Experiencing a layoff is, in many ways, like going through a brutally abrupt, heart-wrenching break-up, so it’s inevitably a time of change.
After all, this thing you’ve built your day-to-day life around is suddenly, bafflingly gone, leaving a Brachiosaurus-sized hole that you have no idea how to fill. (Sorry. My four year old is way into “Dinosaur Train,” so extinct giant lizards are my go-to point of comparison just now.) You do all the stuff people tell you to do: you update your resume; you overhaul your LinkedIn page; you schedule networking lunches and coffee dates; and you skim job listings, feeling hopeless and hopeful at the same time.
But doing these things only fills the earliest days of a layoff. After that, you find yourself staring into a terrifying, existential abyss. In this moment, people who aren’t on the verge of losing their house, etc. often dive into cross-fit or home improvement projects – both of which sound way, way more productive than anything I’ve done while trying to re-launch my career.
So as it stands, I’m in no better shape than I was before, and our house still looks like the world’s most poorly organized indoor estate sale. But I’m nonetheless having new adventures, whether I invited them into my life or not.
Here’s a partial list of things I’d never done before getting the ol’ heave-ho from my employer in January. (And my apologies to those who were hoping for more exciting fare, like hang-gliding or free climbing. Maybe next year?) Continue reading