Thursday

What Now? When the Company Says Goodbye

I never thought it would happen to me, I was a mere 20 plus years back then and recently got my own place.  Out of nowhere, the telecommunications company I worked for had decided to lay most of us off.  Directors, managers, supervisors, administrative staff, and customer service representatives were given their pink notices.  Strangely, I had had a dream about a month prior about my job ending, I warned a few people, but continued working thinking nothing more about it until that day.

The entire department met in the conference room and that's when I looked at those faces.  Looking back, I thought, "We were all a cool bunch."  We whispered around water-coolers about the day's events, laughed in cubicles, celebrated holidays together, and exchanged funny emails.  We knew about our highs and lows professionally and personally.  "Why now?"  I asked myself back then.  "Why?"

Yet, somehow I survived that storm.  I got my escape plan together quick, fast and in a hurry!  I was one of the first in my department to obtain employment within a week after receiving that dreaded notice.  I hit the ground running.  I didn't have any severance package coming to me and collecting unemployment was a joke since I didn't make much anyway.  I needed to work--to maintain my sanity.  I was in college too and no freebies were coming my way from anyone.  There was bills to pay and I didn't permit myself to start groveling in the "What ifs..."  Besides, I couldn't stomach the, "Now what are you going to do next?" questioning from concerned friends.

If you are hearing through the grapevine that your job is coming to an end and may have had a dream or two about being laid off, don't take your future lightly!  Don't wait for family and friends to give you tips on what to do with your life.  Seize the moment!  Do what you can to survive honestly, in other words, play fair, because you never know if you will ever see your bosses and co-workers again.  You might also need these people as references.

Begin advertising your services/talents/skills to individuals and businesses.  Get connected with temporary agencies.  Respond to job classifieds with your cover letter and resume.  But whatever you do, don't see the Mack truck coming and do nothing.

Ask yourself, "What do I need to do now with my life?  What will make me most happy?  How much money/stuff/time do I need to accomplish my goals?"  Sometimes challenging moments in life happen to awaken us to what we have been neglecting with all our money-making/chasing.  Rekindle those broken relationships, spend more time with children, call relatives, visit churches, volunteer, plan to relocate, and do whatever else that will give you a sense of well-being.  There is indeed more to life than a job.

Nicholl McGuire

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