Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

Single Mom and Laid Off from Corporate America

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This past week has been very trying. I was busy between work and putting together an online training session for my own business. Then on Thursday, you know what hit the fan. I was at my desk, updating my project notes for my position as a Sr. Technical Documentation Writer. I received an instant message from my manager asking me to go to a conference room for a meeting. Advised me that the room was already booked. That was the first gut clench I felt and my reaction immediately of, I’m being laid off. So, I told him I was on my way and stepped away from my desk.

As I passed a coworkers desk, I saw that she was standing up with her laptop in hand. I thought, oh, maybe we’re all meeting there. But alas, no. I got to the room and another lady was there. She stood up and introduces herself from the HR department. Well hell. There it was. I knew right then I laid off. But, a small sliver of hope remained. Yes, I try to be optimistic. I’m naive that way.

laid off

My manager, who is at another site location, was on the phone. He went through the routine. “The company is structuring and streamlining departments. Almost every department is feeling the pinch. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera”. Ok. So this sucks. I admit that I started to cry. Side note: I cry at the drop of a hat. Happy, Sad, Mad, Scared. You name it, I’ll cry. And the funny thing is, I’m really not an overly sensitive person. Ask my friends. I’ll be upfront to the point of brute force, telling them they are being completely ridiculous. Anywho, the first thought through my head was, “What am I going to do?” I am a single mom and I am the only income coming into my home. I started my business, but not enough income to sustain me is coming in.

The HR person went through the routine. Discussed my severance package, Cobra, Employment Services, and such. Even offered to connect with me on LinkedIn and if I need a contact introduction she may have, just let her know. That was nice and I appreciated that.

If you’re expecting a post, complaining about the company and their unsavory work practices, I hate to disappoint. This isn’t one of those. I understand the need to streamline. All companies feel the pinch.

So, I got to wondering… Maybe this is the kick in the butt I need to do what I really want to do? Can I afford to really do what I want? I wanted to get out of Corporate America. The need to feel like I was more than a number would overwhelm me at times. I want to feel like I was making a difference. To work with people who I knew appreciated what I did for them. See the results in their business because I was able to help them. Or is that a pipe dream? I truly hope not!

With all that said, I’m not a fool. I know that I need to be realistic and while trying to build up my business, I am still going to apply for jobs. Preferably with smaller companies or, yes, this is bigger, but Universities. I’m not sure of my chances there, heck, I don’t know what my chances are with my business getting off the ground, but I’m not going to limit myself.

So, while I was driving home and made some of the calls to family, letting them know what happened.  One of the calls was to my teenager’s father. We tend to split everything 50/50 for the kiddo, so I felt he needed to know that I wouldn’t be able to do that until I knew where I stood financially. Even with the severance package, I needed to know that I had the money if needed. Now, I can hear all the groans and palms hitting faces and the statements “Oh no. Having to deal with an ex on top of this? This is going to get ugly”. “Can’t pay her half of their child’s expenses? This isn’t going to go well”.

However, I’m here to tell you, not all ex-spouses are jerks. (I’d use a stronger word, but, you know, looking for a job and all that.) No, my ex happens to be one of the good guys. Our divorce didn’t start off well. Heck, who’s would? But over the past 12 years, we got on an even keel and actually co-parent very well.

After saying he was sorry to hear that I was laid off, he then goes on to say “They’re hiring for a position you may qualify for here”. It’s a big location, so we wouldn’t be working together. Probably not even within a couple of blocks from one another. He also agreed to let me put him down as a reference. See? Co-parenting at its finest. Consequently, I ended up applying for three positions there and text him to let him know that he may get three phone calls and what positions I applied for.

It’s important to get your support system in place. Whether it’s your ex, family and/or friends. It’s going to be a very trying time and you never know how long you’re going to be laid off. The last job I was laid off from, it took me seven months to find a job. I hope it doesn’t take quite THAT long this time!

Have you been laid off before? How long did it take you to find a job? What steps did you take to make sure you didn’t end up on the proverbial street?

22 Comments

  1. NYC Single Mom

    I have been where you are twice in three years. the first time after 11 years. I was bit sad because I loved the company but I should have left years before but hey when you are enjoying your job and colleagues. I went to another company in the same industry, basically right before the markets starting tanking and worked long hours. But when the banks start dropping and they announcd that they were laying 50,000 people I knew my days were numbered Nothing like getting an email (no IM) to join the head of the group and the HR person to go through exactly what you went through, all the paperwork. Admittedly, my situation was different I knew it was coming sort of but hoped it wasnt but when I came up out of the train into the sunshine I felt free. Good that your ex is on your side. Definitely explore all the possiblities and dont be afraid to tell your network, reach for coffee. I alwasy tell people the person who helped get into my current company was someone I thought was least likely to help and ti was crickets from close colleague. And finally dont feel guility to do nothing and feel sorry for yourself for a couple o days. Binge watch, whatever. you are allowed and then get on with finding a job.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Thanks for your story! It is definitely different when you’re expecting it. The last layoff I was affected by was actually 5 years and 2 weeks ago! It was March 2012. But, I knew that was coming due to the federal student loans were being taken in-house be the government. We were told about five months before it happened. When it’s unexpected, the range of emotions you go through? No one wants to think that they are expendable. I guess in the scheme of things, we all are. I can’t start a new job before 4/14, otherwise, I’ll lose my severance. So, any applications I put out there have the start date of 4/17. It would be nice to toss that severance right into savings.

      Reply
  2. Danik

    I hate it when companies do this! I had it once to me a few years ago, told me I was going but the next day offered me a new position within the company. Those 24 hours were hell and I hope I never have to go through that again.
    Danik recently posted…Exploring the small Norwegian city of VardøMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Oh wow! That does stink. I’m glad it worked out for you though!

      Reply
  3. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    Getting laid off is never a fun experience, but it can defintiely be a learning experience. When one door closes, another opens. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

    Reply
  4. Jeanette

    Wow that is something no one ever wants to go through. I as well cry at the drop of a hat but it seems that you have such a positive outlook. I am sure you will succeed at endeavor you have in mind! Good for you!

    Reply
  5. Heather

    I am so sorry for your lay off. I truly hope you can find something that will support your family outside of Corporate America and that your business takes off soon. These are hard times! Good luck to you, keep your head down and stay positive!

    Reply
  6. Ana John

    When single mothers lose their jobs, their children suffer significant negative effects as young adults. These are hard times! I am sure you will succeed at endeavor you have in mind! Good for you!

    Reply
  7. Heidi Dee

    I’ve never been laid off per se but when I was younger, the company I worked for closed suddenly with no notice. It’s so scary and stressful and I wish you the best of luck!
    Heidi Dee recently posted…The Easisest Way to Prevent Chipped Nails!My Profile

    Reply
  8. andrea

    That’s awful I am so sorry that you have to go through a layoff. We went through 2 last year and it is not fun at all. I am sure you will find something better very soon. All the best

    If you need a good laugh my husband wrote about his forced sabbatical on our blog:) http://waldorfsaladcottagefries.com/continued-observations-from-an-unemployed-man/

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      OMG. Andrea, thank you for sharing that with me! I was cracking up! I may have to steal his idea and maybe do a weekly status update, LOL! Child labor is definitely underrated. I need to send my teen off to work to pay the bills. I’ll do her homework… Well, may not be the best idea because she’s in honors classes. I may get her a C or a D….

      Reply
  9. Emily

    I am so sorry this happened to you, I think looking at things from a positive standpoint and finding ways to make it work good for you is amazing. My husband (who is the one that works, I am a stay at home Mom) was laid off about 4 years ago, it was tough. But he ended up very quickly finding a new job with better pay that was an even better fit for our family. He would have not considered this job if he was not laid off, so it was actually a positive that he was let go. So this can be what turns your life into something more. Good luck!

    Reply
  10. LIsa Brower

    Layoffs are hard but I am glad you were able to get some direction. I have been trying to consider which way I want to go now form a while and it seems to be taking forever!

    Reply
  11. G&D Blog

    This isn’t a good experience to hear from a hard-working person. I’ve never experienced this but yes, looking at it in a positive way that there’s going to be a new open door for you, is the great way to ignore the negativity of laid-off thing. Good luck and keep rocking your life. You deserve something better and brighter! 😀

    Reply
  12. Mars

    As an HR practitioner, delivering sad news to employees like this is the most painful oart of the job. I hated it. This can happen to anybody. Good luck to your new job!

    Reply
  13. Jaime Nicole

    I’m a single mom too and I honestly don’t know what I would do if I was laid off. It’s very scary. I’m hoping and praying for you!

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Thank you Jaime! I appreciate it!

      Reply
  14. Rebecca Swenor

    The economy is so bad everywhere right now. My ex also helps me when he can even though our children are adults. It really is so important to have a support system in place for everyone because you never know when something with change. I think it is awesome that your ex is helping you and you are co-parent for your children very well. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  15. Terri Beavers

    I’ve never been laid off but I can imagine how awful it would be as a single mom (I am too). I also have great communication with my ex and I think it’s important to go that route when kids are involved. Good luck on following your next path, I’m a believer in that when one door closes, a better one opens.

    Reply
  16. Sapana V

    I know it is a hard phase of your life, but trust me everything will be fine soon. I too faced a similar situation. I have to sit at home for almost 02 months then I figure out my true calling. Now, I am working from home and completely fine. Take a deep breath and relax. You will get a good job soon.
    Sapana V recently posted…Common Foot Problems in Children and How to Remedy ThemMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Thank you Sapana! I may need to talk with you to pick your brain lol. I’d like to work from home. I’ve got my freelance business started, but not the client list!

      Reply
  17. rika

    I’ve never been laid off, but no one should go through this, especially for someone with kids 🙁 must be hard! Don’t give up and keep looking for new opps!

    Reply

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