One door closes so that another can open

July 2, 2009

Well, my impending lay-off finally happened.  Although you might expect that I’d be crying in my beer about it, I’m not.  I’m actually very happy…elated really.  Sure, financially, it would be better to be fully employed, and the timing isn’t so great (is there ever a good time to get laid off?) but emotionally and career wise, this couldn’t have happened to a better person.  Granted, I loved a lot of things about my job, but I actually love much more what my job did not afford me the opportunity to do.  And now, I finally get the chance to give some of those things a fair shot and spend my time on the things that I really want to focus on. ~ from Brett’s Blog


If that quote didn’t spill the beans, I’ll be less subtle. I got laid off.

But like Brett, I don’t see this as a negative. I saw it coming (many miles away). Granted, it came a bit earlier than expected. Still, I truly believe that all things happen for a reason.

When my boss pulled me into his office and used those familiar danger zone phrases – not enough work, budget cuts, slow downs – I watched him with a certain level of curiousity. He appeared nervous…regretful, almost. There was sweat breaking across his brow line. His composure faltered, if only a little. He even apologized to me. When I took the news with nothing more than a smile and told him I understood, his confusion became apparent. I’m not sure what he expected. I certainly wasn’t planning on balling my eyes out and marking his final memory of me as some mucous-drenched, sniveling wreck. I was going to go out like an Amazon!

I got a call from my sister after she found out, her voice swampy and warm, like she was completely in touch with a sadness I didn’t feel. And many of my friends who immediately heard the news after I walked out of that office were floored and concerned for my well-being. Touched as I was by their sympathy, I don’t think they understood my elation.

I suppose I’m so calm because I accept this as a new chapter in my life, and a much-needed one at that. I’m no longer afraid to face my career-related fears head-on. Instead, I’m ready for the jump. I’m eager to see what I’m made of. I’m prepared to stop making excuses and go after what I want, rather than allow myself to get comfortable at a dead-end job I abhor. This past year I’ve been in a slump, and only now do I feel like I’m breaking free.

In all honesty, this is the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

I find it especially interesting that this incident came about after I had an eye-opening exchange with freelance journalist Mridu Khullar. This is how it went…

Me:  For the past year since I graduated, I’ve been bored to tears in an office cubicle that makes me want to poke my eyeballs out with a Sharpie. I seriously can’t stand it, my skills aren’t being utilized, and I don’t feel stimulated in the least. I think perhaps my brain cells are dying. You’re pretty much living the life I’d love to have. I really want to pursue a full-time career in freelance writing.

Her:  It’s a tough business, there’s no doubt about that. But really, it’s not as tough as some people make it out to be. There are hundreds, thousands, of people all over the world who are freelancing very successfully and getting work regularly. They’re not all the best writers, but they’re certainly professional businesspeople who treat their work as such. You can absolutely be one of them.

Freelance writer Stephanie Miller also gave me an invaluable tidbit of advice when she said: If it’s one piece of advice I can offer you now: JUST DO IT! You’ve already done a lot of preparation and, besides, you’ll learn along the way. Actually, you never stop learning! Once you SAY you’re a ‘professional writer’, you ARE. You simply have to get comfortable with the idea that you now charge for your expertise. At this point, it’s all about gaining confidence.

Here’s to new opportunities and taking life by the balls.



  1. Thanks for sharing my story! Good for you too!

    • Thanks Brett! Your story was truly inspirational. It articulated my thoughts and feelings exactly.

  2. I’m sorry to hear the news, but yeah, it’s true. When one door closes another opens! I was so glad things happened the way they did for me as far as jobs go, but I think that losing full time jobs can lead to learning exciting new things about your resources and the tech community.

    Once you are in the Tech community then you connect with others not only in the same boat as you but easily find potential clients through friends and sites. If it wasn’t for my job here at VOIS.com then I wouldn’t have met wonderful freelancers looking for projects/jobs nor learned about what resources and tools freelancers have.

  3. Stuff happens, and that you can’t choose, what you can choose is what you are going to do with that stuff. Keep on, been there, done that, and now I’m better than ever, even finantially.

  4. Thanks Jessie and Miguel – you are both very positive thinkers!

    And yes, sometimes good or ‘okay’ things fall apart, so that better things can fall together.

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