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On the rebound

I worked in the real estate industry for five years, doing all that I could to get ahead. I knew cuts were being made in the office -- everything from paper ordering to business cards -- that times were tough. I assumed, though, that since there were quite a few "newbies" under me doing a lot less important work, that if anything took place, that is where I'd see it. I was so wrong.

When the higher ups couldn't look me in the eye anymore and things stopped getting tossed on my desk, I couldn't stand it anymore. I walked up to my boss, whom I had looked at as a father figure for five years, who came to my wedding, and asked "what's going on?". Shocked, he tried to evade my questions and asked me "why are you asking this?" I thought it was pretty obvious and he finally broke, telling me he couldn't believe it either. For being the strong woman I thought I was, I broke down myself. "Why me?", I asked. There were no answers and I suppose I hastened my demise since there was no longer any reason to hide behind and play the waiting game. I was marched into the owner's office and told that I had been a loyal employee for five years, but that the company was "moving in a different direction." I was given my severance and forgotten.

From the outside, nothing there has changed, but many things internally have. I felt horrible when I was released. I felt as if, they, my extended family could dismiss me after that long and keep who they chose to keep, nobody would want me!

Instead of taking a much-needed break, I sent out a flurry of applications and resumes, hoping someone would see a need for me and make me feel valued again. They did. Almost all of them. I was actually able to choose from a pool of employers with whom I had interviewed. I was so nervous to begin the process again, I threw up before my first interview, shocked to find myself in that spot again. But I can only tell you, you have to start somewhere. Of course, I didn't start off pay-wise where I was before, but I am almost there now, a year and 1/2 later, again through my hard work and "loyalty."

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