I lost my job yesterday. My employer of the past six years is "restructuring assets", so me and several of my co-workers received termination notices for lunch. No milkshake party or anything! Just "Thanks for your help. Good luck."
After I got over the initial panic of wearing the label of "unemployed", I began to realize that I've been given the gift I've been secretly wanting for over 2 years: a paid exit strategy to a better life, and the free time I need to finish up about 14 personal (and paying) creative projects I'm currently involved with "after hours".
You see, by day, I worked on a print production team at a large ad agency/publisher, but in the evenings, I've been trying to establish myself as an event photographer, art director and web designer. My day job didn't hold any interest for me, but it paid my bills, it offered medical & life insurance and a 401K, so it was difficult to leave that security blanket behind. But a decent severance package changes all the rules. For my situation, this payout is the rocket fuel that could propel me into the life I always dreamed about.
Now that I've had 24 hours to absorb the shock of this unexpected event, I'm almost giddy with anticipation. Like everyone else, I was too deeply engaged in my daily routine to consider changing anything about it. I didn't enjoy getting up and going to work, but I had become complacent, and I wasn't even aware of it until today.
So for the next couple weeks, I'm taking a bit of a vacation. I won't really travel anywhere, but I will meet with my vast network of associates, exchange some ideas, clock back a few pints, and devise my plan of attack. I will find a place where people WANT me, not just need me - because I think when it comes to the changing face of business and relationships, the safest haven is amongst people who want you by their side, no matter whether they need you there or not. I have dreamed of striking out on my own for a long time, so you folks may be witnessing the birth of a supernova.