I remember the first—and only—time I was laid off when my mentor said in consolation, “A year from now, you’ll be amazed by where you’ll be!”
She was only partially right.
It took a lot more than a year for me to get to a place where I felt secure, but now five years later, I can safely say that her sentiment was right. With unemployment now at its highest in 25 years, 8.1%, and with no bottom in sight, looking out one year from now leaves few of us with any feelings of hope or security.
One year from now things are projected to be pretty much the same, or possibly worse. But look to three, four years from now and there’s a very bright light at the end of that tunnel. The point is, as was my mentor’s aim, that when times get very, very bad, realize that the situation is truly temporary, and temporary is what you need to make bad times be. Time may heal all wounds, emotional and economic, but we play a role in how we make it out the other end. I used my pink slip as impetus to go out on my own and eventually change mediums. I was forced to really look at what I wanted to do, what I wanted to get out of ‘work’ beyond the paychecks. It became the biggest training exercise in being resourceful and coming up with Plans B, C and D. (My “C” plan, teaching high school, “D” plan, wait those tables!)
Whether you fear being laid off soon or have been laid off, confront and construct your personal Plans B, C and D. What are you able and willing to do to take care of your financial responsibilities? Where do you want these hard times to lead you in three years? Five? How will you come out the other end? The path you take now, in response to these trying times, will make all the difference. Choose well.