Feed on

I was laid off two weeks ago Wednesday, and I’ve been floating in a rather uncomfortable, liminal space ever since.

The first two days were pretty good. Lots of friends and colleagues called or wrote to support me, I had a good conversation with my soon-to-be former boss, and I was feeling almost settled into my new path.

Then Monday rolled around, my colleagues all got back to work, and I logged into an inbox that won’t be mine much longer to do a job that isn’t quite mine any more, either. That is when “OK and settled” turned into “unsettled and kind of yucky”.

For starters, it’s a bit odd trying to figure out what I should do and/or respond to and what I should leave alone and/or forward on to someone else. Do I finish that proposal I was working on? Have that author prospecting call that’s still on my calendar? I’m not sure, and there doesn’t seem to be any rule book around here to tell me.

But the big issue is the personal connection. No one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to interact with me. I get it: Some might feel bad for me; some might not know what to say to me; I might remind some of tough conditions in a company they are still part of; and some might think my departure was inevitable and/or overdue. While I can understand nearly all these responses, the silence is nonetheless discomfiting. I’m used to working amid a multi-sensory assault of email, IM, and phone calls. Yet for two weeks now my inbox has slowed to a trickle, my IM goes un-pinged, and my phone barely rings.

I have the stink of death on me. I think what I am experiencing is, to a much lesser extent, what happens when people become widowed or divorced. You no longer quite fit in with your cohort, and people don’t know what to say to you. I’ve read about this, but never experienced it first-hand.

Thankfully, my time in this space and the degree of my isolation is limited. My family and social life continues as normal, thankfully. I wrapped up my transfer notes this week. (Work itself is also proving to be exceedingly difficult, as I am ill at present and find my motivation sorely lacking.) I hope to officially transfer most of my work by Monday. And later next week, I get to work on burning key files onto a DVD and shipping my computer off to the IT center of no return.

That’s the plan at any rate. And if all goes accordingly, right around the time my jonquils begin to bloom and it’s time to re-mulch my yard, I will be able to put the winter of my professional discontent completely behind me and begin nurturing plans for my next professional incarnation.

One Response to “Life in a Post-Layoff Landscape”

  1. blg says:

    I like that your tag is “career change”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.