Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

 I worked for a great education company from 2002 through 2008 when I was laid off due to restructuring. I learned a lot while I worked there, made a lot of friends and grew as both a person and a professional. At the time I was laid off I took the change philosophically and knew there would be additional opportunities for me ahead. To be honest, I had been trying to move out of my role as project manager into a role that was more training and coaching oriented so the lay off meant the world was my playground.

I landed a new job about three months after the lay-off (and about 3 weeks after my last severance payment). The end of my tenure at this great company was truly a blessing. I know others were impacted differently and didn't see the blessing this end could be. As I talk to people who were laid off at the same time I was, they all seem to be in better places. Blessings.

I just learned today that this same company is reducing it's workforce by 8% and that this 8% will come from support staff. This means people I worked with are going to be impacted. I haven't heard yet if any of my colleagues are going to be saying good-bye to their jobs but I'm sure some of the people I know will be leaving this company and not by choice.

It's always hard to have a job taken away. The most difficult thing for me was knowing that it could take a long time to find new work. That lack of security touched me in a deep place. I am a woman who values security. The exercise in losing my job taught me that security doesn't come from a steady paycheck. It comes from doing work you are passionate about and surrounding yourself with people who love and support you. It comes from planning for emergencies when the times are good so you have a cushion when the times aren't quite what you were hoping for. It comes from faith. I have faith in my family and faith in God. Other people have faith in other things. Faith gives us hope.

I'm really glad I was laid off back in November of 2008. I found a lot of blessings through what could have been a devastating event.  Those same blessings may have come to pass if I hadn't been laid off, who knows. All I know is that today I have a stronger sense of who I am and what I want to do when I grow up. I found I had more support than I ever dreamed. I learned I was stronger than I thought I was. And I lived out the lessen that when one door closes another opens.

I pray for my former colleagues who are living in uncertainty and perhaps will lose their jobs due to this work force reduction (what a civil way to describe a lay-off).  I hope the world offers them blessings they would not otherwise have without this life event. If I've learned only one thing in my life it is this - even in the darkest moments there is something good and right waiting just within grasp. All I have to do is reach out and grab it.

My gratitudes for today:
  1. I'm thankful for the people in my life who lift me up when I can't raise my own head far enough out of the mire to see the opportunities for myself.
  2. I'm thankful my husband and I took Financial Peace University before I was laid off because we had the forethought to build an emergency fund - something we continue to build to this day.
  3. I'm thankful I was able to reconnect with my creative side and that the story I've been working on off and on for years has finally bloomed in my mind. Now, to make the time to write it down...
  4. I'm thankful I have a great boss who takes the time to know me and my goals and is supportive and encouraging. 
  5. I'm thankful that I'm starting to see the gift in all of life's moments. I'm not there yet, but I can start to see those gifts more clearly than I could in the past. 

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