Job/Career Life

Laid Off, But Still Hungry

I woke up this morning and realized that yesterday wasn’t a dream.

My beloved co-worker–we’ll call her Deena–came to my desk around lunchtime. “Come take a walk with me.”

She was always bright and cheery, and even now she wore a slight smile on her face. She sat me down in a conference room, drew her lips into a sympathetic smile, and said,

“Take a deep breath.”

Well, I can’t say I was terribly shocked, but my first thoughts were, “How am I going to pay all of my bills? My student loans? Rent? My car insurance? Will I have to move home? How will I do this?”

I could barely hear a word Deena was saying, the panic in my head was so loud. But then, I looked up at her through tear-filled eyes, and felt something that I desperately needed to feel: a wave of relief. Though I loved my coworkers dearly, I was miserable at that job. Being stuck in a building for eight hours a day, in front of a computer, working on projects I wasn’t even remotely passionate about… this wasn’t who I am. I packed up my things, and just like in the movies, carried my box out of the building without so much as a backwards glance.

My First Day Being Unemployed

It is day one of my unemployment, and I’m nervous, and scared, and sad, and relieved. I have a bit of a stomachache, probably due to stress, and I desperately want to be working. Writing this is helping me to feel productive, and I’m feeling thankful that I have a creative outlet that I can take anywhere with me.

I’m planning on getting things together to apply for unemployment, then taking today as a recovery day. I’ve been job searching for the past eight months; I need to re-center myself and figure out what I really want to do.

Things I’m Telling Myself

  1. This is a sign. You need this time. Figure out what you truly want to do.
  2. You can find ways to be productive other than working. Don’t make yourself feel like a failure.
  3. This is not your fault. This happens very often. You will be okay.
  4. Take care of your body. Take care of your mind.
  5. You are talented and driven. Meaningful work will find you.
  6. You will be okay.
  7. Everything will be okay.

Things I Know To Be True

  1. I am driven, and I won’t be in this situation for long.
  2. Success will be a part of my life; I won’t allow anything less.
  3. My talents are valued, and I will find a way to utilize them.
  4. Writing is in my heart. If I can continue to write, I will be happy.
  5. I have an amazing support system, and I am not alone.
  6. I will be okay.
  7. Everything will be okay.

Things I Will Do Now

  1. Concentrate on my job hunt.
  2. Think about what I really want to do.
  3. Exercise: get back into running, practice yoga often.
  4. Talk with my support system; no need to be strong in front of them.
  5. Meditate often.
  6. Be gentle with myself.
  7. Remain positive.

This is going to be a challenge for me, but I know I can make it through. Worrying will do me no good, so might as well embrace this in-between, just as I have for so many things in my life! I’ll be chronicling my thoughts here, and I do hope you’ll follow along.

Have you been unemployed or laid off? I’d love to hear your experiences, and any advice you may have. Comment below!