Being Laid Off is Apparently Blogging Goldmine

I wrote this at my ultimate low point last night while in bed. I’ve spent all morning catching up to emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, and phone calls from people who want to help. You’re all truly amazing, and believe me, I’ll remember your name when the favour needs to be returned.

I was handed my freedom yesterday.

The last two years of my life have been amazing. Life-changing. Growth.

Truth is, I’ve been miserable. Absolutely miserable. This occurred to me last week when I came home from work after an absolute shit day. I cut my finger on a tin can, wrapped my bleeding digit in a paper towel, tried to compose myself. Then I sat at the table crying into my bowl of rice in front of my roommate and his girlfriend because I felt like a failure. Such a failure.

I’ve been struggling through tech writing for two years. When I got hired fresh out of university, I was ecstatic. Was so proud to say I had a BA in English and a FULL-TIME CAREER. Mind-blowing. I loved introducing myself to people as a tech-writer. But I never got better at my job.

I loved my co-workers. Loved my office. Loved my environment. Hated my job. I’d sit down at my desk, spread open a binder of user manuals or guides and stare at meaningless words on a paper that talked about wiring and batteries and electronics. I liked the technical aspect of the language, and I honestly tried my hardest, but I’m no engineer.

Then I found myself setting up insanely rigid routines. I wrote this in a document labelled “thoughts” a few months ago after the monotony was forcing me to lose my mind:

I get up at 8 a.m. I jump out of bed, eyes puffy, and I pee. At 8:04 I return to my bedroom, dig through my closet of over-worn clothes and pull a checkered sweater from a hanger. Pants, socks. Ankle socks because I want to go to the gym. Underwear practical for exercise.

I eat cereal, turn on the ABC World News and watch something going on in the USA. I hate the newscasters. I put my dishes in the dishwasher, head back upstairs to do my make-up and hair. It takes about 20 minutes, I’m out the door by 8:50, lugging my crumbling gym bag down the road and to my office. I choose to take the stairs today. The elevator is scary.

Turn on the computer. Say hi to a coworker. Sigh, fill up a glass of water, panting. The rest of the day I’m watching the clock. Watching the hours slide by. Tick, tick, tick. I prolong lunch so the afternoon seems quicker. I don’t have the energy to leave my desk. I’m there for 8 hours, in my leather chair.

I thought about quitting for awhile. I’ve applied to jobs, searched the Internet. I stayed with my company because I felt I owed it to them, for giving me the opportunity to work there to begin with. I was absolutely petrified of creating a rift between my coworkers and I, people I adore dearly, especially the lead technical writer who became a very close friend. I know they all read this blog now.

But that’s the thing, it’s the corporate world. Companies and businesses and organizations look out for themselves. I tried explaining this to my parents who felt, “Gee, they hired you, you should give them EVERYTHING. You have JOB SECURITY.” Job security is a myth. The best advice I’ve ever received was from my friend Katie: you only have allegiance to yourself.

I have never felt so alone in my life. So lost. My job my was my identity, and this is why it’s a big deal to me. I don’t date anybody, I don’t have a lot of money. My job was my one thing I could boast about. I gathered my things yesterday, and it wasn’t until I was behind the door I started crying. And crying and crying. Matt made me breakfast, I cried. People called, I cried. People texted, I cried. All day I’ve been ranging in emotions from I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M FREE to holy shit, I’m lost.

The one thing I’ve realized after Tweeting and sending out emails about my predicament is that my friends, followers and colleagues are absolutely amazing. I actually can’t even keep up with the responses, but believe me when I say you’ve all pulled me through a very rough night. It’s overwhelming, and I love you for it.

Now what?

How do you move on with debt?

How do you move on with no savings?

How do you move on?

  • July 08 2010

    hi dear…..

    you JUST move on that’s it. loans & payments get deferred and if you don’t have children it makes it easier to some extent…but that’s it. you pick up, dust off, and do it again, EVERY day.

    once you realize this is the bestest thing that could have happened to you….you will see things lining up….. to bring you closer to what you love doing, whatever that is.

    ~annie

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks Annie. :) The universe works in strange ways.

  • July 08 2010

    I’ve been waiting for you to post about this since yesterday. And yes, when pretty much ANYTHING happens to me now I think about how I will blog about it.

    I’ve never been laid off, but I imagine it’s quite an emotional blow. You give all your time and parts of your freaking life to this company and then they kick you to the curb. Without warning. That freaking sucks.

    BUT. I also think that major setbacks like this are major opportunities to retool your life. It sounds like you were already unhappy, so maybe this is the kick in the pants necessary to get you to make some changes. Whether that’s trying to find more fulfilling work, or configuring a way to travel more or something completely different is up to you. Yeah you have debt and money issues, but you also have a shitload of options out there in the world.

    I’m excited to see what you do next.

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks Steph. :) Yeah, it is an emotional blow…I invested a lot of time and energy into that job, two years worth. And I mean when you think about it, I spend more time in that office than I do around my friends/family, so it’s like losing a huge chunk of my life. But yes, I was unhappy. Taking a few days to figure everything out, we’ll see where I end up!

  • July 08 2010

    I just started reading your blog within the last week or so. Good job on the awesome Canadian content!

    I was laid off from my beloved, though creatively restrictive, ad agency job a few years ago. I was absolutely devastated even though I knew I was maxed out with the company. It took me weeks to feel okay about not getting up and going to my trendy little office, almost like grieving for a person. Three years later I’ve traveled, worked shitty jobs, moved around, learned to sweet talk collectors, got back on my feet, fell down again, and realized that no matter what happens and what bills are left to pay all that matters is what keeps you happy and motivated day to day.

    http://www.cardsofchange.com/ Great site for the newly freed!

    • July 11 2010

      Jenni, thanks for stopping by and thank you for commenting, I absolutely love the input. It IS like mourning, I’ve been fine for the past few days and tonight it feels gut-wrenching not to be getting up tomorrow to go to work. But probably a good kinda gut-wrenching.

      LOVE Cards of Change!

  • July 08 2010

    It sounds like this is an amazing opportunity for you. It has forced you to get out of a situation that you weren’t happy with. There are so many possibilities for you now – scary but exciting. Just focus on what you really want from your life. Good luck with it!

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks Erin! New opportunities indeed, seems like that’s the general consensus!

  • July 08 2010

    Listen, you hated this job to begin with! If I were you, I’d see it as a get out jail free card or whatever they call that card in monopoly. You know how we all start anew on New Years and on our Birthdays? Well, you just got an extra day in the the year to change the way you live your life. Do everything in your power to keep YOU happy. That’s the bottom line. You can (read: will) get another job if you want it. Just make sure that’s what you want. Besides, I hear working is overrated.

    …and cheer up, things always get better.

    akel

    • July 11 2010

      Thank you, Akel! Loving this support. This really is the best case scenario, I’m afraid if I had quit, it’d be a whole different story…

  • July 08 2010

    You take a deep breath and you start thinking about what you’d do if you had nothing holding you back. Then you chase it and figure out where it takes you. It’ll never be easier to do than it will be right now.

    • July 11 2010

      You’re right Ben, which is almost as terrifying as being unhappy in the first place in some ways, hahaha.

  • July 08 2010

    Oh Candice I am so sorry/happy for you….big fan of yours!!

    I quit a job I had for a month about two weeks ago (so compared to you I’m a blip) and it completely wrecked me. I thought I had it all figured out! I was so proud of myself! I think these are the feelings that you feel when you have an identity you are content with. But if that changes, if YOU change it then it can be pretty overwhelming. At least those are some of the feelings I had when I quit.

    But you know what? It sounds like you did what is RIGHT FOR YOU and that is the best thing. Way to go Candice for listening to yourself and acknowledging your own feelings. Now what? Whatever you want. :) Can’t wait to read all about your next move….:)

  • July 08 2010

    Crap sorry I just re-read your post and I totally mis-read that you were laid off, you didn’t quit. Now my comment seems…..insensitive.

    WELL GOOD RIDDANCE TO THOSE FUCKERS.

    GO KICK ASS GIRL.

    • July 11 2010

      LOL, no, not insensitive, works either way! Thanks. I have no bad feelings for them though! I really do appreciate the opportunity they gave me. I can take it and run.

  • July 08 2010

    First of all, I am so sorry.

    Secondly, you’ll be surprised at how easily you can move on even with debts and no savings. Call me irresponsible, but it never held me back when I was in similar situations–and I survived.

    It’s scary but you’ll make it. Do what you have to to pay the bills and see the opportunity of your new found freedom :)

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks, Karen! Freedom is more nerve-wracking than I anticipated.

  • July 08 2010

    Oh Candice. I feel for what you’re going through right now. You need to talk to @nomadicchick, since she just went through this, too. The financial part would be scary for me, too. But for long-term happiness,if you hated your job, they did you a favor by letting you go. Now you have the opportunity to find something you love more. It will be hard to recognize that in the immediacy of needing to pay bills, but I have no doubt that over time, this will prove to be a blessing in disguise. I don’t know how it works in Canada, but I’d speak with the creditors you owe right away so they know what your situation is and that you’re not shirking on repaying the debt, you just can’t. Hang in there.

    • July 11 2010

      Thank you Gray, and yep, I’ve spoken with Jeannie! It’s all very surreal, losing a huge part of my life. My roommates are in bed because they have to get up and go to work tomorrow, and I have all this spare time. It’s weird as hell.

      Calling the loans people first thing in the morning. Whew.

  • July 08 2010

    You’re a straight champ Candice! I’ll keep it short, and to be cliche “live together…” and you can finish the rest of the quote

    • July 11 2010

      LOL, thanks Spencer, you are right.

  • July 08 2010

    Things are going to get better, I promise!

    Call your cards and see if you can get into a program that allows you to defer your payments due to job loss. A lot of them will help you out.

    File for your unemployment, get a small job for some extra cash and then enjoy your freedom while figuring out your next step. I really believe it’s true that many people in your situation are forced out because they won’t do it themselves. I was the same way and so many people are. This is the worlds way of looking out for you and getting you on a path that you will be happy with. Change is really tough, that’s why we don’t do it ourselves most of the time.

    Good luck – I know things are going to be great in the long run – plus tomorrow morning you get to sleep in!!

    • July 11 2010

      Hahaha Bethany, you described me so perfectly: forced out because I couldn’t do it myself. Nothing says it better than that.

      Oh, the sleep…I do enjoy my sleep.

      I like your plan. :)

  • July 08 2010

    Take each day one at a time. Do the best with what you have from where you are and know that this too shall pass. Life contracts and expands and with each contraction comes a lesson for you to learn and gain strength from. What is happening now is preparing you for the next chapter of your journey. Take strength and hope from that and be alert to what you need to learn.
    The same thing recently happened to me. I lost everything and then my job. I knew I wanted my freedom back and yet I cried and cried. It’s a loss, so you have to grieve it, in order for it to pass through. No that despite the shit you can still be calm and happy. I’m currently jobless, penniless, homeless, assetless and countryless- doesn’t freedom taste beautiful?
    This too shall pass Candice- a new door is opening. Bound right through it.

    • July 11 2010

      Yikes! You’re in worse shape than me. I love how the world works this way. Love love love. Thanks, Caz.

  • July 08 2010

    Listen, kiddo. Life is too short to work a job you hate. Truly. This is a gift, hard as it is. A gift. They made a choice for you that you could not make yourself. When I was out of college with my English degree, I took a job in a doctor’s office, because there really wasn’t any other option. And I hated it. And they fired me. And I cried and cried. And then I found a dream job, with a publisher. Who published my first book, as well as employed me.

    Is it time to move? Time to use that degree in a way that will give you life rather than suck it out of you? Look up! Look around! Start beating the bushes, putting out the call, everywhere…and see where it leads. It will be okay. Really. I promise.

    • July 11 2010

      Lisa, thanks so much for your support and your comment. I know you’re right, just feels weird to lose such a huge part of my life. I have quite a list of things to explore this week, so we’ll see where it takes me. :) You rock!

  • July 08 2010

    Hey Candice-
    I don’t know you, but while it’s a bit rough right now, I think particularly with your passion for traveling, that you’ll look back on this later to find it to be the best thing to ever happen to you. Freedom from a corporate job is liberating. I left the corporate world at the end of January and it was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.

    Best of luck with your next career move! It seems like you have a big enough network that you’re not going to have any trouble finding your next opportunity!

    • July 11 2010

      Drew, yes, even I’m surprised with how large my network has apparently become! Hahaha. I know it’s all for the best in the end, just wish I had more time to prepare.

  • July 08 2010

    Hey Candice, redundancy is happening to many people at the moment, so even though you may feel alone, you aren’t really!
    Look on it as an opportunity to do something different and enjoy something new, even if you are skint for a while. One door opens when another closes!

    • July 11 2010

      Thank you, Lesley! Excited to figure out what’s next, for sure.

  • July 08 2010

    I’m so sorry for what happened, but chalk me up to another believer that you are going to do GREAT. If you need any help, you’ve got my email address.

    • July 11 2010

      Michelle, thank you, you’ve been fantastic support!

  • July 08 2010

    A lot of us have joked about forming various kinds of support groups…but really, what is the Matador staff already if not that? And it sounds like many other circles of incredible people have your back too. Inspiring.

    Dig in and don’t let go.

    • July 11 2010

      Dude, you have no idea just how inspired I am. Amazing stuff. Thanks Hal!

  • July 08 2010

    I got laid off from a part time job I hated and I felt the same way. I should have been overjoyed because the people were rude and the pay sucked and the work was boring. But it all leads to something else. Maybe this blog will become your real life job! I keep hoping I can do that myself.

    • July 11 2010

      In time, m’lady! In time. Perhaps we should team up and start taking over the world, yes?

      • July 11 2010

        I’m in. PS my new plan for coming up with travel money is selling non vital organs. You in for that too?

  • July 08 2010

    Getting laid off is never fun, even if you hate your job. It’s just demoralizing. And I hate to say such a cliched phrase, but I truly do believe in fate and everything happening for a reason.

    It sucks now, for sure, and it will suck for a while. It will be an emotional roller coaster for a while. But you know what? You’ll get over it. Everyone does. You’re young and really don’t have a lot of things to tie you down, so take advantage of it. Fuck the debt. There are ways around it and ways to delay having to pay it. Most people who get laid off from a job they don’t really like eventually call it a blessing in disguise. It WILL work out for you. And having that mindset is really important in remaining positive and trying to figure out what you want to do next. You’ve already said you HATED your actual job, so now’s your chance. Take hold of the reins and find something you love. It will be hard, but eventually you’ll look back at this as the best thing to ever happen to you.

    Good luck! You’ll be just fine.

    • July 11 2010

      Oh man, I must be tired, because I read that first line as “Getting laid is never fun.” Thank you, needed that chuckle.

      Seriously though, I know deep down you’re right, and I agree that things happen for a reason. I have so many options to explore now, it’s a little overwhelming. Thanks for the support, Adam.

  • July 08 2010

    You just move.
    And then, incredibly, doors open. Truly, they do.

    • July 11 2010

      Man, I hope so. Thank you, Julie. You’ve been great.

  • July 08 2010
    maggie

    if you need anything, you know where I’m at! Seriously. If you want to just go for a drive in silence, i’ll do that. :)

    also, I don’t think I’ve said this yet… defer your loan payments. seriously. immediately. there is no shame in putting paying those off on hold. i don’t know how your loans work, but if payment is at the end of the month do the work to defer NOW so you don’t have to make July payments. They are very very accomodating about the whole “hard to pay this off when i have NO JOB” situation.

    Anyhow, I am a very firm believer in everything happens for a reason and things work out the way they should (yes, i can apply this to my recent heartbreak and depression, even. ridiculously firm believer here.). You already know some of what I think of as the silver lining here… and I believe time will unveil even more positives to come out of this negative :) Just don’t f’in leave St John’s, because I’ll miss you too much :P

    • July 11 2010

      Totally got caught up in the past few days of craziness and haven’t deferred any loans, I’m on it now. Thank ya, Maggie! You’ve already been great drunken support this weekend, even if I’ve been too caugh tup in my own drama to return the favour.

      • July 15 2010
        maggie

        no worries, you’ve been very supportive of my drama!!! :)

  • July 08 2010
    maggie

    PS – I move on by discovering the joy in freedom. Whenever a large part of your life is gone, best to not dwell on the hole, but what fits into the hole now that it’s there :) Your hole is admittedly much bigger than mine, and has much greater impact on your overall life… but that just means you have a lot more you can fill it with :D

    (and i just used up my daily allotment of optimism. gonna go be bitter and angsty in the corner now… ;D )

  • July 08 2010

    Hi Candace,

    I was fired about a month ago from a PR agency job in NYC that I’d had for nearly a year and a half. It wasn’t a shock, but you’re completely right when you say companies only look out for themselves. It didn’t matter how close I was to my manager or how hard I worked or how many good references I had from clients. They wanted me out, so they sent me packing.

    The good news is, you have learned lessons about yourself that you never would have learned otherwise. Financially you will bounce back. I’m not sure about Canada, but in the US there is a lot of flexibility with loan payments now since literally everyone is suffering.

    You have so many talents; I know you don’t know me, but I’ve been following you on Matador and now here for a few months now. You will land on your feet, probably sooner than you think. You have to make a promise to yourself that you won’t sell yourself out ever again. Spending 40+ hours doing something you hate is a terrible way to spend life.

    Erica

    • July 11 2010

      Ain’t that the truth! Thanks so much Erica, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s been burned. I love how everyone has such faith in me too, it’s inspirational! Onward and upward!

  • July 08 2010

    Candice, you know what I think of this. Having read your “thoughts” (I never realised how down you were on your job) a big part of me thinks more than ever that this is a great opportunity for you. Scary, sure. But you see how many people got your back. How many people have been in similar situations. They all still living, kicking, loving.

    I agree with Julie – you take a deep breath, you open yourself up, and you move. The world will shift with you. All is good.

    • July 11 2010

      Nick, coming from someone who isn’t afraid to dive into something new, I totally trust your word. Thank you!

  • July 08 2010

    I loves ya.
    I believe this is the “summer of Candice”.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PADcL1np7BE)
    and
    please don’t forget about me in your new and exciting life that you are about to start living! ;)

    • July 11 2010

      LOL, I was joking about the Summer of Candice all weekend. It is ON. Let’s partner up and take over the world. Don’t tell Caroline, because I believe I just promised her teh same thing.

  • July 08 2010

    I’m with Cailin. Bring on the summer of Candice.

    The cliche ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is true. The universe has forced your hand. So, what you got?

    • July 11 2010

      I’m getting more fired up as I read these emails and I feel like fist-pumping right now. Thanks, Andy. Maybe I’ll see ya sooner rather than later.

  • July 08 2010

    This has all probably been said already, but I’m going to comment anyway. You’re totally right that those companies only look out for themselves. You have to look out for yourself as well, and now that you’ve been given this freedom, you need to take some time for yourself to reset, and then take the next step, no matter how big or small that step is. Figure out what you want to do, not what you think sounds cool. Don’t let your career define you, but look for something that won’t make you miserable. You have this blog b/c you love to travel, so figure out a way to travel. It might take you many, many years to pay off whatever debt you have, but the experiences you’ll gain will greatly outweigh the debt.

    Of course I’m not saying this from experience, I’m saying it as someone who would like to do these things myself :-) Keep getting people to vote for you on that “get rid of me” contest!!

    Glad you’re doing better than you were yesterday!

    • July 11 2010

      Hahaha, thanks Ali! It’s been great chit-chatting back and forth about this on Twitter as well. I’ve already begun my life list, now to explore all the options.

  • July 08 2010

    I can’t say I’ve been in your shoes but I can imagine that it would suck. But take comfort in knowing that your not alone. And as many others have said before there’s no point in staying at a job you hate – which I can completely relate. You don’t want to be one of those people who wakes up at 50 and wonders where the time went and why life didn’t turn out the way you dreamed. Some day, hopefully sooner than later, you’ll be able to say ‘I was laid off and it sucked but it got me to this awesome place where I am in my life right now.’

    • July 11 2010

      That’s totally what I’m hoping. :) And hey, I do have 2 years of writing experience under my belt now…can’t beat that.

  • July 09 2010

    Hey Girl!

    I’m sorry again that this happened to you! I recently was pretty much forced to quit my teaching job (ABROAD!). Scary. But as you have said, I think you have realized that you didn’t really enjoy the job anyway. It’s better to be free and happy, then miserable and “secure”. No matter how scary.

    You are an amazing writer and it’s clear that travel is your passion; so keep it up. Get out there and travel, write and keep looking for jobs that you REALLY want. Something is definitely waiting for you.

    I agree with the others. Defer your loans (those suckers can wait) and if you can work some random jobs to save your money. If you can earn a bit I would suggest looking into teaching (or even volunteering) abroad. As you know some of those companies will pretty much pay your way across oceans.

    Can’t wait to see what you get into next!! Best luck!!

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks Annie, and thanks for emailing!! I’m glad you have so much faith in me, it’s easy to get down about it sometimes. Sending positive vibes out there int the universe, woot.

  • July 09 2010

    Everyone is so sorry for you. Frankly I’m happy for you. Now you have no shackles but the ones you put in place. Frankly I’m a little envious. Roam, kid…roam.

    • July 11 2010

      Freeeeeeedom. It’s a terrifying thing. Thanks, Erick! You da man.

  • July 09 2010

    It’s an opportunity to make a better change, get things in order, prioritise, etc.

    Oh and there is still jobs in Japan as I previously mentioned if you want a change of life ;-)

    • July 11 2010

      Oh don’t worry, Japan is in my very clear radar!

  • July 09 2010

    Don’t worry about the debt. I too left university with 40K of debt and no job, just take care of yourself and the money will come.

    It seems like a bad situation but it’s really an opportunity to find something you love.

    • July 11 2010

      It is, even if I have to crash on some couches or live with my parents for awhile. ;) But let’s hope it doesn’t turn in that direction…

  • July 09 2010

    I’m impressed that you’ve realized, so young, that the corporation will not protect you, will not watch out for you and that you owe them NOTHING! Way to go!

    And like you said, now you’re freeeeeeeeee to chase your dreams! I’m jealous. :)

    Rich

    • July 11 2010

      Hahaha, someone else told me the same thing, pretty sweet I figured it out this early. Woot. Freedom!

  • July 09 2010

    When I went through this, I wasn’t brave enough to write about it like you and Jeannie. I hid out like a moron. I wasn’t even on Twitter; can you imagine? This is going to be the year that changes everything. Just take your time and see where life takes you. Seize the opportunity to do all the things that you’ve been dreaming of!

    • July 11 2010

      Thank you Abby, and thanks for reaching out on Facebook! Exciting times ahead, I hope. Maybe I’ll even find a success story like yours. ;)

  • July 09 2010

    Sounds like you weren’t really enjoying the job, so this is probably a blessing in disguise. You are capable of doing so many different things. The first thing I’d do is take a vacation and try to figure out what I want to pursue moving forward. Do something you regretted not doing because you were tethered to your job.

    • July 11 2010

      I’m gonna do just that, although a vacation is really a trip home because I probably shouldn’t spend my severance pay, hahaha. Thanks!

  • July 09 2010

    Hello Candice,

    This is my first time coming to your blog. I followed a tweet on Twitter and after reading this post I want to say that I can totally relate. Especially when you said “I loved my co-workers. Loved my office. Loved my environment. Hated my job.” That was me to the T.

    I went through the same thing and now I blog about helping people create passive income for themselves. http://www.arthurcundy.com

    But I am happy that you are free. No more tears girl. Having a job that you don’t love is far worse than not having a job. And SOOOO many people get caught up in the job security thing. Jobs are never secure. How can it be when someone else in is control of how much money you make, how long you work, and if you work there or not.

    I also suggest you want this movie http://www.lemonademovie.com/ It’s about a couple of people who were laid off and it was the best thing for them because now they are doing what they are passionate about.

    I’d love to stay in touch.

    All the best!
    Arthur :)

    • July 11 2010

      Damn, love when new people drop by with sweet words of inspiration. Thanks, Arthur! I’m going to check out your blog. And you’re right about the job security, there’s never 100% security. Would love to hear about how you found your way sometime.

  • July 09 2010

    You are massively brave to write about being laid off so honestly and openly. When my Mum was really stressed she used to say, “stop the world, I want to get off”, just to chill out, reassess, regroup a bit. And now you have, well your job world you hated anyway. I say take some time, regroup and then jump back on again! You’ve clearly got oodles and oodles of support! Good luck! K

    • July 11 2010

      Thank you, Katie! The support is overwhelming. Yeah, trying to take some time off. Unfortunately it usually involves booze. Hahaha.

  • July 09 2010

    Candice, I can’t help but respond to this. From a former tech writer, who quit that secure job in nyc to move to a little town in Maryland to be a friggin waitress so she could write and travel —

    If you were miserable, this really is your freedom. That is all that matters. No, really. Honestly.

    I’m not gonna lie, of course. It’s not an easy path from here on out. I’ve spent weeks at a time eating just beans and rice. There’s been times I’ve had only the two dollars that’s in my pocket. I’ve been late on bills. I’ve deferred my student loans so many times I can’t count. I waitressed until I couldn’t stand it anymore and quit.

    BUT I’ve spent four straight months traveling through Indonesia, 5 weeks living and working up in the wilderness of Ontario, bounced around the states, started a blog, found journalism, got my shit together and got into Columbia. I’ve fallen in love. I have a dog. I know who’s real in my life and who’s not. Mostly, I just know myself so much better than I did when I worked at that desk 9 hours a day, getting up at 6 every morning, writing about stuff that made no sense whatsoever to me. I really, really understand where you’ve been this last year.And really, I don’t think it’s your identity at all.

    Because tech writing is not your identity. All your followers and blog readers, they know and love you as Candice the travel writer and infinitly funny blogger. You have freelance gigs and an editing gig and Matador. Now that you’re free of your “job,” I really think more opportunities will open up for you.

    I’m excited to see all the things you will do.
    Now go have a drink. Even if you have no savings. ;)

    • July 11 2010

      Oh lordy, the weekend’s been a non-stop celebration! Hasha. Thank you, Simone. And damn, even if you didn’t have any money, you’ve lived one hell of a life, hahaha. I guess you’re right about tech writing not being my identity. At least, it isn’t anymore.

  • July 09 2010

    Wow, Candice, this is the first I’ve heard of this!!!! I’m so sorry. What a shock for you. You will figure life out. Take your time.

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks Sabina, major life changes for us both, eh?

  • July 09 2010

    How do you move on with debt?
    You move to South Korea and pay it off while saving for traveling. :)

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    • July 11 2010

      Hehe, yep, back to that option it seems. thanks, Eric.

  • July 10 2010

    As someone who was wrapped up in a career for years before finally breaking free by resigning last year, I completely understand your gamut of emotions and it is perfectly okay for you to go through them all.

    Doors will definitely open up for you Candice, and from all these responses, they’re already opening up!
    Hugs,

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks so much, Lola! Feels weird to be here on Sunday night at 11:42 with no predetermined bedtime and no plans for tomorrow. Doors are opening up, one at a time.

  • July 11 2010

    As you know, I can soooo relate. After the crying, I think you will come to a place of less panic where you are grateful for the freedom. Especially since you weren’t happy there. Be grateful that you found this out on your first job. It took me two decades of jobs before a company treated me badly and made me realize no one was looking out for me but ME!

    You will find another job and be fulfilled. I’m pretty sure you won’t settle for anything less now. :)

    • July 11 2010

      Thank you! Yes, it’ll be slow going but I don’t ever want to work somewhere where I’m unhappy again. It’s not the life we’re meant to lead.

  • July 11 2010

    You are a rock Candice, and wonderful things are waiting to happen. And they will. They pretty much have to! Hugs.

    • July 11 2010

      Thanks, Neha. :) I appreciate it so much.

  • July 11 2010

    take it as a golden opportunity in disguise….you are great at what you do, you clearly have a fan base and now you just have a little more time to expand on something that you are not only great at, but that you LOVE. security, shmecurity. anything can happen at any time, and this past week just proved that. you will move on to something great, awesome, and spectacularly better than what you were doing. i definitely feel for ya , but you know what? so much good will probably come from this, and you will learn so much from the experience. if nothing else, at least you may probably now open a little rainy day savings account ;)

    • July 11 2010

      Claire, totally agree, and can’t believe how much people have reached out in this short amount of time. Eek! So much support, amazing. It can only get better from here, right?

  • July 11 2010

    I know I’m late, so I’m probably saying what you’ve heard 20 times before, but here:

    I don’t know how you’ll move on, but I am sure you will, because you’re good people. One day you’ll be one of those douchebags who says “losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

    Douchebag in the nicest sense of the word, of course.

    • July 26 2010

      I hope you are right, dear Phronk! I would love to be that douchebag.

  • July 11 2010

    Oh gosh! I am so sorry to hear you got laid off. That must be so hard :(
    I can say this though: you are an amazing writer. Even if this tech-writing wasn’t for you, you are meant to be heard through your words and I know that will be successful for you someday. Hang in there love!

  • July 12 2010

    Sorry to hear that you were laid off, I’m sure the transition will be a difficult one but it seems that you are already putting one foot forward – don’t loose the momentum.

    • July 26 2010

      Thanks! It’s a slow process for sure, just trying to find some solid ground.

  • July 12 2010

    Yup, honey, we did talk, albeit briefly. All the emotions you went through, are going through – I was right there. Sure, mine were somewhat muted. Be thankful for many things – a lay off is truly a chance to redefine your next path. Those 2 years you spent were invaluable. But, it’s done and you were vastly unhappy anyway. I have a new motto – a man or job should never make you cry. If either does, it’s time to boot both out the door. Trust. This is good, a new beginning for Candice Badass Walsh! Kisses, hugs, and all that.

    • July 26 2010

      Hehehe, that means a lot Jeannie coming from someone who went through the same thing. Badass, indeed!

  • July 13 2010

    I promise one day you will look back and say this was the best thing that could have ever happened to you! I promise promise promise. Change is hard, but it’s going to lead something amazing. Hang in there–remember to breathe and smile constantly!

    • July 26 2010

      Thank you Andi, I’ll hold you to that promise! ;)

  • July 13 2010

    Obviously, we’ve messaged back and forth about this. And you know my thoughts! But I had to add here, publicly, I am SO encouraged by your positive attitude (yes, that’s really how it comes across) and your bravery and I CAN’T WAIT to see where life takes you!!!

    • July 26 2010

      Yay, thank you!! I don’t feel brave at all, I feel terrified! Hahaha. But optimistic, I think. :)

  • July 13 2010

    You don’t owe the world anything. As someone who has been laid off from two jobs, I can honestly say that the only person you owe anything to is yourself. And you owe yourself happiness and freedom.

    • July 26 2010

      Yep, that certainly is the case, JoAnna. Hard lesson to learn!

  • July 14 2010

    I love your attitude. Take this as a moment to reflect on the life you would like to see yourself living, and then take steps to create that life for yourself – you’re right, ultimately in life we’re alone, and that’s as liberating as it is terrifying. A job is important, and loyalty to people who have given you opportunities is important, but it sounds to me like you gave of yourself and now it’s time to move on – with gusto. You’re clearly a gifted writer, given the right subject (i.e. something you care about… & not technical manuals). I have faith we’ll see big things from you. Great post, thank you for sharing.

    • July 26 2010

      Thanks so much for the vote of confidence, Esther! Means a lot. I’m glad people are behind me 100%!

  • July 14 2010

    Holy crap. I don’t call by for a week, and….

    Candice, I don’t know you in person and I haven’t known you for very long online, but truly, and I really do mean this, you strike me as a person who seriously has their shit together. Truly. I’m not saying that to make you feel better, I’m saying it because that’s what I see.

    And Corporate ain’t you. No. And whatever happens next (echoing Kirsten there, I’m fascinated to find out) you’re free of that. You’re free to find something you love doing, and do it so effortlessly well that everything falls into place around you because you’re doing what you’re supposed to, brilliantly.

    But back to the present. Any chance you can sneak back in and steal a few really nice pens? I always find petty office theft takes the edge off a redundancy. (Speaking from experience, yes).

    :)

    • July 26 2010

      Yay, thanks Mike!! Revisiting these comments 2 weeks later makes me all fired up, hahaha. And I did not get to steal any pens, but dammit, I wish I had thought of that earlier.

  • July 14 2010

    (I’m only leaving *this* comment because I want to be the 100th commenter.

    And now I am. Yay. Go me.)

  • July 14 2010

    Hang in there Candice. How do you move on? There isn’t any one-size-fits-all set of instructions, but you just take it one day at a time. And it really helps to do the one most important thing that you’re already doing – looking at this as an opportunity to change your life for the better. Find a job that you don’t hate. One that isn’t monotonous. It’s out there waiting for you.

    Before you polish up your resume spend some time thinking about what you’d really enjoy doing. Think about what you’re good at, and how you can use that to find something that fits you better than another desk job. Maybe you should talk to the folks in the local CVB and tourism departments, see what openings they may know about in the exciting world of promoting tourism :-) I could easily see you leading tour groups or organized pub crawls!

    • July 26 2010

      Thanks, Trisha! That’s basically what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. And funny you should mention the pub crawl thing, because my friends and I were totally discussing how downtown St. John’s needs one of those, hahaha. As for handing out resumes for tourism departments, I’m workin’ on it! It’s both scary and exciting to have no real direction right now.

  • July 15 2010

    Awesome Candice. Not the news of course, but your honesty and openness. I’m a big fan of that shit. When you open up, when you’re real and authentic, you invite people to do the same. And then we realize that none of us are alone. That others are going through similar events, similar emotions, or have in the past. I have no advice for you except for keep on keeping it real. You rock. Remember that.

    • July 26 2010

      Aww, thanks so much Carlo! I appreciate it. It’s good to know we’re never alone, for sure.

  • July 19 2010

    well. first of all, you know that i know first hand how you feel my darling. Sorry i didn’t read this post sooner, I haven’t been on the INTERNETS lately.

    I can’t even describe how i felt when i got layed off (well, fired, so i had no unemployment ) i was LOST. i mean, big time. I’ve written about my depression, etc a couple times. There isn’t really anything i can tell you – and i realize this.

    But, after two years, as we all know, it turned out into a career change of something i actually liked. although it was one of the biggest struggles of my life (and still is) i’m a million times happier than i was at the friggen bank, where i contemplated suicide daily.

    You’ll work it out. TRUST ME. you’ll reinvent youself and wind up in such a better place than you were before. and you’ll learn, that your job is hardly something that defines you.

    xoxo.

  • July 27 2010

    I have to agree with the commenter who said you seem like someone who really has their s^&t together.

    From my limited vantage point, you strike me as articulate, smart, funny, witty, curious, dedicated, motivated, and a bunch of other positive things.

    If you were living in South Florida, I’d offer you a job — you have incredible potential!

  • January 05 2011
    Meggo

    Getting laid off can be lonely, frustrating, and make you want to scream…but sometimes it’s that push in the right direction we’ve been waiting for. I worked at my last company for 2 years before being laid off, it took me 10 months of solid job searching to find my current job which I heard about through a friend of a friend. I’ve been here at my current job for 1 year and 4 months and I’m being laid off again. The difference is that this time I got 4 weeks of notice, and this time I know what to do. It’s still scary to think about not having a job, to know that unemployment doesn’t last forever and is a huge pain in the ass to deal with.

    But you know what…I feel like it’s the perfect time to go to school…to make some changes in my life and find what makes me happy. I hope you ended up finding what makes you happy. :)

    • January 06 2011

      Ahh, sorry to hear you’re in the same boat! It’s never pretty. It’s emotionally draining and it wrecks self confidence.

      But you’re on the right track, everything DOES happen for a reason…I believe it!

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