Getting laid off, especially if you got a severance package, is a lot like going on vacation. I mean, think about it, you are getting paid, (via the severance) and you don’t have to go to work. In fact it’s like a really LONG vacation. Sure, you can talk about the fact that you “job” is to get another job, but you have no boss. You have no deliverables. You hopefully have meetings.
But, as anyone who’s ever been laid off can tell you, it’s nothing like a vacation. Because, unlike a vacation, you really don’t know how long it will last. I’ve had a layoff last for just a couple of months, and I’ve had it last for over a year. (In IT you get laid off quite a bit. Comes with the territory.) And I’ve never worked for a company that actually hired back their laid off employees. I think that’s where the term originally came from.
I got sent on a permanent vacation last May from Teleperformance. There was no animosity in it. It really was just business. I got a reasonable severance and I was in a position where I needed to go find a new job. It was an interesting time to be laid off. The kids were finishing up school. Vacations were planned. Summer projects. That got put on hold for the most part. I went to work looking for work.
I was pretty apprehensive. The job I had before Teleperformance I also got laid off. I spent over a year looking for work. And when I took the Teleperformance job, It was a much lower salary than I’d worked for in more than 15 years. But, it was a job with benefits.
It was a good job. I was there seven years. By the end, I was making a pretty good salary. And most importantly I really liked my job. I didn’t love it. I quit loving jobs when I realized they never loved me back. (Don’t fall in love with your job. It’s destined to be an unhealthy relationship.)
Today is Friday. This week I actually did get to be on vacation. On Monday I accepted a job offer with a small software company in SLC. It’s a job I think I’m really going to like. The salary and benefits are very generous. I start on Tuesday.
It’s been great to enjoy my vacation after all these weeks.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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