I’ve been without a job too!

Just read about a friend who spent 4 days in a mental hospital after being fired from her job and decided to share a few things that many of you don’t know.  I’ve been without a job too!

This time of year becomes challenging for many people for a variety of reasons. Loss of Loved One, Loss of Employment, Loss of Relationships, etc.

The reality is….a loss is a loss…and your feelings about your loss are VALID! Statics says the loss of employment, is sometimes the equivalent of the loss of a loved one. My point is…don’t hide what you’re feeling… acknowledge your feelings and address them.

Loss of a job means that everything around you has the potential to suffer. That is a fact, and that is real emotion. That is nothing to sweep under the rug or ignore.

Many of you see the things that I have accomplished in my CAREER, but what you don’t know is I am where I am today, because I lost my job!

In 2001, I was laid off and that was the first time in my career that I had ever experienced not having a job to go to. I was completely LOST. I started working when I was 16 and had my first professional position at 18 (Administrative Assistant in the Human Resources Department). And….

I found myself at a place where I had to do a reality check. My Identity was wrapped up “what I did”…you know, the titles my employers had given to me.

When I was laid off, I was making a base salary of $80,000 (that did not include my bonus structure) and held the title of Human Resources Director. However, that meant nothing the next day when I didn’t have a job and had to go file for unemployment – – which I could not get until I had been paid my severance, which I opted to get in a lump sum within 30 days.

Long story short, I blew threw my severance and within 6 months, I was having to learn to live off $1200/mo in unemployment. I was humiliated, depressed, and too proud to ask for help. My rent payment was $950, my car note was $420, and I still had utilities and food to pay. So you see, that $1200 didn’t go far.

I opted to let my car insurance lapse and got pulled over my the Dekalb County Police and ended up spending the night in jail. Yes, I asked for help then, because I had to call and ask my god-mother to come and pay the $500 for me to get out of jail.

I learned an invaluable lesson during this time in my life….well actually several…

1. Loss is a real emotion – deal with it!

2. Titles mean nothing and they can change in an instant

3. Breaking the law will cost you more than shame

4. Everyone who says they are a friend – – is not

5. Learn to take control of your career

I ended up losing my apartment because I could not afford to pay my car insurance and refused to move my car from the stall without valid insurance on it. I had never learned to take the bus in Atlanta and still had some pride issues.

It was during this time, that I wrote my first book, Why Should I Hire You? which ultimately has a great deal to do with the career that I have today. It was the stepping stone for how I operate. I decided that NO ONE would ever have that much control over my life again. Some one reading this is saying, “it was just a job!”…No see, I worked 12-14 hours a day for this employer for over 5 years…so it was essentially my life.

I was too proud to take the bus, but I wasn’t too proud to move in with a lady from my church, who after 6 weeks told me, “you are no bother at all, I just want my privacy back”. So I moved in with a girlfriend and everything went into storage except my futon, computer, tv and armoire.

I used this time to get myself together, plan my comeback and get a “you’re not all that” reality check.Within 1 year, I had experienced, loss of a job, loss of freedom (night in jail) and loss of security (my apartment). But I gained a new career by publishing a book, getting on the speaking circuit, and taking my career into my own hands.

I shared all of this to say….everything that glitters is not always gold. Sometimes, we have to go through to get through.

Most of us don’t have a silver spoon in our mouths and hard work, dedication and a reality check will be just the thing we need to bounce back….but with a new sense of appreciation!


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