Journey Through Unemployment – The First Day

I mentioned in my Jan 1 blog A New Beginning how, for the first time in my career, I am without a job. It has now been over nine months searching for the right opportunity. It has been a fascinating journey and I feel like I need to share this journey. I am not sure how many blogs this will take or what direction I will write. As I sit down each day, I will see where it takes me.

Today, I want to talk about the weeks leading up to my last day. I had been recruited to this company with the prospect of helping lead a transformation. By nature, I am a bit of a risk taker and love new challenges. So the thought of being able to have a blank sheet of paper to build processes and solutions was exciting. My boss who hired me was someone I had worked for before, so knew we worked extremely well together. For the first six months, it felt like things were rocking. Updating processes, introducing new and innovative ideas and delivering value to the business. It was everything I had hopped it would be. Then things started to change. The atmosphere moved, kind of like a slow moving fog. It was not immediately apparent, however it suddenly was different.

Ten months after I joined, I was called to a meeting with the CEO, expecting my boss to be there. He wasn’t, which was really odd. I was told he had left the company. The shock hit immediately. The fog that had rolled in to cloud the atmosphere all of a sudden became thick as soup. I couldn’t breath. In my innermost being, I knew what that meant. It meant the direction and transformation we were driving would be stopped. The question was when.

I knew there was a lot of disagreement and resistance from long term employees in my boss’s department. That resistance grew daily. The animosity toward those of us brought in to drive the change was palpable. They didn’t even try to hide their disdain after my boss left. The atmosphere became very difficult to work in. The writing on the wall was apparent and they tipped their hand when the big system project I was leading was stopped four days before implementation.

Six weeks after my boss left, at the end of my eleventh month, I was invited into the CEO’s office. Initially thinking it was for a normal 1×1, I just sensed the other shoe would drop. Sure enough. It was a surreal three minute conversation. I was told my services were no longer needed, handed the legal paperwork and told to contact legal if I had any questions. I thanked the CEO for allowing me to work there and went to my office to grab what I could before being escorted out.

While full of emotions, I was not surprised. I could tell where they were heading and I was not in their plans. This was the first time anything like this had happened. I was in the wrong seat at the wrong company trying to make a difference with a group that didn’t really want to change. So like many leadership teams, when the leader leaves, the team gets swept clean as well. It is a reality of business. I had seen it dozens of times. I just had not experienced it myself.

God, in His mercy, gave me the verse 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to comfort me during this time.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

From day one, God gave me peace for the journey I was about to begin. The thought that keeps coming to mind is I can only imagine the stress and anxiety someone would have if they did not have a personal and intimate relationship Jesus. The waiting, the rejection, the silence, the stigma and the emotional rollercoaster would be unbearable. I now have sympathy for those who have gone through the unemployment process. The only thing I can say is Jesus is the only thing that helps.

Anyone else experience unemployment? Any word of encouragement that can be shared to those going though it? Tomorrow, I will share how God has shown up during the process.

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8 thoughts on “Journey Through Unemployment – The First Day

  1. I’ve been there. Constant battle of fighting off shame and embarrassment, then despair and panic, then hope followed by disappointment, then shame back for round two, etc. It sure made me holy, though. Nothing will do that like being forced to turn back to God every day for your joy.

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  2. I guess you could call my husband’s death unemployment. And like you, without God I wouldn’t have made it. Don’t get me wrong, I had days when I was angry and so hurt I couldn’t think, but I always knew God had me. Good luck on your job search.

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  3. My husband has been left unemployed twice – once, when the retail store he worked in let him go (he was a full time employee and was replaced by two part timers). The chain went under several years later. The other time, the store he worked in closed. He found out the store was closing when a customer asked him what his plans were once the store closed. It’s never easy. May this ordeal lead you to a better situation.

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  4. I have definitely experience unemployment. And now, I am getting old so it’s harder to get a job. During the growing season, I have created a little gardening business for me. I go to people’s homes and I take care of their gardens. It is good work and I am so happy to do it. It is a good thing to enjoy one’s work, make one’s customers happy, and take care of the earth. I am grateful to God for all gifts that He has given to me. It took me a long time before I realized how many opportunities I really had.

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