This morning was the beginning and the end, a day I knew was coming but had no clue how it would ultimately turn out.
Would I be in a panic? Previous experience would say yes, that the 60-ish days would not have been enough time for me to pull it together and come out victorious. This isn’t my first rodeo with unemployment, although I will say a layoff with the notice period is far less stressful than being called into someone’s office and getting a bomb dropped. As a side question to other folks who have been fired: did the person firing you get misty eyed? With the exception of one (I’m going off an assumption here, since this particular conversation was over the phone), all the folks who have let me go before got teary and frankly, I still can’t figure out why. They weren’t having their livelihoods yanked from them, so what did they need to turn on the faucet for?
But at the same time, even when I was having that initial conversation with my manager and the HR rep, I didn’t have the usual emotions. Maybe it’s a result of being desensitized or being a little older and having some maturity under my belt this time around, but all I could think to myself was: Alright, let’s get to it.
So I did. And in spite of the moments of uncertainty and sadness – because I had them and I’m not going to pretend those days were never here – my overall feeling was resolution with a dash of optimism. About a month before the news came, I was feeling restless and having those “where do I want to go?” talks with myself. Back then I thought I’d be at OldJob in my former position for a few years before trying to move up to an underwriter role.
Then I learned I was getting laid off, and after some chats with folks who are familiar with my old company, it appears layoffs are common there. The same way I wouldn’t be willing to board a plane if the airline’s solutions to unruly passengers on board was to crash the plane, I decided then that I wouldn’t be trying for an internal position if layoffs were an open secret. How could I? I couldn’t imagine anything more stressful than getting into a role, getting somewhat settled in and then having another talk with my manager and HR to start the process all over again.
So instead, I made sure my resume was updated and started sending out applications to companies in my industry. Some of them I had never heard of prior to my job search, and others I had tried to get on at in 2020. I usually pick three places as my top choices and focus my attention there, and to my pleasant surprise, the ball got to rolling at one of the top three places. I had three interviews that were pleasant, but also pretty intense as far as discussing the role, the details of the day-to-day and making sure this would be a mutually strong fit for both parties.
Do you all remember in my May 1st post, when I wrote that I was hoping the month of May would bring some good news? I uploaded that post in the morning, and that afternoon I got the phone call from First Choice company.
On May 22nd, I’m starting a new position with them as an assistant underwriter.
Unlike my previous AU roles, this is less clerical and more a training position to become an underwriter. I’ve already been at two companies thinking if I waited it out long enough I would be able to apply for a position and get it. Now I’m starting a role next week that is what I’ve been wanting to do. The professional growth I’ve been wanting for so long is finally here, and a part of my life is finally moving forward.
I’m beginning again. And at the same time, there’s still some wistfulness thinking about OldJob. I wasn’t at the company long, but as far as the environment and the people there – they really were some of the best, loveliest coworkers I could have asked for. We were a team, and not in that hokey way corporate managers or some of my middle school teachers like to promote. We had each other’s backs during the daily grind, and we supported each other and were friends. It was a supportive environment and frankly, for grieving and the mental health challenges I had to work through in 2022, one of the healthiest workplaces I could have been in.
So today, when I was dropping off my badge and laptop, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad, like I was saying good bye to an old friend I may never see again. There’s no bitterness towards OldJob for the layoff, which admittedly is a first since I’ve left some chaotic and immature working environments before and I can still tell stories about those people five-plus years later. But for the place I left this morning, I just can’t do that.
So instead, I’m writing a note in my planner that I dropped my things off today, keeping the pleasant memories stored within me, and gearing up for the new waters.
It’s kind of fitting this is May and summer is right around the corner. With the changing of the seasons I come alive and feel reinvigorated. That’s how I’m feeling for Monday. It’s also how I’m feeling for this weekend. Come Saturday I’m heading up to Cleveland for the Cleveland Half. I want to see if I can run it in 2:30 or under, and I’m treating this year’s race as a redemption from last year’s stunning average emotionally un-invested crap show. I know I’m stronger emotionally and I’m definitely stronger physically. So this upcoming weekend, I run like hell.
And then I come home and Monday, it’s a new day and a new beginning.
May did bring me the good news I was hoping for. Reader-friends, sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel shows up on time for once. And sometimes what seems like bad news can actually be a blessing in disguise. Upwards and onwards.
Yours in running and life,