Leading When You’re Unemployed

What happens when someone in leadership finds themselves without a job? After 15 years of serving within a Fortune 500 company and driving the bottom line, you wake up one morning and realize there won’t be endless conference calls, emails, power points and spreadsheets. You check the calendar and it’s clear. That motor that rev’s up with your caffeine of choice every morning is suddenly idle if it starts at all.

Is it possible to still be a “Leader” and be unemployed?

There is a real tension that is created in this season for me. The paragraph above describes the last 4 weeks. Just the other day I was sharing with my wife how I was calculating in my mind if I had time for a run that day or not. Then I remembered….I’ve got NOTHING but time right now. A few weeks ago I was talking to someone that I have a weekly employment rhythm call with. He stated that we “wouldn’t be talking on Labor Day since everyone is off” and my honest thought was “oh cool, I have the day off”. Then I remembered I have every day off. I’m unemployed.

Is it possible to still be a “Leader” and be unemployed?

I wondered that today. I wondered if the lack of “stuff” and “doing” takes some of the shine off of our ability to lead. Then I remembered how every single day since that fateful day 4 weeks ago I have been active and busy. From taking the kids to school (leading in the home) to meetings for Church (leading in serving) to taking care of what needs to be taken care in the job search (leading to provide), I’ve been finding outlets for leadership. I’m not bragging, leading is in my wiring. It’s all I’ve known as an occupation so, naturally, I’m gravitating towards it.

I believe we can lead when we’re unemployed. I actually highly recommend it. Not doing what you’re wired to do in these seasons of life can lead to shutting it down and losing your edge. If you’re unemployed and a leader, lead. If you’re a teacher, teach. If you’re a tradesman, work your trade. Even if it’s free. You will stay sharp, focused and might even find an entirely new platform from which to launch what you are wired to do.

Lead on!

2 thoughts on “Leading When You’re Unemployed

  1. What do you say we write an Ebook on this subject? So many people feel worthless and shrink into depression instead of grabbing hold of each day. I could talk about this subject for hours. I tell people who are unemployed not only to look for ways to help others, but do something, anything, for yourself every single day. My time away from corporate America was priceless. I will never be the same. Thank God!

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