I’m about to share something deeply personal with you—a journey through a layoff after I spent an incredible 27 years with the same company. This captures my raw emotions and candid reflections on a rollercoaster ride of change, resilience, and introspection. So, grab a seat and let’s dive into this story together.
The Shocking Call
Picture this: It’s a regular Monday morning in early October 2023, and I’m hopping onto what I thought was a one-on-one call with my manager. Surprise! HR is on the line, and I’m hit with the news—I’m being laid off. Despite my leadership experience, I had no say in this decision. Shocked and caught off guard, I began this unexpected chapter in my life.
In the days that followed, I decided to do some audio recordings to unpack my emotions and share my journey. I wanted to break the silence and secrecy surrounding layoffs and give you a real glimpse into what life after one looks like.
Navigating the Unknown
What sets this journey apart is that, prior to this, I had been researching layoffs from a manager’s perspective. I conducted research on the topic of managing layoffs for over four years, producing a dissertation, completing my PhD requirements, and later publishing a book on the topic. Now, I am living through it as an employee. I talk about the challenges of losing the structure that my job provided and how it left me feeling overwhelmed.
Support and Self-Compassion
During these trying times, I discovered the incredible power of a support system—friends and family who were there for me. I have been able to draw parallels to my battle with breast cancer, emphasizing the importance of self-compassion and reminding myself that a layoff doesn’t define my worth.
The Unpredictable Journey
Let’s face it—there’s no one-size-fits-all playbook for life after a layoff. It’s a unique journey for each of us, much like the diverse experiences of cancer patients. I encourage you to learn from others’ experiences while crafting your own path forward.
While I cherish the memories of my long and fulfilling career, I’ve come to accept that life will never be the same—and that’s perfectly fine. I reminisce about the “good old days” with prior colleagues, understanding that moving forward means embracing change.
A Message of Hope
In sharing my story, I hope to let you know that you’re not alone in your journey through a layoff, whether it’s from the perspective of a manager or employee, and someone laid off or a survivor remaining in the organization. I want you to find comfort and inspiration in my experiences, knowing that I speak from a place of love, compassion, and empathy.
Life after a layoff is a challenging road, filled with uncertainty and self-discovery. I invite you to walk alongside me on my journey, where resilience and self-compassion light the path through the darkest of times. Remember, there’s always a way forward, even when the road seems tough.