It’s been almost a month since I was laid off, and it hasn’t been an easy one. I have worked very hard at remaining positive and moving forward, but you know, that in itself is damn hard work!
If you’re used to being busy, and overscheduled, as I was, it’s a real shock to the system to have to create a deliberate path to each day. I’ve learned the hard way, that for me, a day without a plan is a day where it’s too easy to give in to the doubt and clouds that perpetually swirl around you. A mind without purpose is a mind that can too openly welcome negative thoughts and feelings. And the outside working world, that world that I so blithely belonged to a short month ago, suddenly seems distant and so desired.
One of the things I have been doing to both keep occupied and on task, has been to take advantage of many of the classes and programs offered by the job counseling service that came with my layoff. So, several times a week, I dress myself in “business interview attire” and drive over to an office in Woodland Hills, where for the pleasure of paying $8 to $15 a pop for parking, I have learned the following lessons:
- No-one gets a job by applying online (I got my previous job by applying online)
- 80% of all job hires are done through networking (hi, have we met?)
- I may have harmed my chances to become employed by posting a profile picture of myself that showed I was in a kitchen (professional people don’t eat? That may be where I went wrong)
- At the age of 51, with 25 years plus professional and management experience, I have to be concerned that I am an “older” worker and therefore not as desireable in the job market (but I feel so young at heart)
I also attended a Career Fair last week, where every single recruiter asked me the same question: Have you applied to our company online? (see bullet point above).
Okay, enough with the negative. The past 4 weeks hasn’t been all grim, not by any means. I have spent time with my sister, laughed with my BFF, lunched with friends, seen a movie in the daytime with my dad. I held a garage sale, cleaning out my studio and earning a few coins. I have spent time in the yard, ruthlessly weeding and pruning. I started working out, and haven’t stopped, currently three weeks solid of 120 minutes a week of hard cardio, plus weights and other excercises.
I have read several books, mostly pleasure reading, but also Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg. Not sure I agree with everything she has written, but it’s given me food for thought. I have had the time to think. I haven’t panicked (yet), and have stayed reasonably calm and optimistic. I have written, fiction and fact, and finally started the blog I have been thinking about for years.
I have survived. I’m hoping for the sprint, but preparing for the marathon. Every day, I wake up, make a plan, and keep moving forward. It’s a job, it’s my job, and I am perfectly suited for the role.
The end, for now