We’re Moving To California: How My Layoff Turned Into A Blessing

California, here we come!

As if our lives weren’t chaotic enough, we have decided to add a cross country move to our summer to do list.

I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted a marketing position in Santa Rosa, California — less than 30 days after being laid off from my job here in Colorado!

Here’s all of the dirty details, including my personal tips on how to handle a layoff gracefully and how it may be God’s unique answer to your prayers.

Write it out

At 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday, I was called into a meeting and informed that my position was eliminated from the company I had been at the past 1.5 years. I packed my belongings and was out the door in less than 30 minutes — just like that I was jobless.

When I got home, I started a load of laundry. No idea why. I laughed aloud and shouted to an empty apartment, “I just lost my job and the first thing I do is laundry?!” My mind was racing and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Then, I started to write. I wrote down every thought, feeling, frustration and question I could think of. My mind was reeling; this kept me from repeating the same thoughts over and over again. I wrote a to do list and a things I want to accomplish list. This was an important step — I refused to waste my unemployment away on the couch applying for jobs. Writing down all of the things I could do made me hopeful that this time off could be a blessing in disguise.

Apply for unemployment

After you accept this new reality, apply for unemployment. The sooner, the better. I did it the morning after I was laid off. In most states, if you are laid off you can file for unemployment and receive 50 to 60 percent of your salary. In Colorado the process is a little tedious and they require you to make at least five job advances each week, whether that be an interview, application or follow-up.

I loved the accountability and enjoyed pushing myself to apply for five jobs a week. I began to apply for dream jobs across the country — which is how I landed the job we will be moving for come July.

Surround yourself with friends and family

I went to far too many happy hours while I was laid off; for some reason everyone wanted to buy me a drink?

I will be the first to admit it, getting laid off is a major blow to the confidence. I felt like such a failure and constantly questioned what I did wrong to have my position eliminated. During this time it was crucial for me to be around people who loved and supported me. I needed to hear that it would be alright.

Feed your soul

Family and travel recharges my batteries so I booked a solo trip to Seattle to visit my sister for her birthday. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. It was totally impromptu, which felt great because my life was beginning to feel out of my control.

I also took a break from writing. At this point, I had written all I could about being laid off in my private journal but couldn’t write a thing for my blog. My creative juices just weren’t there.

I focused on my photography instead. I took the photo below during one of my afternoon walks. When I showed my husband he was like, “Honey, are you trying to tell me something? This photo is creepy and depressing.”

We had a good laugh about that.

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Hang with the retirees

My dad is recently retired and lives nearby so this was pretty easy, but even if you don’t have a retiree in your back pocket the idea is still the same — fill your day with activity. Wake up early, workout, run errands, clean the house, visit friends and family while they’re on lunch, lay out by the pool, go for a hike, etc.

The fuller my day was, the less anxious I felt at the end of the day when my husband came back home. Plus, staying on my husband’s sleep schedule kept me from feeling like an unemployed wreck.

Network

The job searching process can be discouraging; I was totally knocked off of my game. During job interviews, I hesitated to tell them that I was laid off thinking it made me look too desperate. I was lacking confidence and knew I had to fight for jobs harder than I ever had before.

I reached out to former supervisors, friends, acquaintances, etc. letting them know I was actively seeking a new role. According to a recent study, you’re far more likely to receive a job lead from acquaintances rather than close friends so don’t hesitate to share that you’re job hunting on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

The interviews

A former colleague gave me a great piece of interview advice: ask a lot of questions; you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.

Also, be yourself. Let a bit of personality shine during your interview and give them something to remember about you. For example, I included my blog on my resume under a section titled, “Passion Project.” Each interviewer smiled when asking about my blog and my face obviously lit up when I was able to talk about it and all the work I pour into my blog after working a full time gig. My blog is what set me apart from others and I believe it’s what ultimately landed me my job.

The big decision

After interviewing for three companies, I was offered two jobs. The offers came within three hours of each other. I cannot even begin to describe the stress and anxiety my husband and I both faced as we created our pros and cons lists.

The first job I was offered was here in Colorado, just 10 minutes up the street from our current apartment. Absolutely nothing would change about our day to day.

The second job was in Santa Rosa, California. Everything about our lives would change. We would miss my dad, our friends, our colleagues and Colorado. Plus, we would have to move 3 days after we get back from our 35-day Europe trip.

I spent a lot of time praying about what I should do. I asked God to give me a sign. I asked my mom to appear in a dream and give me advice. In the end, we made this decision based on a gut feeling that it was time for a big change and that I could really thrive in the position in California. Honestly, for months we have felt something pushing us out of Colorado and this is a great chance to finally act on it. Above all, most of my husband’s family lives in California and we cannot wait to spend more time with them.

Moving to California for a job is a big decision. We are probably biting off more than we can chew. But we’re ecstatic and cannot wait to start this next chapter of our lives.

Thanks for reading,

Emma

 

 

 

 

 

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