How to live when you lose your job

Many people would not answer to above question, at least not straight after they have been given a notice. That is the moment when none of the great motivational texts works, when “don’t worry, everything is going to be fine” is one of the most depressive things fired person can hear. If additionally, there is money pressure, things tend to get more complicated.

Let’s start from the beginning. You just got the notice. Piece of paper which still burns your hands whenever you touch it. You liked your job. Moreover, you were good at that work. Now, all you can see is bunch of letters, because there is some reorganisation, you did not have a perfect catch-up with your boss. He had to point someone from the team and it was you. He tells you that he understands how you feel, so you can take a leave for the rest of the day. You were really brave during this bloody conversation which took you by surprise. No crying, no complaining. You asked appropriate questions, somehow you were given a gift of staying calm. Just this growing feeling inside of your stomach and pulsing in the head. You leave the room; you know that this small battle you won. You are fully aware that your boss wanted you to show your emotional side. That he could justify his choice when speaking to accompanying HR representative: you see, that is the emotionally unstable person, crying, looser, who the hell does that? We are in a serious company. The CEO hates such an approach. Why did we hire her? No, nothing like that. He cannot say any of these things, because you were professional. You just sarcastically frowned when he said: Treat is as a chance.

Chance for what?? To live unstable life, to be forced to look for something new when you are not in a shape to do so? To think even more about money and what you need to resign from? To know how to pay your mortgage without next salary, repay credit cards, buy food for your children? You came back to your desk, sat down and looked around. About fifty people, different ages, skin colours, experiences, nationalities. First question in your head – Who is going to be next? You know for a fact that you are the first one to receive the letter. Would that be the red hair Andrea? Or wide smiling – no competences Tom? You wish your boss was next. You know it’s almost impossible. He knows too many people. He is not good at his job; he has no idea what you or your colleagues do. He executes. You have seen him only by chances of someone being mistreated thus you never tried to make closer relationship with him. You were never good in such a games. You told your team leader that you need more training, that some tasks need to be done by more people, especially more experienced ones. She was promising to help. And promises it’s all you got.

Anyway, you turned to your colleagues from your closest team and you said what has just happened. They are shocked. All apart from one person. Of course she knew before you. That’s humiliating but you smiled. Again sarcastic. You use the freedom; you can go home for this afternoon. But first you have finished the presentation for your team leader. You are professional. Or just naïve. Whatever.

You left the office. Got to the train, you were travelling through last 15 months about 2 hours per day to get to work. Now, in the middle of the day, you see that those trains are almost empty. No queue, no pushing or looking for a free seat. Only moms with their children and older people. You start to look on them. Mothers are singing to their children, children are laughing and trying to follow words. Older couple discuss what they should have for a dinner. He doesn’t like spinach, she says it’s healthy and forces her idea. Well done, grandma.

Ultimately, you are lucky. Where you live, there is a lake. Not big, not small. Just a lake. So you buy a smoothie, with spinach naturally. You sit down on the bench and look over the lake. What do you feel?

Sometimes places we found great are also empty.
Sometimes places we found great are also empty.

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