The time I lost my job

So. I usually stay away from overly personal subjects on the blog. Occasionally I might reference a bad day at work or a new gentleman-friend, but for the last few years, I’ve tried to keep the focus on running and recipes. However, the fact that I was laid off on Wednesday is probably going to affect my running, my meals, and my mood, so I figured it was blog-appropriate material.

Yup, laid off. The job I’ve held for the last 4+ years was eliminated and I, along with many other co-workers, are now out of work. Does it suck? Was I upset? Absolutely. I really liked my boss and co-workers, it was a stable job, and I was comfortable there. I was a mess on Wednesday night. I cried for 3 hours, talked to my parents about 12 times, and generally just felt bad about the whole situation.

But on Thursday morning, I woke up in quite possibly the best mood I’ve been in, in a long time. To be honest – I sort of fell into this job and never imagined myself doing it for the long term. But 2008-2011 wasn’t exactly the best time to be job hunting, you know? So I stayed. But over the last few months, I’ve seen friends move on to pursue jobs that really excited them, to apply to grad school, to change careers. I wanted to make a change, but could never get myself motivated to do it. Sure, I would look at job postings and send out my resume every once in awhile, but the attempts were always half-hearted.

If you read my post from earlier this week, you know that Tuesday was not a good day. I was feeling so unmotivated and blah about everything – work, running, life. I remember thinking – “I wish something, anything would happen. I need to get out of this funk.” Well, be careful what you wish for, right? I thrive best when there’s a little bit of pressure (I think everyone does), so if anything, being laid off was probably the best thing that could have happened to me professionally. I mean, losing your job sucks, don’t get me wrong. And there are moments when I’m convinced I am going to be homeless and living on the streets 4 months from now (even though my parents say they won’t let that happen). But I needed this push. I was at this job for 4 years and while it served its purposes, it was not what I wanted to be doing and I was not being compensated fairly. To be honest, I probably should have left awhile ago. The situation could be worse – I have a few weeks of severance coming my way, I’m eligible for unemployment, and my boss promises an A+ recommendation letter. I think it’s safe to say that I’m actually excited about this opportunity for change. I don’t think I realized how unhappy and stalled I felt until the safety net of the job was gone. Of course I’m a little scared, but I also feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Just think of the possibilities that lay ahead! It’s exciting to know that the course of my life is going to change direction, for the better. Sometimes you make choices to alter your life, but sometimes life makes those choices for you. This time it’s the latter.

I’m taking the next few days to chill out and pull myself together, but next week my plan is to start networking like crazy, meet with some recruiters, and polish up my resume. And you know? Training for a marathon while not working is actually very good timing. Think about how much time I can devote to foam rolling, stretching, lifting, and running! Imma be so jacked come April 16 (maybe). And the good thing about running is that’s it’s essentially FREE, which is perfect because now is not the time for excess expenditures. So if you want to come along for the ride, stay tuned. There will be a lot of running, a lot of economical, home-cooked meals, and maybe a few meltdowns. But I’ll try to keep those to a minimum.

Lastly, when my friend Sara wrote me this message on New Year’s Eve, I immediately knew I wanted it to be my mantra for the year. Little did I know how applicable it would be!

Okay. So tell me – do you have any advice for the newly unemployed? An online media/PR job lead that you want to share?

Do you want to run with me in the middle of the day (I have the time!) or maybe just join me at the bar as I drink away my sorrows ?

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Well I am SO glad you are taking this approach to the situation. I know how terrifying this sort of thing can be. Thank goodness you have a supportive family and if I lived in NY and wasn’t a pregger I’d totes have a drink with you or go on a slow run (because I am just not a fast runner). 

    I hope you find an awesome job soon because I know you’ve got a lot to offer. Good luck sister, I’ll be praying for you.

  • Sorry to hear about the job, Megan. But it sounds like you have a great attitude to take advantage of this new life opportunity, so I wish you the best!  Good luck with everything!

  • amy

    Sorry to hear this… but…

    I was laid off last May from a job I had been at for almost nine years. I spent a month out of work, and then landed in a position that I could not have dreamed up in my wildest “I would LOVE that job” fantasies.

    Life has a way of balancing.

  • Ekahn21

    Hey Megs!!  believe me…I FEEL YOUR PAIN 🙂 no worries…i know that the future has wonderful things in store for us!  I love the way you basically expressed exactly what I was feeling in your post- you rock…keep on writing for sure!  totally down for a daytime run next week! I’ll email you! Enjoy your first weekend of freedom!

  • Amy

    Also, if you have a contact email, I can set you up with my incredible recruiter who was astounding in finding positions he knew I was right for.

  • Jet

    Hello Megan, I completely understand how you feel.  When I was laid off from my job.  I was in shock for a little while.  It did not hit me until I got into my car and the tears started flowing but that was all the crying I did.  I think it is wise to tell your family so they can provide emotional support (I did not tell my parents until 3 mths later-not a wise move in retrospect).  During the time I was laid off, I actually volunteered with my local employment center, one it gave me an opportunity to get some experience in an area I was interested and two, I was able to help others who had less education, skills etc. and I could network with employers, the staff in looking for new opportunities for myself.  If you can, do something you always wanted to do, I found that being laid off gave me a freedom and flexibility to try new things that I wouldn’t have before because of my work schedule.  I admit that it was scary, I had a mortgage, student loans etc., I eventually landed a job but I looked back on that time as the most fulfilling time in my career. It was an unplanned sabbatical from work.  I learned alot about myself and what was really important to me. Wishing you all the best, and spread your wings during this time…

  • This means you can run with me at 2pm on Tuesdays!!  (I mean, if my hip agreed, whatever.)  But really…I’m sorry about your job, but I think you have a great outlook on it.  People often stay in jobs and activities they aren’t necessarily happy in just because they’re comfortable, so maybe this was the kick in the pants you needed to get out there and look for something else.  Obviously you’d feel more secure if it was on your own means and you didn’t have to freak out about rent or anything, but that’s great that your parents are being supportive as well.  I don’t really have any connections for you unless you want to become a nurse (I’m guessing no…), but good luck in the search and try to enjoy the extra free time at least a little bit!

  • I’m so sorry Megan. There’s no way around saying that being unexpectedly laid off sucks. But I think your attitude is amazing. I love the positive outlook you have AND I do believe that this can lead to great things. Good luck with the job search. I can’t wait to see you “all jacked” for April 16th. I’m gonna be in awe of your running skillz.

  • I’m sure the unexpected lay off is scary, but I think you have a great attitude towards it, like many other people here have said. As Phil Dunfy says, “It’s like they say that sometimes when God closes a door, he closes it so hard your wife gets stuck inside.” Ok, maybe that doesn’t help you, but I’m here for you and seeing as I can run around 30-40 min now, I can join you for midday runs!!!

  • Jen

    Try Warby Parker- a lot of new jobs just went up at this great company:

  • So sorry, Megan, that sucks. BUT, as I’d expect from reading your blog for 2+ years, your attitude is terrific. You’re an amazing writer and the economy is finally turning so I hope the time off will be short. (my nerdy side hobby is resume rehab/writing so I’d be happy to take a look. I mean, I just wrote a resume for my brother and he’s a Buddhist monk, so anything is possible!)

    Keep your chin up — keeps the martinis from dribbling! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    good lead, thanks!

  • Anonymous

    daytime runs + happy hour with lindsay and karen. let’s make this happen asap!

  • Anonymous

    that is very encouraging to hear! thanks for the positive comment 🙂

  • Anonymous

    thank you for the encouragment Diana! your comments always make me smile 🙂

  • Anonymous

    good idea re: young professionals networks. i think my alumni association has an active “graduates of the last decade” group. i am going to try to connect with them.

  • Anonymous

    yes!! running company is always needed/appreciated. i run all over the place….WSH, CP, PP. wherever. where’s your go-to route?

  • Anonymous

    ahaha, love the shout out to day time drinking. but seriously – i can finally hit up the 4pm happy hours!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Tara 🙂 I’m so glad you find the blog inspiring, comments like this are what keep me writing!

  • Anonymous

    yes! let’s hang out in the ‘hood. seriously. i am all about making friends via the internet. are you a runner as well? you must live pretty close to me 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Sesa – I will be in the Bay Area at the end of March! Perhaps we can meet up for a run? I’m flying in Sun, March 25 and will be in SF until Wed, March 28.

  • Anonymous

    dude, don’t worry. NYC 4 lyfe.

  • Anonymous

    good for you for taking charge and making a change! i’m really excited to see what comes next (even if it means i’m without a paycheck for awhile…). good luck and thank you for the sweet comment 🙂

  • Sesa

    I have a half on the 25th but can meet the day after. As long as we keep the pace nice and slow 🙂

    The Bay Area running bloggers are a pretty social bunch, and I think you know some of them. I’ll see if we can arrange something. Maybe a run then drinks? I’ll ask around and send you an email.

  • Anonymous

    yes!! that would be awesome. and i am all about runnin’ easy.

  • schottmelissa

    Amazing! I try to never let things like loosing jobs or life crises get in the way, rather use it to fuel your motivation! So proud of you! Bloggers/runners have real lives too, but that’s not going to stop us from getting to our goals =]

  • I love this post.  It makes me happy because you are taking a negative situation and turning it into a great opportunity.  It IS a great opportunity.  I’m applying for jobs right now for when I’m done with grad school in 8 days!! If you want to form a support group just let me know!!! It is exhausting but so exciting. I’m so excited for you! My number one tip: linkedin is your friend.

  • Player_stacy

    I was laid off about 6 years ago while I was contemplating going to grad school. I was nervous about taking the leap but I think getting laid off gave me that extra push. Looking back, it was the best thing because now I am in a career I LOVE.  When you get laid off, its embarrassing, depressing, scary, etc…and you feel so lost. But sometimes, things like these have to happen in order to make way for better things to come along. My advice is this: take this time for yourself- to explore what you want to do, ask yourself questions, be unsure….and: don’t let the bastards get you down. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.  

  • Hey Megan, sorry to hear about your job.  You have the right attitude though- chill and relax for a couple of days (daytime tv, long runs in the middle of the day and of course, early happy hour), then get hunting 🙂  I am moving to NYC in one weeks time and I will be in the job hunting boat too! I hear the economy is in the best place in 4 years for thats a start! 🙂 Please post any good ideas or resources you come across!

  • Angela (SF Road Warrior)

    Been there (more or less) and I know exactly that feeling you mean about being simultaneously terrified but also excited. Sometimes it takes a scary kick in the pants to get you out of something safe and “meh” & working towards something you can get really excited about.

    I hear you’ll be out in in the Bay Area in March! 🙂

  • Liz

    Omigosh! As a long-time follower and only occasional poster, this is shocking! (Plus that whole not-knowing-you-in-person thing!) I had caught a few hints of you not being that thrilled with your job but you know what? I can’t imagine a more perfect frame of mind for entering this new chapter of your life. You’ve moved past the boo-hoo-hoo stage (which is required to go through, of course, before moving to any other stage), addressed what you’re going to do to find your next opportunity, and it even gives you more time to pursue training kinda whenever you want! (What I wouldn’t give for that some days …)

    Your outlook is admirable, and good for you for looking at it as a positive opportunity! It will require a little less of everything for awhile (besides running), but it’s doable. Keep your head up and think positively – I’m sure you’ll find what you want! Good luck! And if you want any networking opps in Cincinnati, Ohio, hee hee I’ll see what I can do 😉

  • Wow, this is the week for this! My husband got laid off too. Your attitude is exactly the right one to have – it’s like a spring rebloom and time for change. Good luck with your job hunt!

  • Katie

    1) It was so good to see you Saturday! You are supa baller for drinking margaritas with us the night before your early race.
    2) Sorry again for your job situation.  It’s unsettling and that part is scary, but as you said… this wasn’t the job for you, and although having it taken from you isn’t ideal, it’s a sign (yes!) that it’s time for you to move on.
    3) Funemployment dates for the win!

  • meg

    I can only imagine the waves of emotion you must be going through, but it seems like you’re riding them well and will come out of this in a better spot.  You’ve really got me thinking, as I’m in a similar spot you were in- in a job I don’t enjoy, but hey, it pays the bills (reasonably enough)…I’ve only thought about looking for other jobs, haven’t sent out any resumes, and don’t even know what exactly I want, but I think I’ve been waiting until I get laid off to start the search.  (Not laid off yet, but these are still uncertain times…)  You’ve inspired me to re-evaluate, look around, and try to really figure out what I want to do with my life.  Good luck in your search, and happy mid-day running!  Savor the sunshine!!

  • Erin Cochran

    Super delayed response! I am a runner in a kinda slow kind of way – just started three years ago. Right now I’m theoretically training for my third half marathon, if NYRR ever opens the Brooklyn half up for registration…*shakes fist at the registration gods*

    If you ever want to take it easy for a run some time, I’m game. I’ve been doing a lot of solo running lately, which is loooonely.

    I declare a partay at Hot Bird! Also I’ve heard good things about the Brooklyn Tap House on Myrtle.

  • Anonymous

    i’ve been wanting to check out the BK Tap House! also, i’m headed to Hot Bird for a friend of a friend’s bday get together on the evening of Saturday, March 24. you should stop by! i think it’s going to be a very casual get-together 🙂

  • Any and all of the above! I’ve actually never run in PP, but I do CP at least once a week, and same with WSH. I’m typically a morning person, but maybe a weekend afternoon? Into it!

  • Well, I don’t know where to begin after reading this post.  You are one of only a few on my “I need a push to get out the door and run so I’ll read this…” blogs.  I mean, I love to run, but I moved to a much colder, farther north, and darker region last year than anywhere that I have lived before (at least when I wanted to run) and it has presented new challenges.  I also like many of your recipes.  And I have never commented because I get lazy and think about a cool thing to say and then don’t type it.  So, long way of saying that I am finally commenting because I am stoked that you are looking forward with your life this week.  It can be scary, but you’re going to come out of this in a new and amazing place in your life!  I don’t have as much sage advice as I would like, just support.  Run, enjoy friends- and cocktails, and go for whatever you want in life.  You can do it!  🙂

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the encouragement! It means a lot to know I have people out there rooting for me 🙂

  • Erica

    Hi – I realize I am a little late on this post. I am an avid reader of your blog. Though I don’t typically leave comments on blogs I thought this deserved a response. 

    I was laid off my my job four years ago. I was an investment banker living a grueling life for six years and was miserable. After a lot of whimpering and trying to decide how to pick up the pieces I sorted out my life.  Three years later I have started a private equity firm and have learned that some of the biggest losses can be the best thing to happen to you.  Try and stay positive. Give yourself some time to think and decide what you want to do before you make your next move. As scary as it may be, try not to rush in to anything because you dont get these types of opportunities all the time.  Think of yourself as lucky!

    I am looking to find a running coach and am willing to hire you part time if you will make me a better runner!  🙂  Good luck!

  • Eileen

    Man, I’m so sorry about your job, but I love your attitude. Your blog is really, really good — I’m sure it will lead you to bigger, better things. Good luck!

  • I’m way behind on blog-reading, and just got to this.
    First: I’m sorry to hear you lost your job!
    Second: Hang in there, another job will appear. And in the meantime, keep your resume current with volunteering and freelancing so there are no gaps.

  • So sorry to hear about this – I know exactly what you’re going through! I faced the same thing a few years ago. Looking back, it’s the best thing that could have happened to me – I’m now in a job I like a lot better and making double what I made back then. Plus, it’s made me less scared of the job hunting process in general – I think I’ll be less afraid to leave this job when the time comes.

  • Courtney

    just saw this and thought of your post: not sure it its a job u are interested in but something to check out!

  • Anonymous

    thank you! 🙂

  • Pingback: No Sleep in Brooklyn | The Runner's Kitchen()