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Reclaim your power in the workplace

With all the talk in the news media about the recession and unemployment at all all-time high (9.8 percent nationally at the time of this writing), it's a wonder anyone gets out of bed to go anywhere, especially to work. In fact, poll any workplace in America in the current economic environment and you'll find that while hundreds of thousands of people join the ranks of the unemployed each month, untold numbers go to work each day fearful that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

Fact: the economy is in a downward spiral and companies are cutting jobs to cut costs. Fact: finding a job in 2009 is considerably more challenging than it was in 2007. Now that we've established and reiterated the facts, I'd like to suggest the following three things to help you refocus your energy and reclaim your power at work:

1. Even if you lose your paycheck, your gifts are yours to keep. Skills, those things we learn through study and training, such as how to use a computer program or speak a foreign language, are important, but so are gifts. Gifts are natural, innate talents which set you apart from everyone else. Often, you do these things so effortlessly that others are driven to ask, "How do you do that?" You will always excel in areas of your gifting, because others will see you as the go-to person, a person of authority, in that particular area. Discover your gifts and find at least one way to incorporate them into your workday routine. You'll work more effectively and passionately than you did when you focused on your skills alone.

2. Even if you lose your job, you still have something to offer. Your current employer hired you because you were smart and capable. You are still that same person, only now with new skills obtained in this job. Those things which helped you to land this job-drive, ambition, energy, etc.-are inherent in your personality  and will likely play a large role in helping you to land your next job.

 3. Finally, change the way you think about a potential job loss. Ask yourself: do you really enjoy your work, or are you just attached to the paycheck (or benefits, time off, etc)? If your answer is the latter, consider choosing to see a potential job loss as an opportunity, one where you'll have a blank canvas onto which you can highlight your unique gifts, talents, skills and first-rate personality traits that landed you that job in the first place. You'll also also have the time, space, and most importantly, the freedom to redefine not just your career, but also your life. Even in this economy, that's pretty darn great news.