Sigh. It feels good to be back...finally. Some of you might remember a post I wrote last year about handling significant life changes as an adult, something I’d had very little experience with until that point. To recap, I wasn’t talking about changes you plan for; like a new job or getting married (or determining your wedding day hashtag 14 months in advance). I was referring to the unexpected, um-where-do-I-go-from-here, five-year-plan-shattering, type of change. One of life’s curveballs, thrown when we least expect it.
Five months ago, I was socked in the face with this kind of change. Quite simply, I lost my job. Laid off, let go, axed. Even with a severance package and the assurance that the decision was motivated by budget cuts, it still sucked.
I walked out of the room, attempting to gather my thoughts, when a flashback from college flooded my mind. Joining the perfect sorority was at the crux of my naive college experience freshman year, and despite my best efforts, I didn’t make the cut. Cue Debbie Downer sound effect. My self-esteem and purpose at that point (as absurdly dramatic as it sounds) were in flux; my next steps were uncertain and in some ways, terrifying. So was the case for my thoughts following the loss of my job. But instead of missing the opportunity for alcohol-induced sisterhood, I was now questioning my ability to pay my bills, cover my rent and support the life I’d built over the past four years. Realistically, losing a job is something that so many of us have experienced, or will eventually experience at some point. I was lucky enough to avoid the situation until recently, taking for granted how fortunate I'd been over the past four years. Despite the initial shock, the reality of my situation didn’t actually hit me until a month later, when my severance had nearly run dry. I had confidently applied to at least 20 positions I felt qualified for, and received exactly zero interest in response to any of them. Zero. Not that getting laid off is exactly an ego boost, but talk about a blow to your confidence — WHAM. What’s a girl gotta do to get a generic HR phone screen around here?
I’d lost touch with the process, and after a gentle reminder (thanks, Dad), I had to network like my life depended on it. Because yeah, it kind of did. Once I got past feeling like a weirdo for the “hey-we-don’t-know-each-other-but-you-seem-like-a-networking-goldmine-let-me-buy-you-coffee” conversation, I found my stride. Thanks to the help of a close friend and her contacts, I was eventually connected to a new copywriting opportunity at an awesome marketing agency in the city. I’m still beyond grateful for the numerous people that offered their advice, networking opportunities and time to help my cause. It was truly appreciated and has changed my perspective moving forward.
Now that I’m settled into my new role, my presence on this blog can become a bigger priority again. Really. Another huge thanks goes out to Natalie for keeping things moving in my absence. I owe ya big time, Nat.