No matter how large your ego or how well you can intellectualize and rationalize the reasons behind your layoff, at some point over the course of time, it is virtually impossible not to utter the phrase: “Why me?” I am not exempt from this, although in truth, I’ve forced that thought to the background, as second guessing simply doesn’t help. That said, while I have had relative success pressing negativity to the basement of my psyche, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit that from way down below, once in a while, a bit of pessimism leaches up. Today, I am proud to say that confidence and intellect pulled on steel-toed boots and stomped on any nasty tendency toward “Woe is me.”
This noon found me at a table in a cavernous restaurant sharing a networking lunch with someone I haven’t seen in fifteen years. We worked together when he was beginning his career in recruitment advertising; I was a bit further into mine as a recruiter. As our third party advertising agency account coordinator, he talked with us weekly and in my role as majority ad placer, we were on the phone even more. As always happens with phenomenal account coordinators, he received a promotion and by and by, relocated out West, was promoted some more and as our business transactions ended, we exchanged occasional emails. Recently though, he moved back to the area and when I sent out my networking email to those I knew would respond, he was on my list.
So, fast forward to lunch today, when after huge hugs, we spent almost two hours discussing the business of recruitment advertising which is a galaxy and two worm-holes away from when we did business together. Then advertising meant help-wanted via local newspapers, determining circulation rates and reader drive time to our facility. Now it means Internet employment postings and job aggregators and pay-per-click and on-line filters, how to use social media for advertising purposes and where does Twitter fit in? Over lunch, we bantered back and forth on all of these topics, and I recognized that the parts of my job that I use to like the most, the strategy, the ongoing learning, developing action plans, well; mercifully, they are all still alive and living inside my sore little unemployed soul.
Between outplacement meetings and networking out-reach and above all Middle Passages, on the surface I haven’t felt especially lacking in mental stimulation during my time at home. Lunch though reminded me that I was good at what I used to do. The fact that financial difficulties required the to company make a decision that had a detrimental impact on me does not mitigate that I am smart, resourceful, interested, and on occasion fairly astute. That tossed together with dynamic conversation and a delicious BLT salad was enough to send me driving home with a smile.
The two pound piece of chocolate cake topped with ganache? Heck that was merely icing.