Perceptions of getting fired, laid off, and accepting a severance package.

When I first got fired I was too embarrassed to tell. You have this big scarlet ‘F’ attached to you because one way or another, you got yourself fired. It’s your fault for being dumb enough to get fired.

Except, I was “laid off” which made my situation seem better. People’s reactions were a little different when I said fired VS laid off. Only dumb people get fired (this is a joke), but when you’re laid off – you’re still capable. This situation is not your fault, but the circumstances were just bad.

People’s reactions were even more different when I told them I got a severance package on top of being laid off. Apparently, I’ve practically won the lottery since I’m paid for work that I will not be performing.

Perhaps I did win the lottery of unemployment, but dare I say…

It does not make it any easier to explain this to my future employers, but it did it less embarrassing to tell my friends about my situation. Is this perception a real thing? Anybody else feel this way?

Lastly, for anyone that has gotten fired and it was not a good reason, I get it. Workers are usually not protected (hence the creation of unions) and many of us live in pro-employer states. We could get fired for wearing ugly shoes or even being ugly.

Til next time,

an unemployed millennial

We like you, but not enough to hire you.

Before I got “fired” or “laid off” I had been looking for a job. I had been looking for a job, on and off, for a year. The last five years was not a walk in the park. Many times I wanted to quit. A few of those times, my boss or owner knew. I was persuaded to stay and ride out the storms. I had progressively made more money than I ever have, but each day I did not feel like it was worth the struggle of dissatisfaction. The dissatisfaction was due to the lack of value of work I would do. My job was to help run things smoothly and seamlessly from production to accounting. My job was not to be well-liked because I was the problem finder and solution creator. No one enjoys being told how to do their job by someone that does not do their job. I actually liked this job because I liked helping and giving solutions to headaches. I imagined myself to be a bit peacemaker in the long run; however, as much as my boss knew that this job needed to be done and wanted me to do it, he/they did not support the work that I did. It was not my job to implement every solution, but to help all parties understand new formats. It was not my job to enforce and control the solution. Eventually, things would fall apart &/or not amount to anything. I would spend weeks and months planning and thinking of these solutions and it would crumble so quickly. My work was not particularly supported and it was a never-ending cycle. I realize this could be read as bit of a spoiled brat mentality, but if you do have to work majority of your life, shouldn’t you find something that does not make you hate life? Eventually, I came to terms with my job/company and knew that I had to look for different opportunities.

I had worked for a small company and thought many of the problems I faced were “small company problems.” I wanted to be a bit more diligent and particular when choosing my next employer and had sought out large corporations. Although the processes were a lot longer and detailed I had been confident in terms of what I could offer. There was one company I had interviewed for and was rejected four times. I had gone through 4 different positions and each time I did not get a job, the manager that had interviewed me referenced me to a different department. I did not mind this either because I was not quite set on what type of position I should be seeking. I had the mentality of “getting my foot in the door” and growing into this company. This same experience happened for an international corporation. Needless to say, these interviews itself took months. At first these referrals were small wins. I thought these referrals were the way to find a great boss to work with.

But that’s not what happened.

“We like you, but not enough to hire you.”

Til next time,

an unemployed millennial

An Umployed Life.

Umployed is unemployed shortened. It sounds more dumb and sad than unemployed, but I think you can also make out the meaning of the name. I was also tired of thinking of usernames and messing them up so I have settled like a true 20-something year old. I am an unemployed millennial.

I am shamed by society as if it were my choice and my fault. I will have to admit that maybe a part of it could be my fault. I’m not so full of myself to believe that I didn’t partially deserve what was coming to me. I still want to believe that how I handled my work situation is what was right but I was not tactful. Can I acquire this skill later on in life or have I stumped in my growth as an adult?

The experience of how I got fired or “laid off” haunted me for the last three months. I had been with one company for over five years. I had spent my most eager 20’s at this company. In those five years, I had gone through many bosses. Our small 30-person company had very high turnover. It’s one of those companies where you’re an A+ employee if you make it to work on time. Professionalism was not a standard but more of a facade. But I made it. I was one of the longest employees. I thought surely I had to be doing something right.

At the end of my pitiful story is that I found out that not all co-workers are your friends and just because a fellow co-worker complained and cried with you does not mean that they are on your side. Words and loyalty are cheap when money and your job is involved. No one wants to fight for change if it means that they have to fight for it, but will gladly reap the benefits of change.

I have learned many lessons of dealing with bad co-workers and bad boss during this time; also, I learned a life lesson that people are pretty crappy, but I hope that I can encounter some better people along the way considering the fact we live outrageously longer lives than generations before.

So why is it important to note that I am an unemployed millennial? Because we’re deemed as a lazy generation. Our literacy rate is in the craps but we’re also self-absorbed. We are entitled because our parents generation worked so hard that we didn’t have to suffer which turned into creating, us, spoiled brats. We don’t know how to drive without cameras and alert systems showing us something our eyes used to be good for. We all are spoon fed and cycled through the education system. Many times we are granted with a degree that is worth a very pretty penny in time and money, but not much else in the “real world.”

I’d like to let the world out there know that we’re not lazy. I’m not thrilled to be unemployed. I worked hard for my degree, the advancement of my career, and learning to adapt to my environment. I worked hard to not fall in the traps of financial debt with credit cards or student loans. I had planned for retirement starting at the age of 18. I did not live beyond my means by purchasing a grandiose car or a house even when I had the money. I didn’t party, but still enjoyed life. I didn’t do drugs because I could endure hardships and could face my troubles for what they were. I didn’t need an escape because I was a fighter. I thought I had grit.

Being unemployed is very lonely. It is lonely even when you have great supportive parents, friends, church members, or whatever else you surround yourself with. You realize that all the times that you thought “I don’t have time for that” is actually false. Now, you have plenty of time and you still aren’t going to the gym. I still don’t leisurely read everyday. I still don’t see the sun much or eat any healthier.

So, where is everyone? Or am I really the only other unemployed person out there.

Til next time,

an umployed millennial

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