The Career Refresh with Jill Griffin

Overcoming Employment Setbacks: Breaking the Stigma of Getting Fired with Christian Stein

January 30, 2024 Jill Griffin, Christian Stein Season 6 Episode 154
The Career Refresh with Jill Griffin
Overcoming Employment Setbacks: Breaking the Stigma of Getting Fired with Christian Stein
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Experiencing job termination is a common occurrence in many people's career paths. However, for years it was considered a taboo topic as individuals felt embarrassed and afraid. It's common for people to ask themselves, "what does getting fired say about me?". This episode aims to challenge this perspective and provide insights on how to view the bigger picture.

In this episode, Christian Stein, Strategic Brand Consultant, shares openly about: 

  • Overcoming the challenge of getting fired and his resilient bounce-back
  • A personal and career rebranding journey that was sparked by departure from a high-profile agency role
  • Strategies and key learnings to guide those facing similar career challenges
  • Discovering the guiding question that shaped his journey
  • Concrete steps he employed to navigate through this pivotal phase of his career and life
  • The supportive role of his community, including family, friends, a coach, and former colleagues, in navigating the transition.

Show’s Guest

Christian Stein is a strategist and branding expert with over 25 years of international marketing communication experience across North America and Europe. Partnering with diverse brands and agencies globally, his expertise spans B2C and B2B in luxury and mainstream sectors. His unique ability to envision a brand's future and craft a strategic Brand Game Plan sets him apart. Christian excels in building robust partnerships with C-suite stakeholders, founders, and entrepreneurs, unlocking creative opportunities that drive business success. His leadership has yielded strong creative outcomes, recognized with business results and numerous creative awards. Today, he is the founder and owner of Stone Owl Consulting where he helps people and brands elevate their impact.

Support the show

Jill Griffin is committed to making workplaces more successful for everyone through leadership training and development, team dynamics workshops, and employee well-being programs. Her executive coaching, workshop facilitation, and innovative thinking have driven multi-million-dollar revenues for top agencies, startups, and renowned brands. Collaborating with individuals, teams, and organizations, Jill fosters high-performance and inclusive cultures while facilitating organizational growth.

Visit JillGriffinCoaching.com for more details on:

  • Book a 1:1 Career Strategy and Executive Coaching HERE
  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Corporate Workshops to build a strengths-based culture
  • Team Dynamics training to increase retention, communication, goal setting, and effective decision-making
  • Keynote Speaking
  • Grab a personal Resume Refresh with Jill Griffin HERE

Follow @JillGriffinOffical on Instagram for daily inspiration
Connect with and follow Jill on LinkedIn

Speaker 1:

Hey folks, welcome back. This is the Career Refresh and I am your host, jill Griffin. Today I am talking to Christian Stein. Christian Stein is a brand and strategic consultant and about a year ago he wrote a post on LinkedIn which talked very openly and honestly and quite vulnerably about being fired from a high-profile job, what he learned and how he bounced back. We were introduced by mutual friends and this is an episode that you really want to listen to, because we're taking away the stigma and the thoughts that we have around being fired Right.

Speaker 1:

Christian has over 25 years of international marketing experience in North America, europe, partnering with diverse brands and agencies who have reached that spans the globe throughout EMEA, western Europe, russia, north America, china, australia, south Africa, just to name a few highlights and a few markets. Again, tremendous experience here. He's worked at Ogilvy 180 Amsterdam, tbwa, shy at day, and early on in his career when he found himself unemployed, it was a little bit different for him. He ended up going to Europe and playing semi-pro ice hockey, as he joked and said every Canadian young man's dream. He eventually then came back stateside and coached professional hockey in a league in the States. He's way back to agency eventually and then continued to grow his career trajectory, then working in Amsterdam, paris, la, new York. He has this really incredible superpower where he's able to look at where a brand is, see what its future could be, and then help define their strategic game plan and then, of course, the roadmap on how to get there. But in this episode we also talk about as he was acquiring all of his expertise and knowledge he was enfired from a really high profile agency job and how his personal story and how he rebranded his career, how he really rethought the whole situation. There's a question that he continues to ask himself throughout this which helped sort of act as an internal navigation.

Speaker 1:

And then we also talk about the strategies and the key learnings that he believes will help others and frankly I do too who may be in the same situation in a challenging moment in their career and life, and how to find ways to not gaslight yourself but, little by little, find the pause, find the way to turn this situation that you're in into a moment of having a growth mindset and looking at bigger picture and not the immediate now. He also talks about the importance of community from his wife, his family, his friends he did hire a coach former colleagues and how we need to be relying on each other, building community and going back into networking. So much of what's happened over the last few years as a result of COVID is, I feel some of the ties of community have really weakened and Christian is testament towards when you having a strong community and you spend effort in building that, how you can bounce back from really tough situations. So I love that he is sharing his personal story. As I've said on this podcast many a times, my life was a signing bonus and a severance package and the first time that I was let go it was the worst thing ever. And subsequent times I'm not saying it was my favorite thing, but subsequent times it was like, yeah, okay, I know how to get through this, I have learned how to get through this and that's what Christian is sharing his story today. This is how he learned how to get through it.

Speaker 1:

Listen in Definitely grab pen and paper, because he says he starts taking you through the steps. You definitely want to write those down and I want to hear from you. So if you have questions, email me at hello, at jillgriffincoachingcom, and we can also bring Christian back to answer those questions and dig more into his story. He has gone on to be the owner and founder of Stone Allo Consulting and he helps brands navigate the world that we're in today. He helps people shape their personal brands, and all around. Definitely, check him out and follow him. All right, friends, dig in. I know you're going to enjoy this episode and I'll see you on the other side. Hi, christian, I'm glad that you're here with me today.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 1:

Good, so let's get into it. As you know, I ask everyone. My first question is usually like take us back and tell us what you wanted to be when you grew up.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think, growing up as a young boy in Canada, every boy's dream was to be a professional hockey player in the NHL. That was absolutely what I wanted to do Didn't achieve it. I did actually take time out of my career to pursue that dream further. When I was 27 years old, I had lost my job because it was a recession and struggled to find a new one, which is kind of how it goes in recessions. My brother, who was coaching professional hockey in Europe at the time and still does he said look, you were really good. Have you ever thought of giving another shot? And I was like dude, I'm 27 years old, I've been playing beer league hockey for the last few years. He's like get in shape and start making some phone calls. And so I made some phone calls. I ended up there was a team in the northern town called Groningen is how you pronounce it, groningen in the Netherlands that their goalie had just left and they were like yeah, come on over. So I got on a plane and got to Groningen and played a season of average semi pro, if you will hockey, which then led me to a team in the Southern Professional Hockey League where I was the assistant coach and assistant general manager for the Asheville Aces for one season Team went bankrupt. But I have to say no, but it's interesting. I learned more about business in that one year of trying to deal with players and an organization and politicians and leases and selling jerseys so we could pay for the bus for the last game of the season. Then I ever learned my life. It was incredible and incredible experience. And then that kind of all ended and then I went and kind of got back into my advertising career path in Amsterdam, which was where everything kind of went from there. So I wanted to be a professional hockey player. I kind of sort of maybe somewhat achieved it, but when I knew it wasn't going to make it the NHL.

Speaker 2:

When I was younger and went to college, my dad was a dentist and like so many of us were like, I'm just going to do what my dad did, I'm going to become a dentist. And so I went to college and started in premed pre-dental and I ran into a wall and that wall was organic chemistry and so all of this I was like, dad, I'm going to take over your practice, you're going to be able to retire. It's like everything was amazing. And then I ran into the wall called organic chemistry. I just didn't get it. It was just so over my head conceptually and I think, more importantly, my heart wasn't in it. I think I was doing it to please them and him.

Speaker 2:

And I remember calling him and it was fascinating because at the same time one of my electives was this African literature class and I loved it and I was crushing it like A's and writing essays and being creative and like analytical and expressing my point of view on things. And I remember calling my dad, probably after the organic chemistry professor called him and said, like I think you got to talk to your son and I said, dad, I can't do it, I want to change my major. And this is my sophomore year and I was like I want to change my major. He's like to what I said English literature and journalism. He's like, thank God.

Speaker 1:

All right, we love it. We love it with the port of parent. That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Because for him it meant that he didn't have to hang onto something in hopes that I was going to take it from him, and it freed him up to do. But he also, knowing Lee, said great, pursue what you're passionate about, Like, if you're going to do well in that it's going to make you happy, then go for it. It'll, you'll figure it out.

Speaker 1:

So it's pretty crazy. But yeah, hats off to your dad. That's an incredible response. Yeah, I remember there's some challenges with organic chemistry, although oddly enough, it was when I was still working in agency land. I was really into formulating my own products, like beauty product, makeup, everything, hair and I did a lot of botanical chemistry, because it's all math and formulation, and I eventually went on to teach botanical chemistry at the school, which if you had told me I'd never would have. But I think it really came down to Dr Timothy Hill, who was my teacher of organic chemistry and botanical chemistry. I'm like just broke it down in such a way that I guess I didn't hear all the other years that it made it made it easier, much easier and kind of fun.

Speaker 2:

I was right, I think maybe I'd be a dentist right now if I'd had your professor.

Speaker 1:

I don't know If you had Dr Timothy Hill.

Speaker 2:

Maybe, maybe I'd be drilling teeth right now. I don't know.

Speaker 1:

So you went back then into advertising and take us through the high level sort of what those next couple of years were like for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was super fortunate that I got hired in Amsterdam, at 180 Amsterdam, which at that point in time, was like the place to work. It was just incredible, like I think I was employee number 85 or something like that, and it was really interesting the hiring process, and I think the reason that that place was so awesome at that point in time was because they really, really cared about who they hired. I had 13 interviews before they made me an offer. Three days in a row, I had to keep coming back and coming back and finally the last day they brought the contract in and I signed it on the spot. But it was like just being able to meet so many amazing people and they had this ability at that time to just pull the best talent from all over the world into this one little canal house in Amsterdam and make creative magic.

Speaker 1:

And what did you think it was about their culture that they were able to pull in? I mean not on a hot shop, but they pulled in some pretty stellar talent too.

Speaker 2:

This is a really great question. I was actually talking with an old colleague of mine from there literally two weeks ago about this and I said, you know, what's really interesting is right now in companies, what I'm hearing a lot of and having just been in big companies, you hear a lot of there's a lot of meetings about culture. We've got to create the culture, we've got to figure out the culture right, when, in fact, we said actually the thing that made the culture at 180 so amazing was the people. The company didn't create the culture. The people they brought in created the culture. And that was a really interesting sort of aha moment for me and him. We were like, yeah, it's incredible how much energy is spent in meetings of like OK, culture, ok, does that mean we've got to provide snacks? Does that mean we've got to let people be flexible, have a cool barista or whatever? Or is that just hiring the most amazingly talented individuals and bringing them into one place and let them just kind of like let the inmates run the asylum, in a way?

Speaker 1:

And do you think there is any common thread, though in it must have been a shared value or some common threads, because you could bring in talented people and have them not get along.

Speaker 2:

I'll tell you what the big cultural thing there was. And there was actually a thing on LinkedIn that kind of blew up a year or so ago. They had this little sign over that. So you went in the front doors and there was reception, and then you walk through another set of doors. Then you got into the office space and there was a little piece of wood over the door hanging and it just said be nice or leave. And that to me, everyone actually everyone who's worked there that went missing.

Speaker 1:

Someone stole that and it went all over the head.

Speaker 2:

laughs over the leaves Exactly, but it was this little piece of wood hanging over the door and every time you walk through that door you just kind of like this subtle reminder be nice or leave and that was the one thing that everyone there saw that and kind of like bought into it, and it's so that, to me, was like the thing I think the founders obviously were played a massive role because they were just like they're incredible people, incredibly talented people.

Speaker 2:

Alex Melvin, who unfortunately passed away many years ago, was like the smartest man I've ever worked with in my life and the most fun guy as well, and you know and Chris and guy, like all these people who created this amazing agency, I think they just attracted you know, good begets good, right, like you bring good people, more good people come because they bring their people that they think are great. And all of a sudden there was and I think the other thing about it was 90% of that agency was expats and we were all like these expats living in this cool city and going to work for us was literally like just going to hang out with our friends.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what an amazing experience to have to have that. So then from there did you go back to Canada to come back stateside?

Speaker 2:

I went to Paris from there.

Speaker 1:

Paris, okay, yes.

Speaker 2:

I spent six years in Paris. First two and a half years working at TBWA in Paris, and then some client changes happened, and so I left TBWA Paris and started a small creative consulting company with my creative partner that I've been working with and you know we had a few, some small projects, worked with some interesting brands, and then life kind of happened where his partner had a baby and my wife had a baby and, like our son, and so it was like you know, we didn't quite have the new business pipeline going that we wanted and so, interestingly, we both ended up freelancing back at TBWA Paris for like a year, and the last I was on a contract that expired December 14, sorry, december 12th of 2014. And that, interestingly enough, was the day my son was born, and so I didn't go for my last day of that contract and I took that next year off completely. Wow, I was a full-time dad and, fortunately, my wife was also like a she worked more project type things.

Speaker 2:

So she had two kind of big moments the French Open, and then the, the the Bursey Tournament. So she worked with the French Tennis Federation, and so we were just like these two, you know, parents just hanging out in Paris with our newborn child and walking around the city. We had our different loops, like there's the Louvre loop and the last of O's loop, and it was. It was amazing. And then from there I went to LA. I got an opportunity with TWA to go to Chaiate Los Angeles, which was amazing.

Speaker 1:

Was there a big culture switch? Then I mean same agency, but different offices between Paris and LA.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and Paris was interesting because it was. I was working within a group in the Paris office that was the international group in a way, and we were basically there's a lot of French, but it was all all done in English, a bit more of an Anglo-Saxon mindset than kind of traditional French mindset in terms of how you approach problem solving and things like that. So there was, there was definitely a difference between Amsterdam, for sure. But then going to the U S, especially the West coast, you know it's, it's hard to complain when you you move from well, paris is pretty amazing, but you move to, you know, southern California and get to work in like one of the most iconic ad agencies in the in the world.

Speaker 2:

So culturally, from a lifestyle standpoint, it was a big change for us which was embraced and loved. And and then from an agency culture, there was the through line of disruption, which is just TBWA's thing, of course. But I think the vibe in LA was definitely definitely different. You know it's just, it's just a vibe out there Like that office is. It's it's pretty amazing, a pretty special place, no-transcript.

Speaker 1:

So you and I have discussed this before and you also had a post that you put on LinkedIn a while back that went viral, and I would love for you to take our listeners through your professional story and your career rebranding and being fired from a very high-profile job.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So after LA, when COVID happened, I had to kind of make a decision if I wanted to leave TBWA or and try to find something in March 2020, which was not a good time to be looking for jobs or potentially there was an opportunity in the New York office, but it was a different role than I'd done. But I was like all right, let's give it a shot. And I think we went into it with ambition and positive energy and then after about a year of that, we had moved east at that point. So that was also a big change for us. So there's a huge personal adjustment for myself, my wife and our son, as much as there was professional adjustment that I was going through of a different type of role and different kind of pressure in a different office with people that I didn't know. And it's also hard in that moment when you come into a new office and it's all virtual because you don't actually get to hang out with people on a couch and get to know them and be yourself. It was very kind of difficult for me and just I ended up being a square peg in a round hole for that role and ultimately they had to fire me and of course it's a horrible experience for anyone to be fired and so with the shock, the shame that I felt, that I think so many of us feel when that happens to us, you're kind of left reeling.

Speaker 2:

But fortunately for me, I was able to get advice from a very dear friend of ours who had been working with a coach and she said you got to reach out to this person and so I did and we started to work together and she really helped me, first and foremost, get healthy physically and then mentally and then focus on what's next, and I've had some.

Speaker 2:

It's been a year and a bit and a year and a half since that happened and I decided that I wanted to launch my own consulting business. Coming out of that, I had this profound realization when I was working with her that I wrote down in my notebook I don't want to be an ad guy anymore, which was kind of shocking in a way, because that's what I'd been doing my whole life pretty much, except for the hockey bit. But I realized what I loved doing, which was transforming brands and figuring out brand transformational strategy. And so I'm like, and I wanted independence. I just wanted to be my own boss again and spend time with my son and my wife and be a little bit more in control of my life, and so I started my own consultancy, and it's been a year going, and through that year and a bit I've learned a lot of things.

Speaker 1:

I was going to ask you, take us through some of the we don't need to hear the blood and bore part of things, but just take us through, okay, so it's the next day. How did you? I mean, you mentioned working with a coach, so shout out to the executive coaches of the world that helped us to do these things. What were some of the things that you did? I mean you and I have joked. I mean, my life was a signing bonus in a severance package, so like getting laid off or fired, it's like it is part of it is part of work and people don't talk about it and it happens more than you realize, and I don't mean that as a scare attack. I'm just saying it as a way to like normalize it. Sometimes things are square pegs and round holes and they don't. It's not a good fit. So what did you do the next couple of days or next couple of weeks?

Speaker 2:

Well, the next it was horrible because we actually had our former next door neighbors from LA literally staying with us in our house the day it happened and having to kind of not just work up the courage to tell my wife what happened, but also then come home on the train and like walk into a house of people who clearly were made aware of the situation. But they were amazing and so supportive and I think that was like kind of a boost that I needed to be like okay, like you know, it's not the end of the world, we'll figure this out.

Speaker 1:

Part of community is the first thing he's saying. Folks who get that down. Supportive community.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm not a loser, you know I'm not a failure. This is okay. And then I think the one thing that I did is I actually you know you talked about severance and severance is great but it is finite and it's terrifying as you start to see those days you know scraped by and you're like, okay, like this is going to end soon. I got to figure this out. But the one thing I did is I actually invested in me and at a time when you know money is the one thing you are holding on to, like nothing else you've ever held on to in your life Working with my coach, you know she taught me that.

Speaker 2:

You know money is energy. It goes out and it comes in and you have to learn to let it go because it will come back to you 10-fold or five-fold or whatever. And part of that was me investing in her, like spending money on a coach and through that process, like if I hadn't done that, I can't even imagine, like where I'd be right now. But that thought of like well, I've got to spend this much money on someone who's going to help me through this. But what if you know that's money and I need money.

Speaker 1:

I need every penny I've got and I always say the same thing. I love that you said for her her take as money is energy. I look at money as high tide and low tide. Money comes in, money goes out, meaning if it's gone in it's going to come out, it's going to go back and forth. And being in that space of whether you are an employee or whether you are a consultant or a freelancer, being in the space of knowing that there is those ebbs and flows and you have to learn how to manage your mind, and whether you get a coach or a therapist or a mentor or you have someone in your life who can be unbiased and give you that support, that's really where you're able to learn how to manage your mind, especially around money. So I love, love, love that you said that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the other thing that I started to really work on was, you know, like I talked about, you're sort of so focused on tomorrow and that short-term security that you have because it's there and you know that severance payment is going to hit your bank account and you're like, okay, I'm just going to focus all my energy on this thing that's right in front of me, versus looking down the road and what's the long-term growth opportunity, right, what's the long-term growth mindset? So I've worked very hard at getting my brain to realize, like, stop worrying about like this right in the moment and start thinking about you know what could be down the road and what the possibilities are. And that was the big thing of like. You know, I think we talked about this on our when we talked last time about that open to work. You know badge on LinkedIn which is just to me is like screaming like I'm screwed, please help me. You know I need a job.

Speaker 2:

Versus if it said like ready to tackle new challenges or you know, hashtag, hashtag, bring it on, or you know, like I'm here to kick ass or whatever it is like and just kind of the stigma that goes with getting fired, and then it's just like that's just reinforcing it. It's like you're open to anything you know, and so that sort of that plays into that short-term, long-term thing and I had to kind of flip my brain to go, okay, like where do I want to go? And one of the things that I've kind of I asked my clients this question for their brands. But I also asked myself this question is what's my win? And down the road, if I look back, I'm like, okay, I did it. I won, you know, and that was my win was to be stress free. And it's not a tangible, it's not like quantifiable thing, right, and I'll never be stress free.

Speaker 2:

Of course we're always gonna have stresses, but it was like I can see a path to getting towards that and if I can take small intentional steps towards that goal, the chances of me getting there are really, really high. But to do that I've got to let go of what's like this short-term security thing and start, you know, putting myself out there a little bit. You know, crack that door open a little bit you know my head through and then keep going and keep going. And I've been talking to so many people about this lately who are in a similar situation and they're like, yeah, I lost my job or I think I'm gonna lose my job. It's like okay, like what's a small thing you can do today that's going to signal to you and everything around you and everyone around you that you're gonna go that way. It might not be the only way you go, but it's a small step in that direction. And then you know what tomorrow, do another, do another.

Speaker 1:

And more tangible, tell us what that might mean for you. Or, in a hypothetical, if you're saying what's the small thing you can do?

Speaker 2:

You know, for me it was well. One small step was hiring a coach, right. I mean, it was a financially, it was an investment, but it was a small step right. And you know I'll use this example. This is great Cause she bugged me for four months to join a gym.

Speaker 2:

She's like Christian, did you go to the? Did you go check it out? No, christian, did you go check it out? No, why aren't you going? It's like I gotta get in my car, I gotta drive 10 minutes and I gotta like change and I gotta be sweaty with all these other people and I don't want four months.

Speaker 2:

She hounded me about joining a gym. Finally, one day she's like, okay, this ain't happening. And I'm like, no, but I have a spin bike and the Peloton app. She's like great, I'm going to send you a link to these adjustable dumb bells that you can order on Amazon for $40. And I'm going to send you a link to a bunch of strength exercises on Peloton. I just want you to start. You know, next week. Do you think you can do like 30 minutes of spinning and 15 minutes of weights twice a week? To start with I was like, yeah, I can give it a shot. So I ordered the dumbbells, they arrived and, sure enough, now, four days a week, for an hour every morning, I have like in the in on the spin bike doing my weights, but but it was a $40 thing versus a annual gym membership that I'd have to drive in my car to do, you know. So I think that's a good thing.

Speaker 1:

It's like removing the barrier. It's like removing the barrier. What's the smallest way you can do it, and for you that was it. It's a great example.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think in in business it's the same. Like you know, if you have an idea for something and you're just, you're sort of in that fear moment, spin cycle of fear, as I call it where you know indecision is actually a decision you're making and you, you, you, just like I don't know, buy the URL for the company. You want to have 10 bucks on go daddy, but buy it because you know what You've just done there is you've actually said to yourself I'm going to go that way, I'm going to try it, I'm going to, versus just sitting and thinking about it, which is-.

Speaker 1:

You aligned your aspirations and actions. You're like, okay, I want that, let me go take it. Okay, yeah, so I love that. So I hear that we have so far it's finding the support of community. So in your case, you walked into it because it was in your house that day, but, in general, finding that next it was you invested in yourself. The third thing you did was what's the one small thing you can do? So three steps, are there any other things that you I got a whole list. I love it. Thank you for coming.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think, the mindset of progress over perfection. Always, you know we are never going to get it absolutely right. Personally, professionally, you know, whether you're working for a company, whether you're managing a brand, whether you're a teacher, you're never going to get it perfect. So just keep moving forward, like try stuff. If it doesn't work, who cares? Try something else that might work. Okay, go that way. And then try something else. Like just keep moving forward and you'll get where you want to go, versus again sort of sitting in that I'm just waiting for everything to be in a nice little box with a bow on it before I do anything. It'll never happen.

Speaker 1:

It will never happen. Never, never going to be. One of my mentors always said that, like failure is just one less way it's going to work, and that was a way of sort of like chunking it down, really, simply like okay, okay, so it didn't work that way. Is there another way it can work?

Speaker 2:

I got another one, you want another one yeah bring it.

Speaker 2:

Keep going, ask for help as often as you need it. I think we are often times afraid to ask for help because we feel it's a sign of weakness. Most of us are perfectionists, right, and so asking for help, whether that's asking a friend to refer you to someone who is, or whatever, or if it's asking an old colleague if they want to hire you, or whatever it is ask for help. There's no shame in it. Everyone wants to help everyone. It's human nature. I think we're just afraid to be vulnerable and do that, and so that was a big one for me. It was just asking, talking to a lot of my closest friends. Obviously, my wife was a huge, huge, huge pillar in all of this. Without her, it would have been a disaster. Which is one of the bigger points is just be there for your loved ones, because what goes around comes around and, trust me, you will need them a lot. I don't have to say anymore about that because it's just true they're there for you.

Speaker 1:

They've given us some really simple ways of breaking it down. I think when we're in something which I'll label as fear and uncertainty, right, it doesn't matter what the situation is. It's labeled as fear and uncertainty. How it shows up in your body and your mind is your own way that it's going to manifest, right. But when we're in that and being able to take that next small step, the next action, like that, one thing that you can do. What I love also is that when we're not motivated to take an action or we feel frozen or paralyzed, it's often because the place we're sitting in, even if we hate it, feels more comfortable to the unknown or what is uncertain and what's next? If you're thinking that or feeling that, you're totally normal. You're like all of us. We all have that.

Speaker 1:

Having some time, as you said, like putting that, the idea of the actions, taking that small step. What is the aspiration of what you want? Putting your actions against that, what you're really doing is envisioning a future. Whether it's two minutes from now, two days from now or two years from now, you're envisioning a future that is better than where you're sitting now. It might be your dirty diaper, but where you're sitting now it's hard. I know that we've heard a lot of people recently, especially in the tech and advertising and marketing umbrella, that they layoffs, but it doesn't mean that it's everywhere. Unemployment numbers are still good, wages are still high, but it is a reality of what happens in the marketplace. Many of us have seen this happen more than one cycle. It's people who haven't seen it or who are newer on the job market that are feeling like wait, what is happening? It's like no, it happens Every couple of years. We go through something like this. We just had a nice run.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly. I think what's interesting is we're in a moment in time where it's different than even a year ago from technology and opportunity. I feel like anyone who has an idea can turn that into something. Right now you have the tools available to you that are not cost prohibitive to just trying something. It's really easy to spin up a website on Squarespace and it costs you $6.99 a month. It's super simple. It's really easy to use chat GPT to help you formulate some ideas or package things up or supplement things that you don't have the skill set for. There's platforms like Fiverr and Upwork and there's just a treasure trove of talent out in the world at your fingertips.

Speaker 2:

I think the point of me saying that is, if you're in a situation where you do lose your job, and if you're a young person who's just starting your career and you've lost your job because of a tech layoffs or whatever, open the aperture a little bit and think about all the things that you could be doing that you'd be happy doing, and pursue all of them because you have the tool set at your fingertips to do it. 20 years ago you didn't. You got a job. You got fired. Then you had to find literally the same job somewhere else and then you just kept going up.

Speaker 2:

Now it's like I was talking with this one woman and she was amazing and she lost her job a bunch of times and she's like, oh yeah, and I also write children's novels. I'm like, oh my God, what are you doing with that? She's like nothing. I'm like, okay here, you've got to do something with that, and you can. There's no cost of entry to doing that. You can self publish. You can hire an illustrator for 200 bucks to do some beautiful things. It's just another example of, yes, you can keep pursuing that job and that career, which is a good thing, but don't be afraid to play in other sandboxes at the same time, because ultimately, at some point, they're either going to converge or you're going to diverge into one of those other paths, and better be in a position of power in that situation than being on the back foot and being like I don't know what to do.

Speaker 1:

How has this experience made you better as a business owner, meaning going from employee to now starting your own thing? How has that experience made you better at running your own thing?

Speaker 2:

It's been challenging, but I think it's just because the world is challenging right now. The business world is challenging, but I think I learned a lot. Obviously, working in big companies, you learn a lot of the things that maybe you don't want your company to have, which is like overheads and headcount and all that stuff that goes with that. For me, this experience has helped me understand what I really want my company to be, versus trying to aspire to be something that maybe I thought the market might want. The other thing I'll say is like the first year in a bit of my business, I very much embraced that progress not perfection mindset. I was trying all sorts of different things like products, and I offer this and this laundry list of other things and I'm a collective and I'm this and I can do that, and this product goes before this product.

Speaker 2:

In fact, I spent a year basically to celebrate my business and also crafting my elevator pitch and really getting to the heart of like well, what is my business? And if I had to tell someone in 30 seconds, what would it be? But it's not like I woke up on whatever was September, whatever of last year, and we're like, here it is.

Speaker 1:

it's perfect, I'm just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping someone sticks. Yeah, it's organic and it's growing. And as you're navigating your own consultancy and hearing from clients and hearing what the market needs, you're also pivoting and productizing and offering different services to your clients.

Speaker 2:

And we'll continue to do so till the very end, because the world changes around you and everything you have to be fluid and reinventing, and that's what makes it exciting. For me is just kind of like being like all right, well, I tried, that didn't work so well, but what if I try this? Actually, no, they received that really well and that made sense for them. Okay, I'm gonna double down on that now. Which makes it fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, it definitely does. It definitely does, christian. This was really really helpful, I think, just shining a light on. You know things happen, we lose jobs, and that there is a way of managing your time and your mind after it and then showing everybody that with Stone Owl Consultancy, you are back in it and you're able to deliver for clients and use all of these experiences for the greater good of all. I love that. I will put all of your information in the show notes so people know where to find you. Thank you so much for sharing so openly. I think it's really really helpful and I appreciate you. Thank you so much, jill. It's been amazing.

Career Refresh
Transitioning From Dentistry to Creative Industries
Navigating Unemployment
Adapting to Career Changes and Opportunities
Embracing Change and Growth in Business