Laid Off (Part III): Is Your Ego Getting In The Way?

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Confident Career Tip No. 8

“I’m not going to fast-food, that’s for sure!”  This is a phrase I hear during an economic downturn from clients who have been recently been laid off. The question I ask is, “if you are in this state 12 months from now will you work at fast-food then?”  It is hard to believe that you could be laid off for that long, but it is happening.

In this regard, there are three types of people.  The first, are those who are willing to do whatever it takes to close the income and resume gap.  The second, are those who want to wait and see if they can get something in their chosen field but will reach out after a period of time to something to close the gap.  The third, are those who will wait and see and continue to wait and see until a year or more has gone by.  Now they have gaps on their resume, an empty bank account, and wonder why they still can’t seem to find a job when the economy picks back up.

The question is this ego or job-pride?

According to Collins dictionary the definitions of ego that best describe this circumstance are:

  1. one’s image of oneself; morale: to boost one’s ego
  2. egotism; conceit

For one word, those two contexts have very different meanings.  The first definition that speaks to morale is clearly speaking about those that are motivated by having the job, any job!  The second definition speaks to those people who just can’t bring themselves to do something, until the right opportunity does come around.

To have pride in work or abilities is perfectly healthy and encouraged.  It shows having levels of self-worth.  After all wouldn’t you want a a medical doctor with a high image of themselves with good morale?

To have pride in work or abilities to the point where it prevents you from sustaining your own livelihood is ridiculous.  Usually this comes from a place of insecurity, “what will others think.”  I find people who are busy monitoring and judging what others are thinking are really self-projecting their own deep-rooted lack of self-worth. It’s a shame they can’t seem to see the difference between healthy pride and plain old ego.

Most people at some time in their life have to do something in the meantime.  There is a great book by Iyanla Vanzant called “In The Meantime” that speaks directly to this.  If you don’t believe me, look at what some of the stars have had to do in the meantime.

I am not suggesting that everyone should work at fast-food as their first stop when they are laid off.  What I am suggesting is that at some point we have to check the ego at the door and move forward with the mantra “what kind of life do I want now.”  Because the old life is gone.  When this doesn’t happen, in the beginning ego keeps us there, in the end it ultimately the ego that suffers.

Christopher is the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching and the Healthy Transformations Weight Loss & Inflammation Reduction Program. Change my Life Coaching is a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind. He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher spent 15+ years working in the corporate world with a plethora of industries and companies. His focus was primarily in planning, strategy, and leadership of change management and communication. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker who truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him at

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