©Eyes of the Cat Photography
The waiting really is the hardest part.
When I was laid off from Boeing it didn’t seem real. Corporate headquarters was moving to Chicago and many of us were not invited to go with it, not that I would have due to family responsibilities here. But there were several months between the announcement and the date that I actually handed off my job to my replacement in Chicago. Because of the long wait it somehow didn’t seem real that job would actually end. I prepared as best I could and I was always aware intellectually of the end date, but I didn’t feel it. I had to wait and wait. In the end it still felt like a surprise.
By contrast, my second layoff was quite quick and easy to believe in. With the economic troubles of 2009 the company was in difficulties and my workgroup had already been dropped to part time hours. When I was laid off I was told it was happening and had my few remaining personal items at the desk packed and out the door with me about 15 minutes later.
This time the gap between announcement and my end date was about 2 months. I like having the time to make sure I can hand off my job properly and make sure all my procedure documents are fully up to date. I also like having a few extra paychecks to plump up my bank accounts. At the same time it does feel a bit unreal having to balance between continuing the work, training someone else to do it and preparing to let go and leave. As one of my coworkers said “I wish I could just leave now and get on with my life.” Of course if we leave early we forfeit the severance, so that isn’t happening. Instead I have to keep reminding myself to keep up with the balancing act.
In a way the job end date is like the whale just starting to surface in the distance. When you first see the spout it is hard to tell if it will breech or just break the surface and sink down again. You just have to wait for it.
One month to go. Back to my preparations…
“Memories of Cahir Castle”
©Eyes of the Cat Photography
They may be cliches, but the sayings are true – change is a constant and nothing in life is certain. As I prepare for the upcoming major changes to my work life I feel a great deal of uncertainty. That’s where the learning bit comes in.
I may not know where I will be working or what I will be doing in a few months, but I do know that I can prepare myself to better face whatever comes by doing a bit of learning. My source of choice at the moment is Lynda.com.
I am a long term subscriber to Lynda.com, long enough that I don’t really remember how many years it has been. Speaking of change, their offerings have changed over the years and that is good for me right now. At first they had elearnings that were largely software based. I could brush up on my Excel, Word and other Office Suite skills. I spent hour after hour following Deke’s Techniques for Photoshop and Illustrator and viewing other software elearnings. They still have the software courses but they have gained in breadth and depth and have been joined by a large batch of soft skills courses. Now they have courses on “Recovering from a Layoff”, “Creating a Career Plan”, “Working Remotely”, “Creating your Personal Brand” and more.
I have been taking a lot of elearnings in the past few weeks.
Even the courses targeted more to new entrants in the job market like “Job Hunting for College Grads” have valuable tips and information for a more mature worker who has trouble fitting her job experience onto the standard two page resume. It has been 5 years since the last time I was actively looking for work and much has changed in the way that social media and online tools are used in the hiring process both for job seekers and employers.
The courses I have taken and the ones I will be taking in the next few weeks don’t guarantee me success in a job search. They do make me feel more confident and comfortable. Instead of feeling lost and uncertain I have a plan and a place to start.
Let the adventure continue…
Happily Contemplating Reports
©Eyes of the Cat Photography
Here I am at the start of a blog. I have been intending to do this for a while but had been having issues updating my website. Issues now resolved, I can start.
The template says I should start with “Hello World” then give an overview of my company and a few bullet points, maybe add some media…I am not really a template follower and Eyes of the Cat isn’t really a business website. It tried to be at first, but that was nearly 10 years ago. Now it is a place where I post my photos and digital art and can point friends to look at it. So this is more a personal blog.
I am heading into a great adventure and it will help to write about it. As long as I am writing I might as well post and since I am sure to be taking pictures and playing with them I will post some of them too.
My workgroup is being laid off.
It isn’t totally unexpected. The project we are working on started about 5 years ago and we were originally a big group. That has dwindled after a couple of re-orgs, but mostly attrition, to the remaining 8 of us. And there wasn’t really enough of the project work to keep us all busy. So it wasn’t really a surprise. And yet…
I had a strong feeling I knew what was up when I walked into what I thought was a 1:1 with my manager and there were two other people there. Two people from HR. And they told me. I don’t think they realized I was panicing. I quietly listened to the explanations of the severance package and all the other details. I didn’t have very many questions. After all, this is my third layoff and they did provide me with a nice packet of paper to look at later. Inside my head, though, a little wild creature was pinging off the walls in absolute panic. “Oh NO!!!!!! Not again! What will I do! How will I live! How can they do this to me!” and on and on it went inside my head as I headed back to my desk.
The creature continued to rattle and pound and scream but I decided to calm it with the zen of my Monday reports. Back to my spreadsheet…where was I?…oh, yes, column J. Insert column. =concatenate(H2,I2). Copy down. Select. Paste as values into I. Delete J. Delete H. Go to A2. Ctrl+shift+down arrow. Text to columns, delimited, comma only, finish. Go to B2. Ctrl+shift+down arrow. Text to columns, delimited, space only, finish. Delete column B. Scan down the new column B for anything that separated strangely. That’s better. The creature is quieting.
I love my Monday reports. I will really miss them when the job ends.
By the time I headed home the wild creature was taking a nap in the corner and I was starting to smile. Sometimes you need a boot in the backside to send you out the door. Maybe I can find another place that has Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday reports to soothe my mind. Or maybe I will find a different adventure entirely. And now I am looking forward to it.
Let’s see where this journey takes me!