2022-11-10 - 8:25 p.m.
Response to a Linked in POST ( cause exceeded the limit for the post's responses!)
Let's Talk Layoffs: During one layoff I took my whole family on a vacation to Disney and Epcot Center. I had literally ZERO debt at the time and decided I knew I was going to land another good job and it was the ONE time in my life I used a credit card and did not worry a thing about it. That was the best $5000 investment I have EVER MADE! Another time I was FIRED but so was about 1/3 of the company! That really helped ego and not feeling badly about self! The stories I was listening to were similar from each of the many fired folks. It was done very well planned, so about three people a week were let go quietly but if you paid attention you could see the pattern and writing on the wall. Merger; Acquisition; Redundancy of multiple folks in the SAME role when really only need ONE or two persons moving forward; internal competition, ugly self preservationist behavior on some folks part. I observed MANY let go took the FIRST Job they could find ! I watched some not confident and feeling so de-railed if not working a full time job as their identity was shaken once the foundation of work was pulled OR They did not have savings to be able to maintain their lifestyle for more than a couple months. ( Do you have a six month emergency fund? This is critical! ) I realized also some BELIEVED The BS they were told when they were fired. I observed seasoned professionals 15 years plus who were outstanding at their roles given "performance reviews" that created mirages of lacking the skill and competence needed! They did not notice the "pattern" of folks being fired. They were not social as I was and perhaps did not have the friendships I developed and did not hear the stories of the others. I heard all the stories and kept all confidences but most of all I KNEW that the stories spun when those fine folks were fired were NONSENSE as someone cared more about the profitability of the company than its people. Some cared about their stock valuation and the interest of the equity partners than cared about the smaller company they were within. Valuation was the business more than the services that the company was providing. I noticed a few of those took jobs that were not lateral moves, but demotion in title and I am sure salary. THIS IS THE SHAME OF COMPANIES THAT DO THAT. THEY devalue those who built their company AND its worth and sell them out with no loyalty and have no conscience in degrading, shaming and belittling the capable hard workers. Sadly some are susceptible to BELIEVING The lies that they were told that they were not performing well or not a good fit for the role they were in. THEY LOOK FOR DIFFERENT ROLES and some made themselves smaller because of a toxic environment during a reorg where a manager had diminished them ( typically in a self preservationist act.I mean that manager did not want to be fired!) This made me sad to watch as often those fired were not in fact lacking competence but in fact provided COMPETITION for those who remained! It was a Darwinist fight of survival of the fittest and in the corporate world the fighter will win every time. YET This comes at a cost. The companies lose the compassionate, capable and reasonable people who have heart and care about not only their work and the valuation and the success of the equity partner stock BUT ALSO ABOUT EACH OTHER. Companies that are successful in the long run have workers who are HAPPY and fulfilled and motivated because they are valued and in a place where they care about each other. That is not something that can be faked!
I NEVER want my foundation for my own self worth to be either a job or the amount of money I am earning! So I picked up the guitar to learn; started being creative; started my own company and welcomed the opportunity to work less and focus on what really matters more. I found part time work and knew my worth so sought a role asking for HIGHER pay than I made before! I knew I now had MORE experience and learned much in the last job so could demand more in the market. My finances and my job improved greatly!
Then I lost THAT great job
and you know I knew then it was not because I was not good but once again because my confidence was somehow seen as threatening to someone else.
I KNEW it was because of starting my own company.
This time it was/is HARDER as I DID NOT HAVE the six month nest egg! (That is critical!) I had made choices to use that for other people's needs ( family. I don't regret that as it was still the right decision. It in fact forced me to ask OTHER FAMILY to then help ME! It forced me to not be independent and to recognize in families we do help each other out. It made me want to be more generous with others after having literally been dependent on the love and support of my extended family for those few months!) * Although my church community may not feel this! It is generosity of TIME and wanting to be there for family- not money (As haven't it to give just now) but you know I think I will never again feel impatient when I get that call from that best friend who needs to talk and be listened to for over an hour ever again when she is in need.
And now at this juncture
I know I will continue to budget for those times not working BUT THIS Time I am not only going to budget for the daily, monthly expenses BUT ALSO with the goal of that Extra 5-7K rainy day fund , and ZERO Debt on a credit card ( so it is available! It is NOT just now!) as the one regret is that when let go this time around I do not have the means to travel to be with family who live further away as well as pay my mortgage and essential bills for a few months..
However, I am still grateful for the time NOT working full time. I am grateful for the ability to walk my dog leisurely and to practice guitar and to write. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to drive kids to their events and support them where they are at without having to leave the house for over 40 hours a week elsewhere.
I am so grateful my foundation feels like HOME and not my job. Even when there are challenges. I feel like that is still quite a blessing!