Life is a juggling act for every woman I know and I was just starting to get my act down. But sometimes the balls drop. And at the end of January, they did for me.
In late December my company was acquired. Two weeks later our CEO abruptly and unexpectedly stepped down. And two weeks after that I was called into a conference room on a Tuesday morning around 10:30 and handed this letter.
I could feel my world, that was already a delicate balance, crumble beneath me. I collected my things, walked out of the building and had a panic attack in my car. Over the span of the next hour I learned that nearly 25% of the rest of my company had faced a similar circumstance. Acquisitions and corporate greed made us their sacrifices. And now we had to pick up the pieces.
For people who take so much pride in their independence, being laid off is such a horrible feeling. It certainly was for me. I felt like I had failed and like I had let B down. I was embarrassed, upset and angry.
But I sure as hell was not defeated.
Within the first week I updated my resume and shared the news with all of my professional contacts. I went to a networking event and started applying for jobs. Thankfully, interviews started to be scheduled, writing samples submitted and this week I signed a contract for my next job! I start Monday! What was less than a month felt like an eternity.
I was so fortunate to have a network of people invested in my success. Of the five companies I interviewed with, not a single one came from a post I saw on a job board. All my leads came from people I know. And I am extremely grateful.
During this time, a lot of other turmoil sprang forth. Our benefits ended on the day of my layoff, leaving me scrambling to find coverage so B could still legally go to class. Three days after the layoff my new car was hit-and-run in a parking lot, leaving me with $1,500 in damages. The brakes went out in B’s truck, I was given the runaround from the unemployment office, I was called for jury duty and a former coworker died. It wasn’t our month.
Everyone processes hard times differently. Some people get mad and groan, others cry and drink their sorrows away. I went through those stages of grief, but with a husband and dog relying on me, and my own competitive will driving me forward, it was a brief foray. I still got up with B to go to the gym at 4:45 a.m., I still showered and got dressed in real clothes and I still cooked a proper dinner every night. That kept me sane and kept me in a routine.
But I gained a new appreciation for others in the same situation. I think this experience has made me much stronger. And I couldn’t be more excited to get back into a cubicle! But I will miss my QT with this nugget.