manshovelI broke two shovels today. This weekend, my family and I spent the day digging forsythia bush roots out of the ground. If you’ve ever done this before — it’s not easy. There is a lot of effort with shovels, pick-axes, crowbars, pitchforks, saws and just about every other tool I own. In combination, you try to dig under the main mass of roots and slowly cut/sever each main root from the root ball so it will eventually come out.

But enough of removing roots. What did happen during this process is that I broke two shovel handles trying to pry the root ball out of the ground. The first one was a surprise to all of us — honestly, we’re pretty lucky that no one got hurt. The shovel gave way when it broke and part of the handle flipped into the air, giving everyone a quick jolt of adrenalin. We then stepped back, took a quick breather, and then attacked it again with another shovel.

And then the second one broke. The funny thing is that we were not as surprised — and frankly — we all started laughing. I probably had too many Wheaties for breakfast this morning. We then didn’t give up — we just attacked the root ball with even more vigor (and more robust tools) and eventually got all four root balls out.

It’s a lot like losing your job. The first time it happens, people are pretty shell-shocked. They do a lot of soul searching (why me?), denial, hatred of their company, boss, etc. — you know the drill. Ultimately, when the adrenaline dissipates, they get down to business and look for a new job. The second time someone loses a job (and this happens more often that you realize in this economy), they tend to almost laugh about it, pick themselves up quickly, and go after that next job.

Moral of the story — losing your job is not a life or career ending experience. In fact, the faster that you move forward, the faster you will find that next position. The more that you sit and question yourself (and procrastinate) – the less likely you will climb back on that horse and ride into the sunset.

So pick up that shovel and start digging that root ball out!