Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Severance Sabbatical

Getting laid off has become a rite of passage. Gone are the days where loyalty and knowledge outweigh Wall Street's love of a good layoff and its short-term impact on the bottom line. Somehow, despite a sluggish economy, I made it over 16 years in Corporate America without receiving a pink-slip, but all good things must come to an end. My position was recently eliminated, and I have another month to transfer my many job responsibilities to others before my final day on the payroll. My reaction to the news surprised me. I wasn't devastated, upset, sad, angry, or scared; emotions I would have felt if I loved my job. After getting over the initial shock, I was enveloped by a feeling I didn't expect; excitement.

Why am I excited? First, I knew I needed a change and getting laid off was the kick in the pants I needed to push me out of the cocoon. Now I have the opportunity to take my skills to a new company, a new industry, or a new career altogether. With the layoff came placement assistance; someone else paying the tab for career counseling and resume improvements. However, the biggest opportunity comes in the form of a 4 month severance package. After number crunching, marital discussions, and soul-searching I decided to forgo finding a transfer opportunity and instead take the summer off to focus on time with family and friends, tackle a host of home improvement projects, extend an already planned trip to Germany, write more, recharge my batteries before the next chapter in my career journey, and embrace new adventures. 

First Adventure: Roadtrip. After receiving news of my job elimination, we decided to drive to New York for my 20th reunion rather than fly. Normally, I wouldn't want to waste precious vacation days in transit, but I had time built up that I would not get paid out for upon leaving; use it or lose it. The road adventure to New York was shared with my husband, but today he flies back to Minnesota and I begin the drive home with my canine co-pilots. We are taking the slow road, visiting friends who had life-changes thrown at them that make my getting laid off seem like a walk in the park. I plan on using this time to reconnect with old friends, gain a deeper perspective on life, and spend those countless hours on the road getting into my own head to begin figuring out the answer to the age old question, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"


Penelope Austin said...

Great outlook. Cheers to that Michelle!

Jeffrey/djjd..g7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeffrey Dypwick said...

Boy! we ever have a lot to talk about - heh (I sent you a private message on fb). Congrats to you, Michelle, and safe travels. I look forward to talking to you soon.