I Just Got LAID (Off)….and it feels so good!

May 12, 2015

I got laid off and started my own blog and business

My new office… the kitchen table.  Which also doubles as a meeting center and impromptu photo studio.  

Okay- so maybe it doesn’t in fact, feel so good….I would take a real lay, or a Hawaiian lei, or even a layover any day over a lay (off).  Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.  When I ended my engagement last fall, it was difficult, startling and disorienting- the life I had planned for (not just the wedding) had unravelled before my eyes and I knew I was starting over from square one.  Months later, things at my work started to change and I feared that a layoff would be coming down the pipeline- so every month I remained employed was a godsend. One month, to the day, of what would have been my wedding, I saw that HR wanted to chat, and I knew what was coming…(luckily, I only had 30 seconds to freak out before the news was delivered, they are swift and merciful!).

As with the end of my engagement last fall, there was a sense of relief.  Things may be fraught with difficulty, but there is a freedom in knowing when something totally right has occurred.  Sometimes, you know when the door is closing, the chapter is coming to an end and it’s time to pivot and find something new.

I posted on Facebook and people were kind of shocked that I took the news so well.  I could tell from the private messages and some in person conversations that folks were baffled that I was upbeat about the whole thing.  “What are you going to do about your next job?” I could hear the panic in their voice, and for a minute, it almost felt that I was missing out on the fear and should partake- but I insist I must breathe deeply and think clearly to keep moving forward.

Life is an odd culmination of lessons and blessons… (blessings + lessons which are usually painful or awkward blessings in disguise that teach us something if we’re wise enough to insist we learn from them).  The ending of my engagement last year meant that I had socked away money to pay for the wedding which would no longer be used for the big party.  Yep, that could have been disappointing- and at times it was, that a wedding dress is languishing in my closet, ready to be donated, having never been worn, but it also means that I now have money to sustain myself as I figure out the next steps.

I feel blessed that I was committed to having a debt free wedding two years ago.  Also blessed that I called that wedding off when it became apparent that there were some differences between the other party involved and myself when it came to those financial choices.  I feel blessed that I never gave up blogging for 4 years, even when juggling a demanding social media job, wedding planning, triathlon training, fundraising and all the other fun projects I took on, could have distracted me from.  My wedding savings and my blog, coupled with frugal life choices that are pretty much ingrained into my DNA at this point, mean that I’m not panicking and taking a job I don’t want just because I’m out of options.

My Erin Condren Planner…my paper brain! Worth every penny.

My Erin Condren planner is my paper brain.  It’s where I plan my days, but also pour down my dreams on paper.

Was it work? Yup.  I practiced what I preached- live frugally, save your money and live within your means to build an emergency fund.  Now, my emergency has come but it’s not an emergency because I was prepared.  THAT right there, is the theory in practice.  I wrote it, I preached it, and I live it.  I consider myself super lucky- but luck won’t pay your bills when you lose a job randomly, on a Wednesday.  Save for a rainy day- I can say from experience, it’s true! Do it.  Even if it’s $10 a week- that $150 over a few weeks could prevent your electricity from being shut off.

So, what’s next?  I’m going to be relaunching my social media freelancing business to take on a few clients.  I’m also going to take my woulda-been wedding day, June 6th, and will be embarking on a cruise to Bermuda through Holland America Lines.  I will finally, FINALLY get to use that passport and I will also finally see Boston before sailing out.  Woot, to the woot.

Good Fortune

My good fortune kitty bank… My Gram used to hide cash in here for my college education to ensure I finished school after she died.  I treasure what it represents and her investment in my good fortune those years ago.  

You know, though the next few months are filled with what could easily be crippling uncertainty- I feel freed.  I had no idea how the looming fear of a layoff for myself, and some of my colleagues, was looming over my head and impacting my sense of direction and my ability to lead.  Leadership, in my work and my personal life was crippled due to the constant fear and back and forth about where my job was headed, and now that this has been taken off my shoulders, I feel ready to tackle a new set of challenges- challenges I’m excited about, as they’re challenges I have some control over.

I feel very fortunate for the last two years and for the opportunities I had at my last job- I met some amazing people, worked on some amazing projects for clients that taught me so much.  It also provided me stability during a really unstable time with a death of a loved one, and the ending of a relationship.  I have nothing but gratitude for the last nearly two years at that company, but I am honestly excited for what lies ahead, and simply put, it’s exciting to be excited again.

I feel I have a new vigor for my fitness, my blog and building a name for myself in business- I also feel reinvigorated by the outreach of supportive people in my network who reached out after I broke the news. Time and time again, I am floored by the amazing people in my life and extended networks.  I hope to pay it forward and serve their thoughtfulness well in the coming months.

I’ll be launching my consulting business, a new online product (super excited about) that will help people do what I have been able to do with my blog, and I’m hoping to launch a charitable project too…in addition to travel.  Lots to consider, lots to plan, and most importantly- lots to do.

Thank you so, so much for supporting this blog as a reader over the last 4 years.  I hope you’ll join me for 4 more years (If I am lucky enough to keep your interest!)

Your support keeps me afloat some days and I sincerely thank you for being apart of an ever changing journey.  Thank you. 🙂 

51 comments so far.

51 responses to “I Just Got LAID (Off)….and it feels so good!”

  1. Beks says:

    Great attitude, Shannyn! Good luck in the future!

  2. Juliette Kopp says:

    You are incredibly inspiring! I’m so excited to see the new adventures you’ll be having!

  3. Alisia says:

    Wow, you are truly an inspiration! The way you are looking at things as an opportunity and not another closed door makes me think about things differently. Even though I don’t always post on your blog, I do read it weekly and even daily and you really inspire me.

  4. Being smart with your finances definitely pays off! I’m glad to hear you’re taking what could be a bad thing so well. Here’s to bigger and better things in your future!

  5. Michelle says:

    I love this post Shannyn and how positive you are. I’m sure everything will go well and that you will be successful!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    You’re so brave to put it all out there…and so inspiring!! Everything happens for a reason and I’m sure it is up on the horizon.

    Sending love from Boston,
    Elizabeth

  7. Janine says:

    You have dealt with this with such grace, you are definitely going to continue to be so successful, I have no doubt!

  8. Three cheers for living in smart ways and preparing for the future! I’m glad you don’t feel panicked right now, and that you have the freedom to not just take a job that you would hate!

  9. Melissa says:

    What an awesome opportunity for you to be your own boss, Shannyn! This is a blessing in disguise 🙂

  10. Paula says:

    Inspirational! I look forward to your posts and reading your journey. You walk the walk…and inspire us to follow your lead.

  11. Colette says:

    i am a new reader, but just wanted to say you are so brave and inspirational! Though no one would wish to be laid off, SO many of us are stuck in jobs we hate because we don’t see a way out. Good for your for being prepared while also following your gut! So important. The best is yet to come! I look forward to you sharing your new projects!

  12. Good for you. I went through the same thing last July, except it speeded up my marriage and ended up with me moving to Scotland to live with my long-distance boyfriend (now husband). I’ve also been working on setting up my own business and growing my blog. Sometimes things really do work out for the greater good of the bigger picture. I did fall apart after my layoff, because I didn’t have loads of money saved, but through that I have made sacrifices, adjusted my lifestyle, and made big decisions I was too “comfortable” to make before the layoff. Good luck and enjoy your (much needed) holiday!!

    • Shannyn says:

      It sounds like your layoff eventually led to a better life- challenges may be difficult, but you overcame them and it seems like you’re headed in a great direction now! Good luck to you as well!

  13. You probably already know this, but you’re my hero! I think the best part of being a soloprenuer is that when shit happens, you have enough experience to deal with it. I’m excited to see the next stage of your life!

  14. Kathleen says:

    Kimmy Schmidt has nothing on you — and if you don’t know the reference, get thee to Netflix ASAP! Get it, dear. Let me know if I can help.

  15. Laina Turner says:

    Awesome attitude! Your message was so uplifting and you have endless possibilities ahead of you.

  16. Anne says:

    I feel your enthusiasm! I was in a similar position a few months ago. It’s a little scary and a little disappointing but SO freeing! Make money your own way and on your own terms.

    Side note: If you need to get rid of the dress, I know several people who have successfully sold theirs (even when they were used) on eBay or the like. If you don’t want to keep it, why not make some of that money back?

  17. Nicole Brians says:

    It’s very brave of you to tell your story about being laid off. Sometimes it can be a shameful experience but here you are taking it with flying colors. What an inspiration! “To insist we learn” is a very positive attitude. I like it!

  18. Lisa Foster says:

    I applaud your positive attitude about this turn of events. I am sure that you will end up seeing it as a blessing in the long run, and something that needed to happen to set you on your right path. That has always been the case with “setbacks” in my life. Good luck, and enjoy the cruise.

  19. Mark says:

    Sometimes things happen for a reason. One door closes, another opens. Hang in there Shannyn and follow your dreams! Mark

  20. Good luck to you in your new adventure! I am sure you will find something else soon, so right about that nest egg. Everyone knows they should do that but sometimes it is impossible. At least you don’t have to worry about the finance part of it and look for a job you really want to do. So many people are not that lucky.

  21. Lisa says:

    I will keep following you! And I’m sure it will work out fine for you, good luck! 🙂

  22. Wow… I am so glad I went through my blog roll today because I needed to see this post. I was recently laid off also, like Friday lol. I have serious anxiety and your optimism is weirdly calming to me. Thanks for sharing on this post : )

  23. I get the relief. My husband’s health problems were causing him to miss more and more work. Each day he’d take off, I’d have crippling fear that THIS would be the last straw. So when it finally happened, I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

    Unfortunately, it was almost exactly a month before our wedding. And we were low income. So that threw a huge wrench and a lot of worry into our lives. But there was still that odd bit of serenity: It’s finally over, and you don’t have to wait for the other shoe to drop.

    • Shannyn says:

      Yes, exactly. It’s never really a fun process to go through, but at least the waiting game is over. It can be anxiety-inducing. I’m sorry to hear it happened a month before the wedding, though!

  24. NZ Muse says:

    I KNOW good things are ahead for you. Enjoy that getaway and all the best for the next phase!

  25. Samiya says:

    I love your positive vibes! I love how you are looking at the future with a bright spirit and a thirst for adventure! I am sure you will thrive!
    PS : i am a follower of your blog from halfway around the world, i am lebanese and i live in Beirut!

  26. Lisa says:

    Your attitude is absolutely inspiring!

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