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Now on Computer Screens Everywhere: A Video For Those Who Have Been Laid Off and Looking for What’s Next.

Yesterday afternoon, I saw “Lemonade”, the 37-minute video that has been making its rounds of the job-seekers community. Written, filmed and produced by recently laid off advertising executives, it’s an impressive production. It follows a group of creatives who were laid off from their jobs; how they dealt with their layoff; and what they then did with their new-found time. At first, you see people struggling to deal with the shock of the layoff, some directly, many others wrapping themselves in some protective form of denial. Then, as the reality settles in, some of the characters decide to take matters in their own hands and make something of the lousy hand they were dealt. (Thus the title: making lemonade from lemons.) One older man throws himself into his painting, something he had been good at and always wanted to do since he was a kid. His first showing sells 16 out of 17 of his pictures; and he’s off and running. A young woman who was the most happy at being let go, turned to her passion for yoga and started a studio on her own working much longer hours, and much harder, than she did at the agency. And, then there was the copywriter from Arnold who was laid off for the third time in ten years: Eric Proulx. He decided to start a blog for other laid off creatives called “Please Feed the Animals” and the video grew out of that. Worth watching? A definite yes. First off, it’s inspiring to all of us. How can you not like a guy who turns his attention to his daughter who has Cystic Fibrosis and finds out that surfing is the best thing for her health (truly) and gets involved in her surfing life. But it also poses some hard questions in the course of the video (naturally, it’s well written). Ones that we all should be asking ourselves, such as: Why do you get up in the morning? What have you done with your time since being laid off that feels like it’s really valuable? And, more provocative still, what dream have you always had but never had the time or the gumption to follow? Tough questions; real questions; and, hopefully, after viewing “Lemonade”, you too will be moved to answer them. If you don’t make lemonade, you might, as one of the creatives did, start a coffee-making business. As the tagline to the video says, “When you get laid off, it’s not a pink slip, it’s a blank page.” So…what are you going to write in the blank pages of the book of your life?

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