Well crap, today started out like every other day until you found yourself joining the ranks of the unemployed. You’ve been canned. Sucks, I know. What now ? After going through the full spectrum of emotions, you realize something must be done. A new job ? Sit and mull it over for a while ?
I’ve Been There… Three Times.
I recall each of those days all too well. They were all the same: starting as normal as usual when my boss came into my office, quietly closed the door, and gave me the news. Each time it was an amicable break-up. No crying, no authoritative escorts to the door, and no burning of bridges. And, thankfully, no super long meetings with HR. I accepted my severance pay and went home to ponder my future.
Throughout my career, I was grateful for each job I had. I was genuinely thankful for the opportunity to work for the companies that hired me. But once I was canned I wanted to leave as quickly as I could. Many good-byes, phone numbers and e-mail exchanges, and warm wishes passed along. Yet I was chomping at the bit to get out of there. I was done. Ready to accept my fate. Ready for it all to sink in.
Looking back, I realized that each occurrence had warning signs. The frequent closed door meetings. The downward gaze of management who – I later realized – were aware of my impending doom. And let’s not disregard the request to share my knowledge with other co-workers.
Meeting of the Ends
It has been six years since my last lay-off. Within a week of that cold Day in February, I became the newest member of the work at home world. I initially tried my hand at freelancing – with mild success – allowing me to help pay the bills. I was obtaining long-term clients, I was having fun, and I was able to fulfill my desire to be in total control of my career.
Then tragedy struck.
A year after my last job loss, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Yep, the big yucky “C-Word”. My freelance work came to an abrupt halt. He was #1 as work was put aside. I lost my clients. I lost my income. The “not knowing” of many things was almost overwhelming. Thank goodness for family and friends.
My husband is doing well now, so I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a career altering life change. For him and me. He is now retired and I continue to work at home. I didn’t go back to my “old” freelance type of work. Nope, instead I developed this blog as a means to help others.
How My Job Loss Allowed Me To Engender Gratitude
I’ll admit, not being gainfully employed was a strain on our finances. All things considered, though, we came out the other end (almost) fully intact. I learned many things during the entire process, and I allowed myself to accept all with an open mind. I tried not to feel sorry for myself, even when times were extremely stressful. Heck, I even learned to be flexible when it came to meal planning (I was a “you’re lucky I cook at all” kind of person).
I retained my dignity, and I believed in myself.
I realized that things happened for a reason. In my personal situation, I realized that losing my job allowed me to care for my husband. It would have been very difficult to do so while trying to hold a full-time job.
Most importantly, I learned to be grateful with what I had. I learned that gratitude could result from a job loss as new doors would be opened. I let those doors open and accepted the opportunities.
Even if my husband had not gotten sick, I bet a million bucks I would still be doing what I am doing now. Those open doors I mentioned…well, they still would have existed and I still would have scouted out my opportunities.
Your situation and life’s circumstances may be different from mine, but take this to heart. When a job loss happens, look at it like an opportunity to do what you truly want to do. Whether it is a new career choice with a different company, the spark of a business idea, or the chance to simply stay at home doing “fun” home-based jobs, realize that this is your chance to accept new challenges and be grateful in the turn of events handed to you. Job loss can engender gratitude.