One year ago today, as I was heading out for my lunch break, my supervisor called me into her office where she was waiting with the human resources manager. They told me that this just wasn’t working out. That my skills and abilities might be better suited for another company. That I need to clear out my desk and leave right now. The HR manager hovered behind me as I cleaned out my desk and then followed me out the door. I was given no real reason for the discharge, nor was I able to say goodbye to the friends I had made there. Here’s the weirdest part of it all: I had been in that position for 8 months with 2 left on my contract (I was covering a mat leave). I was given constructive criticism during my 3 and 6 month reviews and tried my hardest to fix my mistakes. I was good at my job and people said so.
After I was escorted out, I got in my car and headed for home. I called my husband and told him what happened. Then I text my mom because she sometimes stopped it to bring me a hot chocolate. I went home and laid down for the rest of the day.
I’m going to be honest: the next few weeks were awful…I didn’t know what to do with myself. Here I was, a newlywed in a house we had bought with 2 incomes and now we were down to 1. On top of financial worries I was suddenly alone all day with no idea what to do. I was sad, lonely, bored and angry. Thankfully, my husband was very understanding and in January he got me a kitten to keep me company.
I spent the rest of winter cooking, cleaning, learning to knit, painting some rooms, watching far too many movies. We also went away for David’s birthday weekend, which was a lot of fun. Spring came and I decided to completely redo all 5 of the gardens in our yard. I started vegetable seeds inside, ripped out all the ugly plants in the gardens, shopped for new plants and even created a new garden.
For 6 months I tried to keep myself busy by doing things I enjoyed. I spent hours a day gardening, reorganizing closets and the basement, cooking and reading. I decided to to back to college and got a summer job at the library in town. I learned how to really budget our money and how to survive on one income. It’s been a long year with lots of ups and downs. I’ve accomplished a lot and for that, I’m pretty proud of myself. The best part of it all? Getting to spend more time with my husband.
Getting fired was a huge shock to me. I had no idea what to do with myself and it took me a while to recover. But I got over it. Here are some tips if you should ever find yourself in that situation:
- Don’t panic. This is only temporary and you will find something new.
- Make a budget. Determine how much money your family spends monthly and see if there’s anything you can eliminate (going out for weekly dinners, for example). We totaled out fixed expenses like insurance, mortgage and phone bills. Then we saved out receipts for 1 month to see if we could trim back our variable expenses.
- Look for a new job. I looked on every job board I could find and even sought help from a career counsellor.
- Take advantage of your time off by doing things you like. I love reading but buying books is pricey so I utilized my local library.
I hope none of you get fired from your jobs, but if you do I encourage you to follow my tips above.