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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

October 29th, 2010

Do you see your unemployment as an opportunity?

For most of us who are unemployed, one of the most difficult parts of our journey is what got us here.

We are unemployed, laid off, displaced, in transition (and who thought that one up anyway?) — we are unwanted.

It may have come in a phone call, an email, an interoffice memo, or a face to face meeting.  We were informed that we were no longer needed to perform the job that paid our bills, help put our kids through college, funded our family vacations, covered our medical expenses, made possible our planned retirement, and in many ways fulfilled our lives, nourished our minds, satisfied our souls.

So much of our identity is wrapped up in what now is our past job title or set of responsibilities — and in many ways I think that this is even more so for men who head families and may be the primary breadwinner.

Now that when we find ourselves out of a job we may not feel that we have an identity any longer.  We seem to float around in some odd state of limbo.

We spend a lot of time worrying — and rightly so — about finding the next job and returning to work.  Unfortunately, we don’t take the opportunity to celebrate the fact that not having a job is an opportunity to explore avenues previously closed off due to the obligations of a job.

Did you know that Steve Jobs was fired from Apple? In this video, Steve Jobs speaks about several things, but in particular, how his being fired from Apple offered him an opportunity to reinvent, change and grow.

I attended the CED‘s Start Something celebration last night at the American Tobacco Campus and toured the new American Underground.  The whole purpose of what is being done at American Underground is to create an environment that nurtures new ideas and innovation.

Jobs’ advice to the graduating class at Stanford doesn’t have to be only for the young eager students graduating from college. Each of us on our journey to the next point in our career can take his advice and move forward.

Perhaps your unemployment will allow you to be like Steve Jobs.

Perhaps we all should Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

What is this time in your life going to allow you to create, innovate, explore? What have you done foolish lately?

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