Dealing with being laid off.

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Heather

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Hi there! Been meaning to get to this thread for a while.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth…as Ray said, maybe it is for the best. Exactly a year ago, 1/12, on my first vacation in two years, I was informed the store I managed was closing. I freaked out for about two hours, then thought about where I might WANT to work and went online to find they were looking for an Asst manager. In my town, a five minute commute…working with…plants!

I applied that night with a shitty resume update and had a phone interview the next day and the job by Monday. It was really fast. So fast I didn’t have time to process it but it literally changed my life, so much for the better.

Now I have time for plants again! And I’m re-learning the piano! And I work around PLANTS!

I didn’t know I needed this to happen, but I really did!

Best of luck figuring out your next path! Have fun meandering!
 
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Some great advice so far. I just have a couple of points to add.

My one and only stint of unemployment came in the spring of 2010 and it was one of the scariest times of my life. I will spare you the story, but the basics are that I co-owned a regulated business that became unprofitable but required a couple of months to unwind properly before I could start applying for jobs in the worst job market my profession had seen in my lifetime (finance/brokerage.) I ended up making a temporary career shift into aviation helping a helicopter company prepare for its IPO until it was a good time to go back to what I know best, so I got very lucky. Still, it was a tough time.

What really got me through was taking the free time to go through all of my possessions and general "stuff" and clean house. I did eBay, garage sales etc. and raised several thousand dollars. It was not a life-saving amount of money, but it paid the rent and preserved what little nest egg I had at that young age, and most importantly- it took away the feeling of being powerless. And then when I did move to take the new job, there was less stuff to lug along and I have lived "leaner" ever since.

The second thing I would add is that unless you find yourself in serious financial need, don't be afraid to set boundaries about where you will move or what you will do. Sometimes you have to take the job that is available- and if you make the most of it, then you can move on at a later date when the time is right. But until you reach that point, keep remembering that you are a worthwhile human being with real skills to offer. That mentality also helps as you look for work. When I panicked at first, I applied for several jobs and wrote cover letters that- on reflection- showed desperation. I think it cost me some opportunities in retrospect because I often have a role in hiring and desperation is something you learn to watch for carefully in evaluating job candidates, and avoid at all costs.

Finally- going back to #1 to some degree, put your skills to use for temporary work if you can. When I was out of work, in addition to selling stuff I helped people with their taxes and other small projects. It only yielded a few hundred dollars in those 2 months, but again it was empowering when I needed it most.

The above advice is written from the perspective of someone who was terrfied to feel out of control after being an owner/executive for many years. Your motivations and fears may vary- but hopefully at least this is one more insight to join some other great advice.

Best to you- may the prospect of endless new possibilities keep you inspired and moving forward.
 
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