To change the way others see you, first you have to learn to see yourself as others see you.
Almost everyone is in business. You have your time, skills, experience, personality, and some other attributes to market. You have customers, clients, supervisors, employers, associates, bosses, or patients to please. You may not realize it, but you probably even have a board of directors. It consists of you as chairperson, perhaps your spouse, and maybe some of your trusted friends with whom you discuss your professional career. These people are also unpaid members of the board of You, Inc. You might include your accountant and maybe even your doctor. These people and many others all influence the progress of your company.
Did you say you were laid off? Not at all—you are merely going to be marketing your company's services elsewhere. Are you undergoing new skill training? Fine, you are merely finding new products to market to your customers. You're in business, all right!
I have been privileged to counsel many people who had been laid off during down economic cycles. Mike was one. He had been active duty United States Marine Corp and had served in both Iraq wars. After leaving active duty, he had qualified as a civil engineer and held a fine position in a West Coast engineering firm. In early 2009 the firm was forced to downsize and closed his division. For the first time in his adult life, Mike didn't know what he was doing on Monday ...