Finding the Fortune in Being Fired

How to be thankful even after a lay-off.

Betty Thanksgiving Series: Part 5

How I’m Finding a Way to Be Thankful Despite a Lay-Off

Finding the fortune in being fired

-Megan Southwick

fortune cookie

It’s easy, when you’ve just been laid off, to fall into the Deep Deep Dark Dark Deep Dark Pit of despair and uncertainty (please reference your Fraggle Rock manuals now). I see friends getting laid off all around me, even in industries I thought were sound. I was laid off from a cush contracting gig at a huge university with previously unlimited budgets – none of us there ever thought cuts would be made, and yet … here I am, unemployed. And, unlike Fraggles, I cannot live off of radishes and the advice of big trash heaps (though it would be nice, and definitely low-cal!).

So, at this time, when we are all supposed to be giving thanks, how do we feel thankful instead of just sullen and hopeless? It’s so easy to let the bad outweigh the good, to let the necessary belt-tightening dampen our spirits when we’re used to going whole hog (or whole Tofurky).

But being laid off has its benefits. No, really, it does! First, there are the literal benefits – those that will help keep us afloat until we find something else. The unemployment, the emergency fund we’ve (hopefully) been saving, all of that.

There are some concrete things I’ve found to be thankful for:

I now have the time to search for a new job, so looking for a job IS my new job. If like me, you were dissatisfied before, you have ample opportunity to make a change. Even better, this is your chance to find your true calling, as it were. Take a page from Jessi Walter’s book – she was laid off from a high-profile job on Wall Street and turned to her passions to start over.

I’m now SAVED from my morning commute, dry-cleaning bills, toll money and other little expenses that steadily drained my wallet each week.

My PDA? I canned it! I am finally free from the fetters of that ball and chain. I never realized the true weight of that tiny piece of technology.

Best of all, especially going into the holidays, is that I have time to spend with my family, as do you. Your kids aren’t going to miss a few extra pounds on the Thanksgiving turkey or one less pie. They DID notice when you had to keep excusing yourself from the table to take work calls. Your husband may be worried that there’s a little less money to go around, but he WILL be thrilled to have you all to himself, instead of having to compete with your job for attention.

Most important, YOU aren’t going to miss those things, either. Embrace what you’re gaining, and suddenly, the Deep Deep Dark Dark Deep Dark Pit is as fictional as the Fraggles ever were.

More in the Betty Thanksgiving Series:

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