It’s been a while since my last post, but a large reason for that is because I started a new job at the end of March! Between my new schedule, being tired at night from that schedule, and learning the ropes of my new role, I haven’t had much brain capacity for anything else.
I’m not here to talk about my new job, though. What I want to share with you are the things I got out of losing two different jobs in a matter of six months. Yes, you heard that correct. Can you say bad luck?
Last June, I was laid-off from a job after only being there for six months. I wasn’t the only one; the company let go a number of their employees, many of whom had worked there for five, ten, even fifteen years. It was a small family of friends and I met a lot of great people. The most stressful part of it for me was the fact that I was getting married in October.
I was fortunate enough to have only been unemployed for six weeks when I found a new job and started working again the first week of August. Guess I should have known it was too good to be true. Four months later, I was told that they were basically getting rid of my role and that come December 31st, I would no longer be employed there. I remember trying my absolute hardest to not a) Start laughing in their face as if they were playing a sick joke on me, and b) Begin hyperventilating at the thought of this happening again only a few months later.
This time, I was unemployed for three months. I know there are people who have gone much longer, and I am so sorry for that because I understand the boredom, the frustration, and the doubt that comes with it. I experienced these emotions and then some.
It’s also hard when you no longer have an income because you’re very limited to what you can do. Some days, the only time I left my apartment was to go to the gym. I watched way more TV than I would have liked, and since my days were uneventful, I wasn’t tired at night and would end up being awake until 3 a.m.
Being laid-off two times in the course of six months is basically unheard of and there were plenty of days when I felt completely worthless. However, the free time allowed me the opportunity to try new things as well as explore areas of my life.
Reasons why I benefited from being laid-off, twice:
- It gave me a clearer understanding of what I want career-wise. This is something I’ve really struggled with and still struggle with. However, my second time job hunting pushed me to be a little more specific about what sort of job I wanted to land. I prefer a creative environment, something neither of those two previous jobs offered. I was also really interested in learning more about marketing, so I made sure to include that in my search.
- I (finally) tried yoga. For years my mom has been saying I should do yoga to help with stress. After I sat down and realized yoga’s multiple benefits, along with stress relief, I found a nearby studio and signed up. I was concerned because it obviously wasn’t free, but my husband knew at that point my well-being was my #1 priority, and he also thought it’d be a good thing for me to try. I’m very glad I did because I enjoy every class I go to and I’m excited to keep improving and learning more.
- I became more aware of my health and diet. I’ve always struggled with finding a healthy balance in exercising and what I eat. I wouldn’t say I’m a terrible eater, but I also never paid attention to what goes into my body. I am, however, terrible at sticking to a regular workout schedule. I’ll keep it up for a couple of months, then fall back to going once or twice a week. Having so much free time allowed me to go to the gym every day, and I was there just about every day. I also looked up new recipes to try while paying more attention to what’s good for your body. I’ve noticed some muscle gain and small differences in certain areas I’ve always wanted to improve. With a new job, I’m really trying to make sure I stick to a regular schedule while staying more mindful of what I eat (but I never pass up an opportunity for pizza!)
- I gave more thought to this blog. While it was challenging to find something to write about since I wasn’t doing very much, I was able to put my energy blogging. I wasn’t posting all the time, but I was able to think about where I want to go with my blog, I came up with blog post ideas… heck, I’m still figuring it out. But I’m glad I could start understanding blogging a bit more so one day I can turn it into an occasional hobby.
- I struggled. I know it’s kind of a cliché concept, but I obviously see now that those struggles turned out to be a good thing. They weren’t fun at the time, of course, but they helped give me some sort of guidance figuring out what I want to do in life (besides travel).
Getting laid-off isn’t fun and I hope none of you have to experience it. But if it does happen, whether it’s in one year or ten years, try to take advantage of the free time you’ll have. While you should keep up with your job search, you can only do so much of it before you lose your mind. Use part of each day to look, but do other things as well. Try something new, read, or sign up for a class if you’re financially able.
I’m not saying it won’t be hard because I promise you, I was having a rough time and started to think it’d be months and months before I found something good. But if you can find ways to utilize your time, hopefully unemployment will be a little more bearable and maybe go by a bit quicker.