“You want to buy any screws then?”
I looked up from my lunchbox, straight into the despondent eyes of a hardware rep.
With a sigh, he plopped down on the hard, wooden chair in the construction shed. Rarely have I seen shoulders so drooped. “Coffee?” asked the foreman, in a show of compassion.
Twenty-five years have passed since then. And yes, I was there too, in that draughty site hut. My own ‘journey’ had only just began.
But this man has stayed with me. He sat there like an exhausted swimmer only halfway across the Channel. His eyes already showed the realisation he wasn’t going to cross the finish line.
Many will recognise this feeling. That you are really, really out of place somewhere. That every day has become a hellish ordeal.
At best, you will come out of this on your own, find a new challenge and find your strength, a little wiser in the process. At worst, you switch off: empty, spent, burnt out.
But there are engaged employers too, those who spot demotivation and do something about it. Sometimes, there are internal solutions. Sometimes, saying goodbye and parting ways is actually the best solution. If so, you need to make sure there is a solid safety net. Offer a guarantee of a new future. It’s part of appealing employment practices!