We got a bit of bad news at work recently. Due to the economic climate of the industry we’re in, the company is going to be laying off a number of both hourly and salary staff across all departments.
We don’t know how many. We don’t know what time frame. We just know that it’s already started.
If you’ve been following my blogs long enough, you’ll know that I was laid off from my last job back in 2011. It was, like it frequently is for most people, a major personal upheaval. While it ended up being good for me in the long-ish run, to say my confidence was shot would be a complete understatement. I would say that the majority of my confidence has returned, but there is still that nagging doubt in the back of my mind.
When they made the announcement last week, I felt sick.
I still feel sick.
If my recent performance review is any indication, I shouldn’t be one of the people let go. Shouldn’t, not won’t. Until the axe falls and the dust clears, there really is no way of knowing for any degree of certainty.
Usually I only head to The Boy’s house on the weekend, but that day I headed over there anyway. I needed a cuddle something fierce.
It’s hard to tell which is more difficult: losing your job, or waiting in limbo. When you lose your job you have the blow to your finances and confidence that come part and parcel with the situation, but you also have a fairly clear path forward: find a new source of income. When you’re waiting to find out if you’re staying or being let go, there is no definitive plan of action. Sure, you can brush up your resume and interview skills, put out feelers for places that are hiring, and contact potential references… but you’re still employed. You’re waiting. There’s a reason why suspense is utilized so frequently in horror movies; having your nerves stretched thin evokes a feeling of fear. Horror movies and I don’t get along.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I wish this was 6 months from now. Or even 4 months ago. Both situations where I anticipate having (or had) more free income handy than I have right now. I wish my car was long paid off, but it’s not, and these are the cards I have to play at this moment. It’s not great, but it is what it is. It’s certainly a better situation than I was in when I was laid off 2 years ago with a stifling car loan, a nearly maxed out line of credit and a hearty credit card balance.
Just to be perfectly clear, I’m still employed as of the time I’m writing this. My nerves are just a little bit shot.
And I’m looking into side gigs as a just in case.
What do you do to decompress and reduce stress when things are going sideways at work?
Recommended Reading: Doing your taxes: Myths, Reality Checks, and How soon to send them.