It was 6am on an already sunny, hot and humid day in August, 2001 in Chicago.  I drove off to my job as a Director of Business Development for a managed Internet security company in Downers Grove, IL — 28 miles from my condo in Chicago.  It would take me the usual one hour and twenty minutes or so.  The drive home at night would for sure be an hour and a half.  Or so I thought.

Instead, I left the office about two hours after arriving.  I got laid off.  Needless to say the drive home was forty-five minutes at 9:30am.  

And the day had only begun.  A few hours later, back home getting accustomed to the fact that I was now unemployed and already filing online for unemployment, my partner, Doug, called me from his office at the online marketing company he wored for in downtown Chicago.  He, too, was being laid off.  His layoff would not be “flashcut” like mine since he had 60 days to still work but it was absolutely the most traumatic moment nonetheless.  We BOTH were getting laid off!  On the same day.  The sense of joy and relief of being laid off from my lack-of-passion job was one thing.  Doug being laid off as well was entirely different story.  I was now scared.

I recently read this AP story entitled, “Losing Job For First Time A Painful Experience”, about people like me who were losing a job for the first time….and how painful it can be….and it brought back that day in August, 2001 for me.  If you’ve been laid off or think you might be laid off, give it a read.  But……

Just know that things DO get better.  A lot better.  It’s the time I set up my “Action Plan” to move forward toward my dream job.  And if you’ve been laid off or suspect you might be, this is the time in your life that you need to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment (yes, ENJOY THE MOMENT!)…AND create your action plan.   New beginnings!  Be curious.  Explore.  Discover.  Survive to thrive.

(If you want to read about how I went about creating my action plan and how you can create yours, then I shamelessly suggest you pick up a copy of my book, Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love (Hachette, 2008).