“You know, Re, you just don’t have enough grey hair!”
I was in my early thirties sitting across from the global Human Resources Director at one of the top global branding firms where I had worked for over three years. I had just asked about a promotion.
I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. She continued on to say that even though I was clearly committed, driven, and good at my job, I didn’t look old enough. I needed to look a certain age and have a particular stature in order to be seen as credible in the eyes of the C-Suite and Fortune 500 executive clients.
Ironically, several of my colleagues were chronologically younger than me, but because they looked older, they had already joined the ranks above me.
I call this the “grey ceiling.”
I was devastated.
And several months later, I got pulled into a meeting. You know, the kind of meeting where they sit you down, close the doors, and tell you (in an emotionless manner) that you’re being laid off from your position due to “corporate restructuring.”
Essentially, I was fired.
If you’re reading this and you’ve been furloughed as a result of the Coronavirus — or, if your business is hurting right now, I want to know that I’ve been there before.
It’s a blow to the ego.
You’re unsure where your income is going to come from next.
You feel angry, frustrated, or hopeless.
Or, you feel excited, motivated, and fearless.
But, if you’re finding yourself grappling with next steps for your career or your business, just know that many successful businesses were created during an economic recession.
And, many have succeeded. In fact, here are 6 iconic companies that have succeeded during a recession.
That said, I encourage you to be easy on yourself, but also look for the silver lining amidst all of it.
As someone who lived in New York City during 9/11, someone who has been fired (not even furloughed), and someone who’s lived through a recession, I’ve been there before — personally and professionally.
And if I didn’t get fired 10 years ago, I would not have started Branding For The People. I would not have the opportunity to help thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses owners transform their brand, so they could grow their business and optimize their impact.
I would not be writing this blog post today.
So, I encourage you to start tightening up the ship, buckle up, and start developing new strategies for your business….and the future ahead.
You got this!