Sunday, May 15, 2011

Unemployment Quandries

Does our job define who we are? What happens when we lose our job? Does that make us less of a success? Does it mean we are a failure? Why is it that when something like this happens we tend to feel our sense of self all of a sudden and feel meaningless? Why is it that because we lose our job we feel inadequate, embarrassed even?

Is having a job really all that we are?

Friday afternoon I was "let go" by my boss, due to "our firm going in a different direction..."  Uh huh.  Different direction my big booty!  The loss of my job came as a complete shock to me.  Two months ago I had my mid year review and received nothing but praise and even a raise!  To say that the rug was pulled under my feet would be putting it mildly.  I am still in shock.  My boss went on to explain changes he was implementing in the coming weeks and since we were so small, someone (me) had to be the scapegoat.  He went on to say how it was a "very difficult decision." But he wished me "all the best."  This is the same boss that I complained about early last year.  The one that drove me to tears and sent me home  with my stomach in knots and my neck stiff as a board, most every night. 

 Losing my job  has me on a roller coaster of emotions. First I am in mourning, then the worries set in, and finally, panic. Oh I am trying to remain hopeful and optimistic and keep myself busy so as not to obsess about it, but all the while, the voices keep yelling at me: "Rent is coming up", "Car note is due", etc. Sometimes I can silence them, sometimes I can't. It's only been two days but it feels like an eternity.

And so I ask again, is our J-O-B what defines us and makes us who we are? Should we be measured by having a job versus not having a job? Does not having a job makes us any less of a person or a success? Why? Why not?

I realize I am babbling but these are questions that came to me as I find myself in my current situation. I know the difference between having a career and doing something you love versus just having a job and bringing home a paycheck. I've tried to look at my situation in terms of a "new slate", "starting over" but even then, the feelings of worthlessness and/or failure remain. And even, a sense of embarrasment.  Am I being too hard on myself? Of course I am. I realize that, but it makes me stronger in a way.  Like everyone else caught in this situation, I find myself having to make adjustments and decisions that I did not think I was ever going to have make and it sucks! It sucks really bad!   But I am resilient, this I know. And I will bounce back, once everything settles and I am back on my feet.  With the job loss came other news that crumbled my single, carefree, sometimes happy life. Within the span of a day, everything changed.

Ugh, change, changes! So many...

Tomorrow is another day...


David Batista said...

Oh my god, I'm so sorry to hear this, Yvonne!

I don't think having a job defines you, but is more of practical thing. You don't worry about not being a productive member of society at a time like this -- but about the roof over your head and being able to simply survive.

Jeez, I don't even have the words to describe how sorry I am for your loss. All I can do is wish you luck and hope you find something else fairly quick. Best case scenario is that you find a better job that doesn't send you home stressed and worried like this previous one. Hopefully it's only up from here.

Hang in there! I'll be thinking of you.

Project Savior said...

Losing your job is one of the most stressful things that can happen in life, I know I've had it happen 13 times. 11 times because my bosses got arrested, long story.
But remember it is nothing to be embarrassed about, it happens to everybody.
Good luck and remember that I'll be cheering for you.

Tracy said...

Oh my lord girl!!!! I know that sense of panic feeling. I am sorry Yvonne! I have no words to say that I am sure you have not already heard, but I do believe, it means that something much better is waiting for you!


Mustang Sally said...

Goodness girl! I feel you, do you suppose there was something in the air and we both caught it?

Everything that we experience has a hand in shaping who are, but I think it is how we react to said experiences that define us. Yes it's scarey and it SUCKS. We can either give in to those feelings or we can get back up and fight. It is that choice that defines who we are.

As they say "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger". Change never comes easy for me, but sometimes it's necessary. A door will open, you'll see. Best of luck to you.

Red Shoes said...

Wow... What a shock!

You aren't being too hard on yourself. I think it's normal to ask all of those questions that you are asking of yourself. It's kinda like the last girl friend I had... telling me she no longer loved me.. AFTER we had just finished sex... hmmm...

We are defined by our jobs... as much my ourselves as by others. Am I a teacher, or a university professor? One has a greater connotation of success than the other... but both shoes fit quite well.

Regardless of what the economy is, people need good people. In this economy was I able to get all of my quality graduates placed this year.

Keep your head up... you will land on your feet, and in much better position than you were when the rug was pulled from beneath you.

I have no idea how I found your blog...


Alessandra said...

Oh Yvonne, I know exactly what you mean, as it happened to me once, out of the blue, totally unexpected. ALl I can say is that you will find something else, and eventually things will get back to normal, no matter how long it takes.
Somebody once said that we Americans live to work, while the French work to live. I know it may sound corny, but I do believe there is some truth to it. Why else would we ask, as soon as we meet somebody, what their job is? I understand the emotions and feelings you're going through, but do not for a second think that it is somehow your fault or that you're no longer a productive member of society.
It's normal to have those emotions, just put the energy you get from it to good use and decide whether you want to continue in that line of work or change, now you have the opportunity! We're all here for you :)

S said...

So sorry to hear that. I went through the same thing almost exactly 3 years ago. WHAM! One day a gainfully employed citizen, and the next a victim of downsizing. Looking back, I am so grateful that it happened. It was truly devastating at the time and I was up to my eyeballs in stress. But everything happens for a reason and a better opportunity presented itself in just a matter of weeks. Same will happen to you. This is your chance to find the perfect fit. The job that quite possibly you actually WANT to define you. Hang in there. I wish you the best!

Belle said...

Whoa. I am so sorry, Yvonne.
I bet S is right and you will find something much better; a job that will make you happier. I am hoping and praying for that.

Yvonne said...

David -thank you for your thoughts and your words of encouragement, they are appreciated.

PS- Welcome and thanks for dropping by! Stressful indeed! I appreciate your words.

Tracy- I have faith that it means that too. Thank you.

MS- you're right. I refuse to let it control me or define me. We need to stop drinking out of the same glass! ;)

RS- Ouch! That's a sucky thing fory our ex to do! Thank you for your kind words and hope to see you around here again. I appreciate your encouragement!

Alessandra- I truly believe that as well! (what the French say) I'm going to try my best to keep my chin up and keep up the good fight. Thank you so much for your words!

S-I am trying to stay focused and calm and take this as a "new beginning" to something "better" for me. Thank you so much for your words!

Belle- I hope God is paying attention! :)

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

What a shock for you! I could tell how hard you worked for that firm, even when it wasn't the nicest most positive thing for you. I will hope and pray that you are able to have peace during this time and find something better- very soon! I know for me that I have always found something better comes of this sort of thing, but it is super hard to see that during the process.

Mynx said...

I am so sorry that htis has happened to you like that. Fingers crossed it will lead to better things

Anonymous said...

You'll find another job in no time. You are a person with substance and you will have people begging you to work for them! I'm praying for you hun, things will get better.

Yvonne said...

YRJ - I'm trying to keep that mind frame. I appreciate your thoughts!

Mynx- thank you for your thoughts, they are appreciated!

Ditzy- Thanks sweets! I appreciate all of your kinds words! :)

Cinderita said...

Yvonne! OH MY GOD! I was away when this happened and I'm justnow catching up! WHAT THE HELL!? I' so sorry to hear that. Wow. If you have some time, will you email me and just share how you are? I'd love to hear from you. x o