It happens a lot – budget cuts, restructuring, mergers, technological advancements – all resulting in lay offs – sometimes just a few people, sometimes hundreds. You may be lucky and receive a severance, or you may be left to find work immediately with no compensation and no direction.
The day you receive the news that they are letting you go can be a roller coaster of emotions – how you take the news, process the news and move on really depends on your individual situation. For me, it was the people – they made it the hardest to say goodbye. Leaving behind the security was a struggle. The uncertainty about what was to come next was and still is frightening some days. But I was lucky – 10+ years at a corporate company gave me the opportunity to take some time off – I know others might not receive the same opportunity – so I was determined to make the best of it.
Regardless if you receive financial assistance or not – being laid off can be a blessing for many – especially once the shock wears off. For me, it was exactly that – a blessing in the best possible way. Though I held many positions in my 10 years at one company (it was my first “full-time” job out of university) – it was the job I took “until I found what I really wanted to do” and 10 years later I was still there. The excuses ran deep, the compensation, the benefits, the vacation, the flexibility when we started our family, the vast knowledge of the industry. But they were just that – excuses – I had become comfortable, too comfortable – happy to do the day to day to pay the bills and not take any risks. But was I fulfilled? Not really.
Being forced out was a blessing for me – it was the push I needed and probably wouldn’t have taken otherwise. It gave me this wonderful opportunity, it gave me a chance to soul search, to spend time with myself, to rediscover old interests, to be passionate again – to bring a bit of sparkle back into my life. Don’t get me wrong – being a mom is my life, the best job I’ve ever had and ever will and I would never trade it for anything – but I lost myself a little in the last 6 years. I stopped doing the things I once enjoyed, the things that made me smile, I stopped making time for myself and dedicated it all to my children – because they are my priority. I’ve been off 3 months (with a bit of time left to go) and I’ve learned that I can be a priority too – and so can you. The stress that has been lifted, the sparkle that is returning, it all transfers to my children. If you are happier – so is everyone around you. Don’t ever regret taking some time for yourself – I never realized how important it was until I was given this opportunity.
If you get laid off and are able to take some time to yourself – do it! If you aren’t able – embrace the change of pace, a new company and/or a new role can bring so many amazing and unexpected things. I know it is very cliché but when one door closes another one most definitely opens. Make the best of it – it can be scary but the results could be earth-shattering.
Being laid off has been a blessing for me – it came at a time when I was worn thin, when I begged for a break, for something to give – it came – and I’ve taken full advantage of it. Do the best with what you are given – try to see the beauty through the darkness.
Until next time…