How I Survived 2 Layoffs Before 26
“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you I didn’t give up.”
I've been laid off…twice! Kind of hard to believe being that I’m only in my mid-20s and should be rooting myself within my career.
As a scientist who had already been laid off once in 2013 due to an unexpected lab closing, once I got back on my feet I felt like everything would finally fall back into place.
Here I was following my dreams. 2015. Meeting awesome people and being trained by one of the best. So 4 months later you can imagine my surprise being called into the conference room with my coworkers and getting the unexpected news that they just didn't have the work they anticipated for us to do.
Instantly I think I blanked out. I stared out the window and only could see his lips moving in the peripheral of my eyes. I have no idea what he said next.
So yes. Laid off again. June 30, 2015. Just one week before my 26th birthday.
For this to have happened twice it hit me like a wall of bricks. Mind flooded with endless questions. Did I choose the wrong career path? Should I give up what I love and do something a little more stable? What. Do. I. Do?!
I know it’s not the end of the world to lose your job but for me these times were rough. The first time it happened was really bad. Going 6 months without finding work and I cried just about every day for the month of September. But I made it through.
This time around I knew that I would figure it all out in the end but it wasn’t necessarily a breeze either. I was stuck in a lease and trying to figure out how I was going to pay my bills. I’m not someone who asks for help easily so of course I tried to figure it all out on my own.
So how did I survive and not lose my mind during these rough times?
Stay prayed up.
The upside to this unfortunate event is that my relationship with God grew stronger than ever. I learned how to really spend time with him and that faith is ultimately what led me to not giving up.
If these circumstances hasn’t taught me anything else it’s that you should always have a back up plan and have multiple streams of income.
For me it was doing something I enjoy like blogging for blackhairinformation.com and urbangyal.com. I also love creating content for YouTube and sharing my natural hair journey, DIY projects and more.
Doing these things gave me purpose and allowed me to feel like I wasn’t just going through the motions.
Have positive distractions
Positive distractions are always necessary so you don’t get boggled down by thoughts of your current circumstances. I personally gained a passion for yoga which served as a challenge for me. I would set personal goals and focus on meeting them. There were many days that I spent a good 3-4 hours on my mat just trying to get a pose down!
Keep Moving Forward
Remember that just because your career is in limbo doesn't mean your life has to be. Don’t stop living. Unemployed or not I still made sure I still took my planned vacation to Hawaii to visit one of my closest friends, I road tripped up to New York to visit my sister and the list goes on. Your career doesn't define you so keep moving forward.
In moving forward it is now important that I anticipate adversity. Plan for the worst. That includes building my savings as well as formulating and expanding my additional streams of income so that in the event that it happens again my life isn’t drastically affected.
Another thing I’ve learned is that I have developed a strong desire to work for myself. One day I will. Never giving up!
It’s hard for me to be so transparent but I share my story in hopes of encouraging someone going through similar circumstances. If I can encourage or help just one person I've done my job. If you feel the need to vent and don’t really have anyone to listen know that I’m here! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or vent below.
Vanessa Michele. Christian. Writer. Content creator. Giver of love. Collector of quotes. Yoga enthusiast. Forensic Scientist by day.
A 26 year old southern girl who loves blogging from my vantage point. When I'm not writing you can find me diving into a book with a glass of red wine, snapping photos, hitting my mat for a good yoga sesh, or planning my next trip.