A Door Shut, A Window Opens

I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to write a post about this. Maybe it’s because I was embarrassed. Maybe it was because I was afraid of what people may say. I definitely didn’t want to be vulnerable. I alluded to being slapped in the face a couple of weeks ago, but never elaborated.

In the spirit of transparency, here it goes.

I was laid off on September 5, 2012. Yep. There you have it folks.

Was I shocked? Absolutely! Was I surprised? Hmmm…maybe initially, but the more I think about it, not really.

How ironic for me to share this news with you considering I was just saying how much I loved my job and truly enjoyed what I did every day. I LOVED my job. I wouldn’t say it was my dream job, but in the grand scheme of my goals to achieve by 30, having a position of that caliber was on the list.

Somewhere deep down in my gut I knew it wasn’t going to last long. I sensed it. Heck, I was kind of warned during my interview. HA! I probably, no I definitely, ignored the red flags because I was so desperately wanted to progress in my career and use my skills.

The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I was very emotional. All they kept saying was how “I had done nothing wrong.” My job description was changing. Those words were heartbreaking, downright insulting. I had prided myself on being an expert in my field. What do you mean, my skills are no longer needed?!

This went on for literally 2 hours. Tears flowed down my face. Tissue after tissue was used. At one point, I had paper towels. Why was this happening to me? What did I do wrong?? I am a hard worker. I respectfully gave them my opinion and conveyed these feelings. How I worked hours and hours more each week to get the job done. How I was probably one of the only individuals that actually LIKED their job in the organization.

My boss and the CEO were very kind to me. They said I would always be held in the highest regard and even started mentioning some potential companies I could apply at. I thanked them for their encouraging words and spoke very respectfully to them.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to leave immediately. I asked if they wanted me to say until the end of the following week to finish our projects, they said no, I would be okay and that I should focus on my job search. How thoughtful.

I walked out of the office, told one of my teammates and then immediately headed to my car. Tears were still flowing as I cranked up my car and reached for my phone to call my parents.

Dad’s response: “Really, no kidding?”

Mom’s response: “I am sad of HOW it happened, but I’m not sad that it happened.”

Everyone’s response over the course of that evening: “No way…that’s crazy…how strange…don’t worry, you will bounce back before you know it…there are better things in store for you…etc.” I wasn’t surprised to hear them speak so positively. I have a great support system of friends, family, mentors and colleagues.

Later that evening when the Boy came over, I started crying again. Then, it was like my tears dried up. A sudden peace fell over me. I wouldn’t say I was happy, but whatever negative feelings I had were GONE.

The following Monday, I woke up early to have coffee with a colleague, went to lunch with another friend and then spent the rest of the day at Starbucks updating my resume, searching for jobs and applying for unemployment. I spent 5 hours there, but it wasn’t a bad time. I kind of enjoyed it.

This was pretty much the pattern-sleep in, work out, maybe attend a networking lunch/coffee,  apply for jobs and sometimes just doing nothing. I watched hours of Food Network and wrote down recipes, burned brain cells with reality television or caught up on movies that I had been wanting to watch for weeks.

For the first time in probably 4 years, I was no longer tired from working long days. I was resting. I was at peace. It was a beautiful and much needed feeling. I later learned that my mother had been praying that I would find some rest in my hectic life. I am sure that was not what she had in mid exactly, but hey it worked.

It was during this time that I made the decision I mentioned yesterday. Less than a week after that horrific day, I had an interview. The following week, I had a second interview. Shortly thereafter, I was offered a position in a corporation doing social media and digital/email marketing. I started my new job last  Monday and had a great first week learning about my role and the company. PURE JOY!

The Lord shut a door, but he opened up a window. Isn’t that how it always works? As much as I enjoyed my previous jobs, I honestly was ready to leave the nonprofit sector and use my skills to help a corporation achieve their marketing and communications goals. I was thankful for my foundation. I was thankful for every experience. I was thankful for the humbling years that I spent bringing awareness to individuals and causes that maybe would have been ignored. It was time for me to move on.

I will never forget my humble beginnings, but I am so excited about the future. I will never forget those 3 weeks of being unemployed. I have a new outlook on life. I have a new appreciation for the dollar (mine are a little slim until the 15th). I have a heart of gratitude for my friends and family who called daily with encouraging words or offered to take me out to lunch. I was laid off and found a job in the same month. That is a miracle within itself. What a blessing! I am very thankful for my new company for giving me a great opportunity.

What a blessing to have those 3 weeks to focus on myself as the Lord transitioned me to a new chapter in life. I needed that more than you know. Perhaps, that was a window too. As much as I try  to control my future and determine my own destiny, I am quickly reminded that I don’t control jack. He does. I leave it all in His hands. I trust and believe that in the end, it will all work out for the good.

For now, I will stick my head out the window and enjoy the breeze.

Have you ever lost your job? What did you do? How did you stay encouraged?


5 thoughts on “A Door Shut, A Window Opens

  1. I lost my job at a fabulous company in February of this year. It was a total shock especially since I had just gotten my MBA and have two certifications in my career field. I was devastated! The day I was laid off I received at least 50 phone calls, texts, and emails from previous coworkers. While it was comforting to have their support and encouragement all I wanted at that point was for someone to give me a lead on a job, an interview, anything. Fortunately I had put some money away and also received a nice severence so I wasn’t super stressed about money. The thing about losing a job as an adult is that a lot of times that’s how we define ourselves and when that’s gone, who are we? I don’t think I’ve ever felt so lost in my life, but I had to keep pushing because eventually the money would run out and bills had to be paid. I contacted everyone I knew, hired someone to professionally write my resume, and searched every day for jobs. I was very lucky in that I found a job exactly eight weeks after I was laid off. And my new job is three levels above my old job and I’m making significantly more money. But the experience of being out of work will never leave me and I will always be prepared. If I could give anyone advice it would be to put at least three to six months salary in savings just in case something like this happens to you. It won’t take away the shock, hurt, or embarrasement but at least it will ease your financial worries for a short time. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • HI Susan! You are welcome! Thanks so much for sharing your story too. I have my MBA as well, so I feel your pain. It can be very insulting. That is great financial advice!! I am so happy that you were able to locate a position. Situations like unemployment build character, and we are better people for experiencing it and pressing through. 🙂

  2. Pingback: That One Time I Decided to Start Running….Far | Vicky D's Delights

  3. Hi Vicky! I read this last week and meant to comment but never did. FIrst of all, I’m sorry you lost your job. But everything really does happen for a reason!! I’m so glad you found another one you enjoy. I quit my job about a month ago to shift full-time to my part-time job, and was incredibly sad about it even though it was my own doing. I was just not in a good place emotionally and could not devote myself to it fully such that I could do a GOOD job there. So I quit. It was hard, because I couldn’t even say with confidence why I was quitting. I just knew I needed to, even though I loved it, the people, etc. I was just sick of feeling like I wasn’t fully “present”. With my part time job, I’m able to focus more on myself, I’m less stressed, and I really do enjoy this too. And at the end of the day, it’s just a JOB… hard to remember since we spend so much time there, but it’s true. The important things in life are family, friends, health and happiness. Everything else comes second!

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