Good Day People!!
I wanted to share an update of how I’ve been living, learning, and growing this past year.
I received a promotion to manage a team back in 2017. I finally had it fully staffed with superb individuals and was ready to take 2018 by storm showing the powers that be what we were capable of accomplishing.
The excitement and eagerness lasted approximately 2.5 months when the ‘budget cuts began’. Mind you I worked at a bank and slow seasons are not uncommon. My group didn’t fuss, I had a vision and a plan. My team was on board and willing to do what it took, because they believed.
I’m the type of supervisor that likes input. I have ideas, but sometimes I need folks to tell me that my bold idea needs toning down a bit. I thrive on that. Tell me a flaw in my plan and I’ll rework it. I want us ALL to shine so let’s do this together.
So we worked the plan with the smaller budget and working with what we had not asking for anything other than extra time when needed. We were off, making progress, getting great feedback, then the shenanigans began.
Suddenly my team wasn’t needed at the capacity I had it. So one member of the team made the ultimate sacrifice and left. We revamped and divided up what was needed and got back to work. Making progress but slower than before. Then round two of cuts and process changes came. Now we are all beginning to see the writing on the wall.
“Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready”, is what my hubs always says to me. Meaning, stay prepared so that whatever happens is not that big a deal. Similar to have a spare at all times, just in case.
Then finally after losing another team member and doing work of 6 with just 2 and a half (I still had to do Supervisor stuff), it was just a matter of time.
So the team and I began making sure our resumes where updated and our reference contacts where in place. We used our time wisely. You need to take a class this week? Take it. Need to brush up on interview skills or organization? Take a free class at the library or unemployment office. Research your dream profession. Take the steps you need.
I reworked my budget to the bare bones and made sure I was adding to my savings as much as I could. Learned to coupon and meal prep. Then….. to my surprise….. found out I was pregnant!!
Skiiirrrrttttt! Yep at almost 40 and having experienced a miscarriage just shy 2 years ago, here we go again! I have 3 beautiful children and 1 sweet grandchild, so my life is blessed already. I wasn’t mad at it but I was worried. I knew a lay-off was coming but would it be after I had the baby or not? I rolled with it. Now due to the previous miscarriage, we opted not telling the kids until we got that all clear. Seems to be the 7-8 week mark for me, when stuff goes wrong. So I made it to the appointment, should have been 8 weeks 3 days at ultrasound time, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. So the next few weeks were torture, trying to work and be a mom and not being able to show all the emotions I was going through. The depression I was fighting daily was killing me. During my recovery time at home, I did some soul searching.
After getting my diagnosis from the doctor, I had to begin taking care of me. We as women and more often times us women of color, we take on so much and leave ourselves so little. I was giving my all to people who would replace me in a second if I dropped dead. So at that moment, in the doctors office, crying and looking at all this medication, I got angry. No. More. As I’m walking to my car, this older black lady saw me, she saw I needed comfort, and she grabbed my hand, looked deep in my eyes, and said ‘You will be fine. Stand up tall and take back what was taken.’
I realized in that moment I needed to make my life better. No one was going to be able to do that for me but me. I had to improve my mental and physical and not give any f*%#s about that job. As my coworkers fondly reflect upon that day of my return to work; I. Was. Done.
I used the time to study and obtain my Insurance Producer License and get feedback from others in my field on how to branch out on my own. After finishing my classes, I wrote a plan. I would work in my field of study. I would do so at the pay I deserved and I would make it so I had a proper work/life balance. I prayed on it. I asked the universe on September 1st to make me uncomfortable and make me get out of my own way. 30 days after that request, I found out my team and I were going to be laid off.
After the shock, despair, hurt, and anger of it all left me, I was thankful. I am moving forward. I am making changes. Negotiated time for my team to look for other work while continuing to work since it is holiday time. Made sure they were offered overtime and received time for interviews. Made sure they left on solid footing. Then 30 days later it was my turn. I left with grace, dignity, references, and thankfulness. I am grateful for the opportunity to have grown and learn. I won’t forgot this time of my life.
After 3 years of the same routine, I still wake up promptly at 5:15am. I know this will change in the weeks to come. I have no alarm set and turned the coffee pot back to manual. I have decluttered my bedroom space. Cleaned out all my email boxes. We have organized the laundry room and garage. I’ve dropped off items at the shelter. I have begun to set up my office space to function. I have made a new plan. I will use this time wisely to work on myself. I will put honest effort into my goals. I will continue to ‘stay ready’.
This is day three of unemployment.
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