One fascinating thing that I observe with so many clients is a similar to the analogy of when an elephant has been tied to a post for its whole life and walks around in a circle and then one day the rope is cut, but the elephant doesn’t really know it is free and it continues to walk around in a circle.   This is especially true for outplacement clients I work with, in particular for ones who have been at the same company for 30-40 years and then they are laid off – their rope has been cut and they are still walking around in a circle.  Of course, this is understandable – going to work everyday and having a routine for so long – they don’t know anything different.   But this can be true for any of us trying to set off on a new course.

So where do you start with setting yourself free and knowing the world is your oyster?

  • GRIEF/LETTING GO:  First there is a process of grief of mourning the end of the old and letting it go.
  • DISCOVERY:  Next is a process of discovery of finding out who you are in this new phase, what you love and what you want to do in this next phase.
  • NEW WAYS OF BEING:  There also is a necessity to look at life in a new way, to develop new ways of thinking and developing new routines.
  • PATIENCE:  And most of all there is patience for both the client and myself.  I know we are going to get through to the other side, so I hold that torch to light the way to help my client get to the other side.  I also share stories of others who have walked this similar path and the wonderful stories on the other side that emerge like these below.


  • One client got laid off from a long time high stress executive corporate role and it took her awhile to decompress from that lifestyle and allow herself to find a new way.   She ended up giving herself permission to move out of the big city and into a country home with her husband.  She realized her passion was upcycling furniture and selling it and creating a business with her husband. They are loving what they are doing and their business is doing great and you couldn’t pay her enough to ever return to her old life.
  • Another client – similar story – laid off from a long time also high stress corporate job.    It also took her awhile to realize she was cut free from the rope and kept walking around in circles.  A lot of this came from a feeling of guilt that she wasn’t running like she was before and was feeling lost and unproductive.    She finally realized she didn’t need to be running all day anymore and accepted that she had entered into a new phase of her life.   She learned to embrace that she could create a new way of being and a new life that allowed her the space and time to be more creative including exploring working in areas she loves like museums, art, creativity, and giving back.   I will never forget our final call and the happiness in her voice where she finally was ok walking away from going in circles and embraced her freedom and knowing the world is truly her oyster where she can live her passions and make a difference in this world.

How can you set yourself free, know the world is your oyster and go live your dreams?

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