Monday, March 30, 2009

Unemployed, again

Time to get real. Today is my last official day in the office. A couple of weeks ago, my boss and I began a discussion that has ended in a decision to part ways. It's been hard not writing about this, but I needed to keep it confidential until the details were confirmed.

Transitioning into unemployment is both very similar and very different than it was a year ago. Last year my initial reaction was shock, heart-break, confusion. I didn't see it coming. But I also had lots of help: severance, a job outplacement consultant, and a network of untapped resources for informational interviews and job prospects.

This time around, I knew it was a possibility that things wouldn't work out. And when it came time to part ways, it felt right. Of course, it's still been difficult. This time there's no severance, no professional help, plus the awkward situation of telling former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances that I'm on the market...again.

All the old, familiar fears have floated up out of the woodwork like animated ghouls: "You'll go broke! No one wants to hire you! You're a looser! You'll never get a job in this economy!" Oh, and all the paperwork! Filing for unemployment. Transferring retirement accounts. Canceling...anything that can be canceled to save money.

And yet, there is also the calm, steady voice from within with its reassuring counter: "You're going to be okay. This part of your life has ended, but a new part is about to begin! You are one step closer to realizing new goals, new dreams, a new life."

So, I will go into the office today. I will pack up my picture frame, shoes, and extra coat. My bowl and bamboo utensils. The stapler I bought with my own money. I'll hand over my files, my key pass, my laptop. And I'll say goodbye to the dedicated, amazing souls that made working there a pleasure.

Then, I'll walk down the stairs, into the lobby that I first entered almost a year to the date. But this time, when I walk through the door, it will not be to an office and coworkers and business. It will be to a cool spring breeze, new flowers, blue skies and the old steady magnolia tree in its glory once more. And I will be okay.


  1. Wow. I had no idea. Good luck. I would love to know more if you feel like emailing me offline. Thinking of you.

  2. I'm so sorry that this didn't work out, but I think your voice within is right -- it will be okay. Hang in there!
    P.S. Does this mean you and Stella can come out to Fairfax for lunch again? :)

  3. As you've said before, every time you've changed jobs and/or not gotten a job you've ended up in a better situation that you were before. I'm sure this time will be no different. Good luck!

  4. Katie, you are amazing and strong! Big hugs.

  5. I'm sorry this happened, but you'll come out all right. One way or another this must have been quite an experience and you'll benefit from it.
    See you soon!

  6. Thanks for all the love & support, folks. Looking forward to what comes next, and in the meantime seeing you all more often (and/or writing & calling!)