Changing Jobs? This is What Being Laid Off Taught Me About Worthiness
This photo was taken in June 2014 when I was fresh out of grad school and excited to change the world by way of a college campus and some impressionable minds.
In January 2016 I wrote a resignation letter, but stopped short of sending it, just in case the upcoming reorganization of our department would make things ✨better✨. After all, the powers that be were asking for our input on how things could be improved, so that had to mean something, right?
In April 2016, just a few months after I stopped myself from doing what I knew deep down inside was needed, my colleagues and I were notified that the reorganization was complete and our services were no longer needed.
I won’t pretend to know exactly how each of the millions of people facing this today—and the millions more who fear it—are feeling because each situation is different.
What I do know is that for me, being laid off was a complicated mix of confusion, embarrassment, relief, abandonment, anger, fear, frustration, disappointment, hope, devastation, shock, anxiety, optimism, excitement, release, rejection, and freedom.
I also know that, while it was true in the long run, at the time I wasn’t trying to hear that “things happen for a reason” or that “everything will be okay,” because again, each situation is different and I needed time and space to make meaning and re-define what “okay” meant for myself.
So instead, if you’re navigating a similar situation or writing a letter of your own (even if you don’t send it), I'll say this:
You are not your job.
You are a person who, at this point in your life, happened/s to use your skills and talents to do a certain set of tasks and activities.
And regardless of what those tasks and activities are and whether or not you‘re still asked to do them, you are still a person with skills and talents and you can still choose yourself, even when/if someone else doesn’t.
This chapter of your life is NOT a personal failure, a sign of weakness, or a reflection of your value or importance.
And when you’re ready and as you determine your next steps, I hope you remember that you can always choose you and prioritize what you need at the moment because tasks will come and go, but you are still here.
And you still have so much to offer to a new company, team, and the world.
You can still choose you, now and always. This simple act of choosing is the key to your survival.
Because you are not your job.
You are not your job title.
You are not your employer.
You are a person who did a thing for a place at a point in time. And regardless of where you go and why you may be headed there, the skills, talents, and experiences that you brought to that place will be moving with you.
And when you're done with that job, whether it be for the day or forever, you will still be the person who has people who know you.
Who know who you are beyond the job.
Beyond the job title.
Beyond the employer.
And you will still be worthy beyond those things, too.
Beyond them—not because of them.
These are the things that I wish I knew when I was so consumed with trying to prove myself in a place that was never meant to know me.
I hope hearing them helps you in this next chapter.
If you're looking for personalized support and strategies for your next step, let's talk. Book a free consultation with me to discuss how my clarity coaching programs and services can help you prepare to step into your future because this is not the end of your dreams and potential.