Skip to main content

Being Intentional After A Layoff

One week ago today, I was laid off. It's still rather surreal. But I believe even in a layoff, one can be intentional.

Today, working for a company more than a few years is rare. There was a time when being an employee for one, two, or even three decades was admired and rewarded. In the tech industry, three years seems the average. 

After three years, a worker can become an oddity. With nine years at AOL, I must've been a fossil. I wondered sometimes if people thought I had no ambition to "climb the corporate ladder." Or if I was one-dimensional and didn't wish to better myself. Else, why would one stay at the same job for nine years?

For me, being Senior Project Manager for Engadget was fun and challenging - two things that a job must be if you're to remain at it. While not every day will be fun, you should overall enjoy your coworkers and enjoy going to work each day. By challenging, I don't mean that every day is a struggle - although some will be - but that you are presented with tasks and situations that require your skills to resolve.

When a job overall isn't fun and isn't challenging, it's time to move on.

There were moments when I considered moving on from AOL but the timing wasn't right. I didn't have a peace about leaving. Fact is, I was unlikely to get fired from my gig and just as unlikely to quit. Being laid off was the only way the Lord could move me onto the next chapter.

People are stunned when they find out you've been laid off. And while many aren't sure what to say, I've been asked three questions in one form or another consistently:
  1. Did you see this coming? While I knew Verizon's purchase of Yahoo would lead to layoffs, I had no indications that I would be a laid off.
  2. What's next? I honestly do not know. Maybe I continue with tech publications or project management. Maybe I lead app product development. Maybe I return to broadcast radio or television production or marketing. Or maybe I go into the ministry or write novels. I honestly have no idea and while that's a little scary, I have a peace that the Lord will clarify and He will provide. He always has.
  3. How can I help? Pray. Please pray that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is I need to be doing and where. Pray that I have a peace on that decision and that all other options are clearly presented as paths not to take. 
Also, you can help by looking at my LinkedIn resume and letting me know if you come across anything relevant.

For now, I've been given a gift. I have to be intentional and look at this situation as a gift. I have a chance to enjoy the summer even more than usual with my family. I have a chance to rebuild myself - to start over or strengthen. This is also a chance to honestly show my faith. Some have expressed how encouraging I have been to them in my processing of these changes. While that's a blessing, I know that I am not perfect. Last Friday, I was snippy with Kim & G and have been processing every emotion from being content to thinking that I'm discarded garbage. That my skills weren't good enough to be kept.

But these are toxic thoughts and not being intentional. Being intentional during a layoff means:

  1. Updating your LinkedIn - It's the easiest way to find a new job and network. Update your Recommendation section. Nothing showcases your skills and personality better than peer reviews of coworkers and supervisors.
  2. Tell friends and family how to pray for you - Everyone will want to "pray for you" but you'll help them and yourself by telling them how to pray for you specifically. Then, keep them updated so those prayers can be accurate.
  3. Be willing to be willing - Unless you plan on going into a similar job, be open to change. This is a transition period. Embrace it as much as possible.
  4. Enjoy the time - Make it a priority not to rush into another position. Spend time with family an friends. Try a hobby. Go on a trip. Relax. Breathe.

Here's to the next chapter...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NEA Is Full Of It

"When did you become some political?"

That question is asked of me routinely by random friends in various wording. Fact is, five years ago, before moving from Mississippi to the DC Metro, the extent of my political expressions were limited to voting in elections. I didn't discuss or write about politics. Frankly, I rather despised politics. These days, it's impossible to be a conservative and not speak up while living near DC.

Limiting the amount of political sharing on my Facebook page is a daily goal. After all, no one wants to only hear about one genre from someone all the time. Sadly, there's a lot of material out there that most of us shield our eyes and ears to it or have it spoon-fed by the the media instead of researching and forming our own conclusions. At least two people have defriended me on Facebook and several more dropped off my Twitter feed as a result of my conservative views. Their loss.

Some things simply must be shared. Such as the recent even…

See You Around, Mike

Three weeks ago, I attended the memorial service of a dear Brother in Christ. Sunday, June 10, would've been his 56th birthday.
I miss my friend. But what's sad is that I didn't miss Mike until he was gone.

At least in the middle of the odd month, but definitely by the last week of it, Mike would always reach out to me with a request. It was usually to load a certain worship music video or some game show music. Sometimes, he needed some specific slides created or sound effects. Mike put a lot of thought into preparing the lessons.

For certain lessons, Mike asked the kids to write something that was bothering them or something that was a sin. Then he had them take hammer and nail to that card and attach it to an old rugged cross. Mike often brought in props to physically connect the Bible stories to the kids. For example, when he dressed as an innkeeper and walked in a wheelbarrow full of fresh cow manure. He was adding the smell of a barn to the lesson just to help set th…

Risks Of Being Vulnerable

Being vulnerable can be so rewarding. It can also be horrifically disappointing. Stereotypically for guys, being vulnerable with thoughts and feelings is simply against a man's nature. It doesn't come naturally. Emotions are saved for when men are alone or to share only with spouses or best friends. I think of the Tom Hanks line from A League of Their Own: "There's no crying in baseball!" Anger seems to be permitted but not fear, worry, or tears. More often I've seen people apologize for getting upset or tearing up than for showing an angry or passionate reaction. 

The more reflective emotions seem to be reserved for women. It seems stereotypically more natural for women to be shedding tears or showing concern. Yet, too much or too frequent emotional displays can also bring scoffing or ridicule.

It's like there's no winning when it comes to being vulnerable. This is why being vulnerable is hard and requires intentionality. 

The reality is that being vuln…