After Losing Your Job

Monday morning, I was greeted with a bombshell.  The company I work for, the family-based small company, grew beyond their demand and a corporate America guru was hired to restructure our staff and prepare us for further growth.

Let’s back up.

My arrangement as a working mom was carefully chosen due to various factors in our lives, in particular, my husband’s job. After working for companies that could not have cared less if my child was running a 104-degree fever, the choice to no longer watch my children pay the price of my job was deliberate. Intentionally, I sought out a company which understood the responsibility that came with the title “Working Mom”.

In my current position, not only do I work normal hours at my job’s physical location but during the better half of the year, it requires late nights and weekends. During the busy season, it is not uncommon to see me emailing at midnight or 1 am. When payroll was processed in-house, I often worked until three in the morning, took a two-hour nap, woke up and continued. Yes – this work is completed outside of the office but is part of the agreement and reason I chose this particular company.

And so we grew and every step of the way, my position and team were responsible for meeting the growth, anticipating it and keeping up with demand. At every turn, we succeeded.  My boss would be the first to tell you this, often singing our praises to others. 

Yet, here I am.

“We appreciate everything you have done to get us to where we are. We couldn’t have done it without you. Because of growth, we hired someone experienced with growing large companies. Your position will now need a person here two or three hours longer than you are here each day.”

“There is no way I can do that.  I have no help at home and need to be able to take care of my kids.”

“I understand but that is the position’s needs now.”

“I’m confused – I completed the jobs and worked late into the night and weekends to ensure all the work is done.”

“I know this but with growth, we need to restructure this position. You can think on this if you want.”

“I am not sure I need time to think; I cannot stay later if that is what you are asking.”

“I understand.”

Days have passed since this initial conversation. Announcing the news to my team of the business change, of course, led to inquiries on what it means. I reassured them it will be fine, knowing full well it probably will be for them, just not for me. Not going to lie, it somewhat stinks when you work yourself out of a job.

So what do you do when you get news like this? Me? I cried for most of the day and let myself feel disappointment, anger, resentment, frustration, and regret. I let the confusion seep into the parts of me saying it would be fine. And then I started to make plans.

Instantly, I called my son’s school to see what financial options they had. The school my son needs comes with quite a price tag. While it is always a concern, it was my first thought. Finally, he is in the place he needs to be and it is jeopardized.

Within moments I texted friends to see if they were ready to commit to some business ideas we had thrown around. With only a few months left of ensured income, now is the time to jump. Wonderfully, they said yes.

Networking has been the name of the game for years, so I took a page from my own career book and began to reach out to those I know. What positions do they know that are available? 

Clearly, a financial re-evaluation is necessary.  Time to pull out the Dave worksheets.

Then, after all my gut reactions, I took an inventory of myself. If my job is to end with restructuring, what do I want to do? What can I afford to do? Is it in the best interest of my family? What goals have been cast aside because of work? 

If you had a forced, clean slate, what do you put on it?

So now, I move forward – even if I don’t know what forward means. I truly believe when a door slams shut, you are meant for a change. Since I clearly was not listening to the signs, life did it for me.

So here is to that unknown. If we are going to live in it, we might as well hit it head on, embrace it, and allow the uncomfortable moment to be one we can look back on and say, “Yeah, that sucked, but man – look what came from the rain.”

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