Whether it's restructuring, corporate demands, or downsizing... getting laid off sucks. Prior to actually getting laid off I didn't know the difference between getting laid off and getting fired. I figured they were one in the same. Your job is gone... bye Felecia!
I lost my job last Spring. I can't say I was completely surprised since I'd seen numerous colleagues either leave on their own will or get the boot. The work environment had become very unsettling, but why would I lose my job?! I'm a valuable employee, I ran social media accounts for million dollar clients, I went to college, I had friends!
Well... the day finally came. We lost one of our biggest clients which made up 75% of my workload and therefore my position was being "eliminated." I was in utter shock when the news hit me. They babbled on about unemployment benefits, severance pay, career workshops, recommendation letters, networking events, but I was in my own little world. It felt like the apocalypse hit me.
I had never seen my supervisor look so uncomfortable... but I can't blame him. I had snot running down my nose and was crying like a colicky baby as he handed me tissues. As I returned to my cubicle I felt like I just got benched from the Super Bowl. I had goals to accomplish, a corporate ladder to climb, parents to make proud, bills to pay, vacations to go on, and a superb LinkedIn profile to maintain.
As I packed up my cubicle and said goodbye to my work family I felt almost blessed. I wasn't in love with my job and the environment had become quite depressing. Of course, I didn't have the balls to leave myself. But, I was finally escaping a place I spent 40+ hours a week doing something I didn't totally love. While I finally came to terms that maybe getting laid off was a good thing I still had my doubts.
I was going to have to make some huge lifestyle changes... aka saying goodbye to that bi-weekly paycheck that I used ball out at happy hour with, online shopping binges, and extremely necessary trips every weekend to visit my long lost college friends who are scattered across the country. I was now the only person in my social circle who was unemployed and I was ashamed about it. My friends all had "bomb" jobs to flaunt on social media and excess money to spend on lavish handbags and weekend getaways. And I'm just over here like... help me I'm poor.
I know my terms of reality are a little skewed. I know millennials feel more entitled than they should, but being unemployed isn't an easy adjustment. I had high lifestyle standards and career goals and all of these plans were brought to a screeching halt.
I still get anxiety when my friends ask me how is the job hunt going? What are you doing to stay busy? Why haven't found a job yet? Mind your own beeswax! To my surprise, the pressure to find a job comes mostly from my friends rather than my parents. I guess that's just the competitive nature of us millennials.
Getting laid off sucks. Finding a job sucks even more. But everyone has to stray away from their five year plan eventually. And on the bright side, I have been able to learn more about myself and my interests that I wouldn't have been able to discover sitting in my cube. So if you've been laid off, quit your job, or have been fired... hang in there.