I lost my job... now what?
Okay… here goes.
Where do I even start? I’m not sure how to begin crafting this story of what’s been going on in my life over these past 6 months or so, but I guess I’ll just dive in head first.
I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the details of what happened with my last employer, but I wasn't fired just to be clear. A LOT of shadiness (on the part of the company I was working for) went down, and I resigned with them owing me thousands of dollars.
As in they still owe me money to this day. I was going weeks at a time (sometimes up to a month) without getting paid, and for some reason I still stuck around.
In regards to that, I choose not to live in a space of regret for the time I spent there or the decisions I made because honestly, that would do me no good. Instead I’m aiming to learn from my mistakes as I move forward. And trust me, I’m moving forward.
Prior to the financial situation with my employer went down, I was already very unhappy in my job. I had been moved to a new position in 2017 and it was causing me tons of anxiety. I was experiencing headaches everyday, walking around my job feeling dizzy like I was going to pass out. I would have moments where I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. It was a new level of stress I had never before experienced, and truly never want to experience again. I kept a lot of this to myself while I was going through it because I feared no one could relate. So I suffered in silence most of the time.
Looking back on that situation, I believe that I stuck around so long because the situation (prior to the financial drama) was comfortable. To be honest, I had no passion for that job AND overall career whatsoever. The work environment was pretty toxic because although my coworkers were awesome, management was a mess and there’s only so far you can go when that’s the case. I had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise beyond what I was already doing, so I stayed put where I was even though I didn’t feel fulfilled by my job at all.
I let the comfort of having a paycheck convince me that that was enough. And maybe that is for some, but this is my story and I’ve discovered that’s not true for me.
So… God closed that door.
And when I say closed, I mean he SLAMMED it. With no chance of reopening.
I realize had the situation not unfolded as it did, I’d probably still be working there. Crazy as it sounds, I’d probably still be walking around that job complaining about how much I hate it but clocking in everyday regardless. And that’s not fair to myself.
After my employment ended, I went through a period of embarrassment and shame where I didn’t really want to talk about my situation. I didn’t want to share this part of my life, and to be honest it still makes me uncomfortable being vulnerable in this way.
If you take a look at my social media, you’d probably think everything has been hunky dory this past year and a half of my life. I talked about some of my struggles during this time, sure, but I never went THIS in depth to explain my current situation.
I can admit that I fell into the trap of making sure the exterior looks good while inside I was a mess. I spent a lot of time feeling lost and overwhelmed, and even found myself questioning if I was depressed. Losing your job is one thing, but losing your job when you have no idea what other career options you possibly want to pursue is an added stress I felt like I couldn’t handle.
Slowly but surely I’ve been working to figure out what my next move is, what a life of fulfillment looks like for me, and getting myself back on track. And I realize I am truly SO blessed to have the support I do to be able to take the time I have to work through all of this.
So what’s going on now?
I’m currently in a bootcamp course to become a UX Designer. I was searching for a career that would allow me to express my creativity and love for designing while also playing to my strengths such as my curiosity for how people think and my natural empathy. This search led me to UX Design, and I’m excited to be starting on this journey.
I also still plan on continuing my photography and exploring my creativity on that front. I am looking forward to the alleviating the pressure of trying to turn it into a full time job and instead being able to enjoy the process of creating. Some people thrive when trying to turn their passion into their full-time career, but I’ve discovered that at this moment that’s just not for me. And that’s okay.
I fully embrace the mindset that you can do something solely for your own enjoyment. Every creative pursuit doesn’t have to be monetized if you’d prefer to keep it as a passion for yourself.
I have to admit that I’m super nervous to be sharing this post, but I’m also ready to fully embrace the point where I am in life right now. My career is not the only part of me that holds my value. I am just as worthy now as I was a year ago before all of these life changes occurred.
Things aren’t perfect, but overall I have faith in the direction I’m going.