Many times in my life, circumstances that seemed “bad” turned out to be among the best things that have happened to me. I suddenly and very unexpectedly lost a job about 12 years ago and it turned my life upside down. We were already struggling a lot and losing the job hit me and my family like a hurricane, like the world was crashing down on us. I never would’ve guessed at the time that it would turn out to be something I’ll always be grateful for.
Those were some dark days and I was out of work for a while, but losing that job put me in a position, at just the right time, for me to jump to a major software company. My brother Andy worked there, knew that I’d lost my job and he happened to know that they desperately needed someone to train a team of Japanese business leaders on using their software in less than a week’s time. I bought the software training manual and spent 3 days and nights doing a crash course in learning the software and then I had to translate everything into Japanese. It was a terrifying day when I flew to Sacramento, to train a room full of corporate leaders on a software I barely knew in English, let alone in Japanese. In fact, I’d never even seen the Japanese version of the software until I walked in that room to train about 15 executives. It was one of the scariest and most intimidating things I’ve ever done. Fortunately, it went OK. (I’d love to say that it went great and I got a standing ovation at the end, but in reality, it was marginal at best.)
From this little opportunity, I got “in” with the company and l was able to become an official software trainer. After that, I was able to apply for (and get) the position of sales trainer. When that opportunity ended, I was able to secure a job at a small software company who never would’ve talked to me without my background at a major software giant.
All of my career success arrived after I got this “bad news” 12 years ago. There’s no telling how different things would be if I had stayed at that company and never had the opportunity that this event gave me. It was my personal case of getting a lemon and finding a way to get lemonade from it. And I learned that sometimes, bad things turn out to be really, really good things.