Forgive the horrible Candace Bushnell reference, but last week I was laid off for the first time in my life. It was 100% a fiduciary decision that affected half of my company, but it still sucks nonetheless. I’ve been fired before, but even in my early days at Oxygen Media, where the number of employees changed almost weekly, I somehow managed to escape lay-offs unscathed.
I was made aware of the impending lay-offs a week before I was going with Mr. Delicious on vacation. We were heading to LA to visit Cindy and her family. I made a decision to just enjoy my time away and worry about my semi-employment when I got back. (I do have another job, but sadly this was the bigger money maker, the one I need to, you know, pay my rent.) Not stressing about the lay-off is an extremely un-me decision. I stress. All the time. I’m a ball of stress. But I decided to simply accept the fact that I couldn’t change the circumstance and let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to job search on vacation, so why not just have fun and enjoy? There’d be plenty of time to stress when I got back.
I do have savings, which of course, I don’t want to use, but I won’t be out on the street anytime soon. However, the thing that’s actually causing me the most uncertainty is losing my flexible work schedule and remote options. I’ve been working from home at least 3 days a week for almost 5 years. I’m spoiled! I go to CrossFit in the morning. I do my grocery shopping and laundry during the day. I cook. I can pick up Mr. Delicious early if he wants. In other words, I have a wonderful life where I can work and get shit done.
Obviously being a writer is part of this flexibility but I’ve been fortunate to work for companies that treat me like an adult and trust I’ll get my work done. They don’t care if I’m at my desk at 9am or 9pm as long as my deadlines are met. And because I so value my time and schedule, getting my work done has never been an issue because I make it a priority. I’ve also had two jobs for these past 5 years and the reality is I might lose both of them. The odds on me finding something else part-time and flexible are long. The result might be a need to leave my other role for one full-time position. It’s been so long since I’ve had something like this, and while part of me thinks it would be nice to not be torn in two directions and feel like I’m constantly juggling, the other part of me loved the diversity of two very distinct positions.
It was creatively challenging and honestly kept me on my toes. There was surprisingly some creative overlap here and there that came in handy and allowed me to reference one job to the other. And both knew about each other and worked with me to create a flexible schedule and keep it fluid when need be. I was beyond fortunate.
But now I move into my next phase of my career. One that has endless possibilities for me professionally should I want to switch things up or shift them in high gear. I must admit to being a tad nervous about what the future holds as I haven’t had to think about it much. And while I know I’m capable of anything, the question becomes, what do I want?
Stay tuned…Oh and if you know anyone who needs a good writer…