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I wasn’t surprised to hear my former employer has cut loose another crop of individuals who spent upwards of ten years of their lives working for the same company. I thought the company was done “downsizing” when they let me go. This is my graduation speech to those folks, regardless if they ever read it.

Take the time to grieve. The loss of your job is very much like a divorce or death. You will need to recreate a routine and the social side of your life that was tied to your job. My world has compressed to the 20 or so miles that surround my driveway.  I used to fly so regularly I knew the TSA agents by first name at the regional airport. Every time I had to pack that suitcase,  I missed my small world on the back-side of the mountain terribly.

Tonight I listen to the whine of my neighbor’s four-wheeler, moving snow. l look out at the light bouncing along his long dirt drive and realize, this is the floor show for tonight. Gone are the days of exclusive restaurants and expenses accounts.

Imagine all the doors or roads or whatever image works for you. See the potential in this change. My commute is 7 miles door to door. I am greeted by smiling faces of customers, co-workers, or building-mates who are happily out and about, and seeing what the world has to offer. There are deadlines and copy edits. There are impromptu business meetings where budgets are adjusted and plans rethought. There are moments when I stop and compare today with the former life. I may even question why I am doing what I am these days.  But these are fleeting, among the hours of feeling fulfilled.

We were beaten into submission and fear through the relentless mandate to trim costs and give more. There was no gratitude, no reward for hard work or innovation. You were given more money so you would think you couldn’t possibly be happy without it. Your time was bought with the promises of how you could now afford to spend it,  when or if, it was ever given back to you.

Well, guess what? Time is gone once it has passed. You can not save it, or bankroll it,  for when it will be convenient. It is only now and once you sell yours it is gone.

Depending on where you are in life. You can go right out and get another job just like the one you had for the same amount of money and continue on like nothing ever happened. Or you can stop and take a moment to evaluate what you have been handed. This is an opportunity to step off the mid-way, walk away from the frenzy, and think about what makes you happy right now.

And if it looks a little scary or you think you need some words of support?   Reach out to those of us who have gone before. We have started started new businesses, pursued dreams and gone back to school. We understand your fear and anger. I’m not hard to find and that fact is the key to my happiness…

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13 comments on “To the most recent graduates…

  1. Stephanie sheridan says:

    Love this…more timely than you know. Meeting with my retirement accountant this am! Not sure what she will have in store for me, but this post puts it all into perspective no matter what the bottom line turns out to be. U da best.

    1. We are adaptable being, Steph. That’s what makes it fun!

  2. Catherine says:

    Never easy but powerful positive thoughts as one takes the opportunity to “evaluate what you have been handed.” They may be a blessing in disguise. 🙂

    1. thanks Catherine. It has been a blessing so far for me!

  3. Any company that doesn’t see its employees as its most valuable asset most might as well just send them to the competition because that’s where most of them will end up eventually.

    1. and this company is a perfect example of that!

  4. mariekeates says:

    Following you on the same journey. I may be a little way behind but I’m getting there I think. The simple pleasures in life are often overlooked in the struggle to juggle time and the need to earn money. Redundancy, after the denial, anger, bargaining and depression, brings the chance to appreciate them.

    1. Not so far behind, Marie. Interesting that we share similar feelings and experiences though we have never met and have an ocean between us.

  5. Martha, these are incredibly wise, excellent words. Thanks, Terri

    1. I feel for those who were recently let go. The company is so poorly run now and has no regard for the quality folks who have hung in there…

  6. alinekaplan says:

    One of the engineers they let go is the husband of someone I know from the gym.He was stunned and trying to regroup.

    1. It really shouldn’t be a surprise considering how poorly the company is doing. I never cease to be amazed at how long an organization can hang on in the death-throes.

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