You win when you embrace the bad experience, learn from it and actually use it as the catalyst that sets you in the career direction that is actually intended for you. That’s why God allows bad things to happen to us. What man means for evil, God uses for good.