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?