Surviving The Loss Of A Job…

My thoughts on losing the last job I will ever have.


Next week will mark the one year anniversary of the day I got laid off from my “real” job. A job I loved and where I made a decent salary, had great benefits and made a ton of friends, both in the company and the businesses I serviced. It really was one of the worse days in my life.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a day much like today, still some snow on the ground from the last snow and very cold. We were told to be on a conference call, so I got all my work done, prepared for my store visit that day, showered, ate my breakfast and was dressed waiting to get on the call. I dialed in to the call at 10:00 and by 10:30 (maybe even 10:15) I was unemployed. No explanation, no apologies, no nothing. I was in shock as were the rest us that lost our jobs that day. The rest of the day was spent calling and texting each other to make some sort of sense out of a senseless situation.

There were no signs that this would happen, it truly came out of no where. The company just had another great year. Profits were up (thanks in part to us) and things were going very well. Of course there are always rumblings of something going on at a job and a few changes had already been made but we had been assured we were safe.

The sudden loss of anything forces you to think what you could have done differently, why did this happen to you…and all the other millions of questions that come to mind. I myself had just gone through one of the toughest years of my life, having lost my mother and my sister, my daughter and three grandsons moving over 10 hours away and my best friend moving to Florida. So by the time I got this call I was already done, this just shut the lid on the coffin.

This job was the most favorite job I had ever had!  I told everyone, I saved the best job for last. Being in my 60’s when I was hired, I knew I would retire from this company and that it was indeed the best one to retire from in so many ways. I worked very hard for them, probably harder for them than any other job I ever had. I worked far more hours than I was supposed to, worked long into the night many nights and missed a lot of family and friends gatherings. I also missed watching my grandkids at their sporting events, because of it. But I told myself it was ok, it was for a good reason, I was paid well, I loved it and they valued me. Sadly I found out that was not the case. Losing the job made me realize they never really valued me in the first place or they couldn’t have just thrown me away like they did.

So how do you come back from losses such as this? I admit, I did a lot of feeling sorry for myself the first few days. I did a lot of soul searching, what did I want to do now that I had the time to do it? I was 9 months shy of full retirement, so it would not be easy to find a job at this point in my life and did I really want one? I thought about it a lot while searching the help wanted ads and sending out some resumes. What’s next, what do I do? I always wanted to write and so a week to the day after that terrible phone call, I posted my first blog post. Writing this blog has truly helped me get over all the feelings I was now feeling..those of inadequacy, loss and depression. I also signed up for unemployment and took Social Security in September. I decided to see what retirement was like. I must say it is fabulous.

Here are few final thoughts on the subject:

1. It’s just a job. It doesn’t define you or make you what you are. You can’t find what you are meant to be in any job. This comes from within and it is up to you to decide what that means to you. I have heard people say if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. While that may be true, it doesn’t always pay the bills. But we can certainly work for people who value us and enable us to live a life outside of work.

2. I could never make plans while working there. Even short term plans. I hadn’t been able to even schedule a dentist appointment as my schedule was always in flux. Having lunch or dinner with family and friends was really hit or miss. Most of the time even if I made it there at all, I was late. Now I have these regularly and realize what I was missing by working so hard and what I had given up for this company by doing so. I will never give up what is important to me for anyone or anything again.

3. We never know in this life what the next day will bring, so we need to live in the moment we are in right now. This moment… it’s all we have. Make the most of it!  Do what truly brings you happiness and joy. And spend time with the people you love!

I love this quote I found, “Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.” ~Unknown