Don’t be like the Mink!

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Over my career, I have seen so many people lose their job and get into panic mode and immediately start interviewing for a similar job with the next company down the street.

But wait, let me tell you about the Mink farm that I used to work at during my student years. The Minks were kept in blueish cages in rows and my job was cleaning, giving them shots of medicine and food. The Minks, by lack of any other entertainment, were the whole day pretty much occupied with biting the steel of the cages and from time to time I would come across an empty cage. Panic!! They are pretty dangerous in the wild so we would run out of the barn and one of the regular employees would come in and re-appear within an hour or so with the Mink put neatly back in the cage.

We wondered how he did that so successful and he gave me a valuable lesson for life.

He said: ” The Minks don’t know anything but the cages they are in, so what I do is, I put capture cages, similar color to the ones they just left, on the floor/ The Mink who escapes will fall on the floor and after realizing what just happened look around and see a strange new world. The possibilities are endless but, then they spot my capture cage and they are too afraid of the big unknown that they run straight back into the cage and Presto! I got them and they are back in the row of cages”.

This got me thinking. When we loose our jobs we are so used to our corporate environment that our immediate response is to search for these familiar environments and run back as soon as we can back into the corporate cage. But you are so much more than your corporate job, you are so much more than your company profile, you have so many more talents than the ones that the company uses, that you owe it to yourself to see the dismissal from the company as an encouragement to review where you are in life and to see if this is what you want to do until retirement. Like the Mink that got away, you will be dazed after the initial shock of being let go. Then you will look around and see a strange unknown world around you and you should realize that the opportunities and possibilities are shear endless. Unfortunately the job-boards lure you back to similar environments and the one you just left and before you know it, you’ll be back in a similar corporate job.

Yes there are the realities of bills that need to be paid but try to work through that and make an inventory of all the skills, knowledge and experiences you have. Put all of that against what you want to do in life and if bill payment becomes an issue, do not shy away from taking a job with a temp agency until you have figured out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Turn this threat of being let go around into an opportunity to utilize all of your untapped talent and resources to go do what you actually want in life.

Just don’t be like the Mink!