During this whole pandemic, everytime someone would ask me how I’m doing, I’d usually reply with some variation of “I hate it but I’m so grateful to be gainfully employed still, and to be able to work safely from home.” It is hard to feel justified complaining when so may people around me (and all around the world) were suffering so much. At least I was not suffering financially. Well, I found out on Wednesday that due to a reorg at my company, my job role was being elimintated. This came as a huge shock to me — not because I think I’m special — but because I know that my role is essential in our two-person HR team in the US. Also, I was the top performer on my team when we did performance reviews in January (this includes the rest of our global team in India). I even got a bonus. So yes, I was shocked to learn I’d been eliminated. My boss fought for me and lost, and I bear her no ill whatsoever. We were a great team, and this is the saddest part for me — that I no longer get to work for her.
About a year and a half ago I had written here about how I was looking for a new job. I even had a couple offers and was a “finalist” in a job I really wanted but did not get. Job searching is exhausting and demoralizing, so at that time, I decided to quit looking for a few months and regroup. Then the pandemic hit and as I said above, I was just happy to have a job. A few months into the pandemic my boss was hired, and then everything changed for me. I was still not super excited about the company as a whole, but my day-to-day improved dramatically and I was able to learn from and work with a really amazing woman. I am so grateful for this experience.
When the shock gave way to fear, all I could think about is insurance. Being unemployed is temporary, I know this, but the worry of being uninsured (or having my kids be uninsured) is terrifying. I am grateful that President Biden is mandating for companies to pay COBRA in full for employees who have been laid off, so we are covered for the next several months. My wonderful friends are already sending me leads, helping me spruce up my resume, and providing emotional support. My logical mind knows I will be okay. I’m trying to squelch the panic that keeps igniting within me in these horrible waves every hour or so. I know I can handle this. Everything is going to be okay. I keep saying that, over and over.
I know reframing this as an opportunity is the best approach to have, and in moments of great clarity and confidence (which are rare), I feel strongly that there are better choices in my future and I will find them. Like the title of my favorite self-help book, I am going to Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway. I mean, honestly, what choice to I have?
I also feel kind of angry, but I don’t want to write about it here right now. My smart friend, Carrie, has always told me that I have to look out for myself professionally because no one else will. Companies are going to do what’s best for their bottom line. I should not be surprised that my loyalty and hard work were not part of the consideration when deciding whom to let go.
I want to be a person who believes that things happen for a reason. I am not that person. I think that sometimes life is hard and scary and disappointing and that we have to rise to whatever is thrown at us as best we can. That is my plan. Please feel free to comment if you know any great companies, especially ones headed by women, that are hiring for HR or admin type work. Or if you want to give me a pep talk or any job hunting tips as I am open to advice and words of wisdom.