I was working at a pretty steady job in West Des Moines supporting a group of international salesmen at a major international company. I knew there was some restructuring taking place and staff was being hired in the UK. What I didn’t know was that staff was being hired to replace me and a few of my colleagues. Better time zone, they said, in order to be able to service Asia and North America more easily. Great.
Have you ever been laid off? It stinks.
I spent the next three months looking for a job that was exactly like the one I had. Now, bear in mind that I was laid off on February 1, 2009…so I had quite a bit of competition.
This was a very depressing time for me, so I focused on what I could control. I began networking, trying to meet as many people as I could. At the time, I wasn’t even on LinkedIn, because I had a job, right? I attended every workshop/event/class that had to do with social media. It was interesting and new and I thought that I could acquire some skills that I could use in my next job.
The next job (five months after the layoff) would be providing sales support for a Des Moines-based company that was misrepresented by both the recruiter AND the employer. I was told that I would be supporting their marketing and sales efforts, when in reality, I was cold calling companies soliciting their business – for 8 hours a day. Ironically, I was laid off two months later because the company wasn’t financially sound and shouldn’t have hired me in the first place!
In my heart, I knew that this second layoff of 2009 was the last straw. By getting out into the community and meeting new people, I realized that I didn’t have to get a job in order to earn a living. On November 19th, 2009, I filed my business with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and began networking as a business owner versus as a job seeker.
At the time, small businesses were very hesitant to hire marketing professionals (since they had just laid most of them off!), but they still had needs. That’s where I came in. I became their outsourced marketing department at a fraction of the cost. And in my opinion, I’d rather have 20 Clients than 1 job. There is no such thing as job security…
Four and a half years later, I’m still the Get It Done Girl, helping small businesses (and some extremely large ones) with everything from social media to event planning to marketing.
Being laid off was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me (in hindsight)!