After twenty-three years with the same company, I got The Call That Nobody Wants. I had already started Thomas Dowd Professional Development and Coaching, LLC, as a side job in 2011, in which I taught groups and individuals how to effectively transform into who they really wanted to be professionally using tools like interviewing, networking, and résumé writing. I was in somewhat of an ironic situation, my credibility as an expert in professional development suddenly at stake.
The irony started within a few hours after my job was eliminated, with a pre-scheduled speaking engagement for an organization called “Jobs for Maine Grads.” It continued into the next week, when I landed a radio interview on a show where I had tried to discuss my previous two business books several months before. When I told the producer of this satirical twist, he invited me to immediately come onto the program to discuss unemployment in Maine.
How was I going to keep my emotions in check enough to keep a clear head? I’ve been an active member of Toastmasters International since 2008, and have always found that writing speeches and journals keeps me sane. I used the same approach when the potentially disastrous call came, starting with a jobless journal and notes to reflect my feelings, documenting what I had learned, and helping to keep a clear path to the ultimate goal: a job. “My Beautiful Funeral” passage that started the book is a version of a speech that I wrote within minutes of getting that call. This speech and subsequent book are the lessons I learned on this very personal journey. My passage through unemployment lasted fifty-nine days. I tell you this because my path to land it took many turns. It felt like an eternity until the relief set in with the job offer. I’m convinced that the relatively short period of time was due to having a clear plan and a support system that I now want to share. A journey I would never wish on anyone, but am so thankful that I took.
This book takes you on the rollercoaster ride, from buying the ticket to the moment your stomach sinks thanks to those quick drops, to that final race to the end, arms raised in jubilation. What I’ve found with roller-coasters is that many riders get on for the thrill of not only surviving, but the adventure of something that pulls you between fear and excitement. Your own ride is in front of you. Though you may not have chosen this particular ride, your reaction while you’re on it is up to you. You may ask yourself, “How can I even imagine the possibilities of a new job when I’m panicked about paying my mortgage and providing for my family?” We can get there together—you’re not on this journey alone. What if instead your question became, “Can I land an even better job?” The answer is, “Yes.”
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job (Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals), The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival), From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention). Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com. Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com
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