A year ago, my day started off normal. Kind of fun. I was asked to pull numbers for a potential advertiser. I remember who was in the newsroom at the time, and then my friend showed up to give me a movie my husband needed for a class. I had a lunch run planned with my boss, who then canceled our lunch run because she wasn’t feeling it. (Little did I know she knew about impending layoffs – she just didn’t know that I was going to be laid off.)
I returned to my desk to a voicemail, and a few minutes later, my world shifted.
Fifteen years at one employer and then suddenly unemployed.
And I’m here to tell all of my friends – and anyone who has been
devastated shocked to the core by news such as this….it is not the end of the world. Sometimes there are better opportunities, and this is just how life works. And it eventually gets easier to comprehend.
(I even found a friend’s blog post from that day. It was crazy seeing my name, my photo on someone’s blog!)
I spent four months trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. What did I really want to do when I grew up? I also spent months feeling like I was having some out of body experience.
One year later, I’m working for my alma mater. I work with people who are very open and honest about our state of affairs. (My coworkers were always open and honest. It was the higher-ups in the company who were not.) I work in a much more positive environment. I believe in the organization I work for. (I believed in the newspaper, too. They just didn’t believe in me.)
My colleagues that lost their jobs that day have found different positions. Not one of us got another newspaper job. Several have started their own businesses (or expanded their businesses.) One of us works part-time as an usher with the local minor league baseball team, and freelances as well. Another has moved into the world of marketing. One of my friends has taken his photography full-time for himself. And I know a few friends who will be unemployed at the end of this month, and they’re also trying to figure out next steps.
It’s mind-boggling, really.
I’ve been angry and sad and depressed and relieved and happy. I’ve felt so many emotions this past year. And a few weeks ago, I started feeling like I was returning to myself. Maybe even a better version of myself.
I’m angry that my time was wasted with so much insurance nonsense for over four months. I felt thankful that I had an outplacement agency working for me for a full month. (You better believe I took full advantage of that service.) I was devastated to leave behind my newsroom family. In my time in the newsroom I graduated from college, ended an engagement, met my husband (dated, got engaged and planned a wedding), bought a house, had a baby. At one point, people feared I was actually going to have a baby in that newsroom. (I worked days past my due date.)
I met amazing people in WNC through working at the newspaper and I covered some of the best events. From high school football games to concerts to presidential visits – I was there. I even edited video from a closet in the Civic Center once at around 2 or 3 a.m. All because I believed in the mission.
I still believe in the mission of the newspaper. It’s just a shame how things have turned out.
I also believe in the mission of my new employer. I never would have thought that I’d be working at my college. I enjoy being at work. I love promoting the school and reminiscing with alumni about their days at MHU. One of my classmates happened to stop by yesterday and we were able to catch up some 9 or 10 years since we last saw each other.
I never thought I’d take blogging to another level, but I did (I get to write! Occasionally I get paid for it! I get really cool opportunities thrown my way!)
And my level of stress has dropped significantly. I feel different types of stress at various times, but it isn’t a constant stressful feeling.
I still miss my newsroom family, but I know it isn’t the same there either.
I’ve come a long way in one year.