A Message from the Universe or Doom

Employment. Work. Jobs. There are countless articles about how to survive in a job you don’t like, books about how to figure out what you really want to do, plenty of information is available for folks who want to change careers, people who make a living coaching others through finding a job or building a career, recruiters will help high-demand employees get a great position with a good salary.

Work is important to us, as a society and as individuals. Your job determines your life to an extent. You may live in the city you live in because you found a good job there or you think your prospects are better there than somewhere else. We make an infinite number of choices based on the type of work we do, or that we want to do.

I’ve had lots of jobs. In fact, my average tenure at each job is probably about 18 months. The changes haven’t always been huge, but did involve adjustment. For instance, I taught at a private school, but wanted to be a better teacher so I entered a certification program and went to work at a public school where there were many more professional development opportunities.

My most recent position was as a sort of general, all around assistant to a group of recruiters. Officially my title was “Internet Researcher,” but I answered the phone, took care of multiple administrative tasks, handled some marketing responsibilities, researched companies, sourced candidates and myriad of other duties. Mostly, I allowed the recruiters to spend more time on the phone so that they could find more clients.

It was a good job – my co-workers were pleasant, my immediate supervisor lovely and the owners of the company accessible and generally kind. I didn’t make much money, but it wasn’t a hard job. When I was laid off on Tuesday afternoon, it was a bit of a surprise.

My position was a luxury for the recruiters, and so extremely expendable. So I can’t say it was a total shocker to learn there was not enough call for my services to justify the expense of keeping me on as an employee.

If you read this blog regularly, you probably already know that I had a back up plan. Smiling Tree Writing has been in the works for over a year, and has been growing enough in the last three months or so for me to begin to believe it’s possible: I can freelance full time and make a living.

I just had a cautious, careful plan that spanned about a year. My 9-5 job was my “safety net,” giving me some peace of mind if a client no longer wanted my services or didn’t pay me or if I couldn’t find freelance work to do.

Maybe losing the day job is just a good, solid push. Perhaps it will serve as the motivation I think about so often. Hopefully, things are working out just as they should. Of course, if not, there is always the McDonald’s where my daughter works. She could put in a good word.

Help me out. Tell me a story about someone who was laid off or fired and ended up finding or creating exactly the job they wanted. Inspirational stories are everywhere, and right now, I could stand to hear a couple!

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