One day last fall, the company I worked for over nine years gave me my three months notice. Just like that, the world I had created and built around that job in the hospitality industry as a customer service manager was demolished. Was I disappointed or shattered? Not at all. I was relieved for three reasons: A) I would never have had the courage to give up my job, B) I had gotten into a super comfort zone, and C) a decade ago, when I landed in Canada, I did not know that ‘every job is temporary.’
A few months after landing as an immigrant, I got into a full-time job in a private company (single owner), and my workplace was less than a seven-minute walk from my home. I had my bank, grocery shop, aesthetician and coffee shop where I would sit for hours on my days off reading or writing, sipping several cups of coffee and eating almond biscotti, and many other places that provided convenience for my routine in that same strip mall.
My life was filled with comfort and happiness. I could wake up at 8 am for a 10 am shift and come home during my break and plan my meals. This comfort and convenience made me forget about my career growth, upgrading my skills and other features needed to move up the ladder. I thought the company would go on forever. Apparently, the owner/director of the company thought otherwise, and sold it to new management. (The recession was not the reason, and the company was making a decent amount of money.)
I had no job and no clue what career options I was left with. Nine years of my life had just been written off in few minutes. It might sound a bit ridiculous that I never gave any thought to my career growth outside this company, but please look at it from an immigrant’s point of view—one who came with a teenage child as a single parent.
Cut to the next day with me as an unemployed person. I’m trying to collect all the skills I developed working in the company. But how can I show my CSR skills apply in a different field? I have a bit of sales experience, a bit of human resource and admin and a bit of everything, but not enough to get me an opening in the job market.
My experience (or lack of it) is another hindrance. I feel the right strategy would be to cast the net wider and not stick to one particular industry. Not leaving a single stone unturned, I’m trying everything, with no luck. I’m even trying going back to school, but I’ll give up after two semesters.
Seven months after losing my job with two semesters of school under my belt, I was still unemployed, except for an part-time writing job.
I needed a regular paycheck and for that I had to get back into the workforce full-time, through one job or many. I had managed to connect with a handful of people while working and one of those connections helped me get an opening in the retail industry. That set the ball rolling for me, and I took up a few part-time jobs including freelance writing.
The Benefits Of Losing A Job
Today I am back in the work force. I am not making big bucks, but I am no longer a slave to a job where my faculties are reduced to zero. I no longer take anything for granted, and I’m constantly trying to improve so I’m ready for the next great opportunity that comes my way.
It is a big challenge to bring in tons of money juggling part time jobs in this economy, but I’m aware that I’m building a foundation for a career on gathering experience and most importantly, networking.
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