The Greatest Time to be Living Life Laid Off

by Mariam Williams

I’ve seen and heard a few quotes this week that make me feel as though something good is brewing for me. The first is from my pastor, said at bible study yesterday:

“There are few things more exciting than when your life starts to make sense.”

Making sense of why certain events happen, understanding the of the order of things, bathing in the light of the “aha moment” … I’ve had some exciting insights since I began living life laid off.

It was actually several weeks ago that I came to the conclusion that’s also the title of this post. Okay, so there’s never a “great” time to be laid off, but if I had to be drafted to team jobless, I guess now is a pretty good time in my life to get the call.

Apparently, it was time for me to leave my job. It had started out as exactly the job I was looking for: an entry-level position in the field I wanted to go into that also made good use of skills I had already developed and would ready me for greater pursuits. But over time, the job became unchallenging and unsatisfying, and at the time of my layoff, I was already looking for work elsewhere. I’m sure God knew I wasn’t happy there. I’m sure he also knew that the one person in the whole building who really “got” me was going to be leaving for another position in another state, and I would’ve been employed without my confidant and mentor. To be honest, I’m thankful that I was spared that potentially distressing experience.

I’m also thankful that I’m in my late twenties, single, I don’t have any children, I don’t have a mortgage, and – I’m embarrassed to say – my mom still takes care of a lot of things for me, like my car. This means I have no major responsibilities sitting in front of me that demand that I take any kind of job that comes along, which is good, because I had any kind of job.

That solely personal responsibility makes this the closest-to-ideal time for me to be living life laid off. This is time that I can use to explore, to research every business idea that comes to mind, to learn new skills, to start blogging! And it’s a time to be excited. Within about a month of my layoff, I changed the quote box on my Facebook page to, “I am pumped about life’s new opportunities!” (No, it doesn’t say that now, but I’m still pumped.)

I hear from different news outlets at least once a week – about the frequency with which I can bare to watch such depressing programming – that this exciting time of exploration and opportunity isn’t just for unmarried, childless, 20-somethings. It’s for anyone willing to learn a new skill, start her own business, or think creatively to either save money or reinvent herself.

I have a new idea on how to reinvent myself almost every day. And here’s the quote that’s made me feel I’m not alone in my thoughts:

“[A friend on Facebook] is pensive and taking ideas on what to be up to next in her life.”

Which reminds me, THERE’S A NEXT! That seems obvious, but when you were a dedicated employee, you had become an expert in your industry, you had become accustomed to a certain standard of life, you’re puzzled as to why the axe came down on you, your résumés are getting ignored, no one is hiring anyone with your particular skills and talents, and no one seems to know when we’re going to get out of this crisis, it’s easy to forget the existence of next.

It’s even easier to forget to be “up to” something. I remember in the 18 months before I found the job that I had for 18 months before being laid off, I filled my days with volunteer hours. I also remember that people and organizations that benefited from my skills and talents on a voluntary basis were more grateful than my former employer. I’m volunteering again and feeling helpful and appreciated again, but I know there’s still a next. I’m sure of that because of another quote I was reminded of yesterday:

“[My word] will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – God

© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.



Filed under Economy, Lifestyles, money, Recession, Unemployment

2 responses to “The Greatest Time to be Living Life Laid Off

  1. I believe it’s easier to get work when you’ve got work.

    This is working. Keep it up!


  2. Pingback: An Economy of Humility « Pink Slip Blog - Living Life Laid Off

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