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Every day is a fresh start

Monday, April 25, 2016

Coming back each day is a fresh start. Today is my second day back after an 8 week hiatus. In the interim, I closed a lab down, went on a few business trips as the business completed transfer to the new owners, and went on two interview trips.

Last week was the first week I've been home since I became unemployed on April Fool's Day (no joke). I learned of the sale of my product line on June 29, 2015. The new owners didn't offer us positions at the time of the sale. Our manager stood her ground that we wouldn't submit any resumes until we had an end date for the business to complete the full transfer. Several of us were necessary to ensure a smoother transition as we have a customer base to maintain.

At the end of August, we learned that 3/31/2016 would be our last day to service the business transfer agreement. My company, as a whole, had just completed a merger with another company. Our coworkers were being terminated in efforts to combine the companies. It was a very odd feeling to see folks I worked with for 18 years just gone. There was no rhyme or reason to who was let go.

Those of us affected by the product line sale were asked to submit resumes for consideration for employment by the new owners. Several of us did give resumes. The downside is that the new owners are located 9 hours away. That means relocate.

At the time of the sale, my significant other / boyfriend / (what to call the love of your life who you're not married to yet committed to??) and I had been together about 13 months. Things were going well. What to do? I realized that I didn't want to leave without him. He was very supportive. He's creative and what I do is creative. He can't move for at least 18 months as his daughter is a junior in high school and he's a present father - I think a kid needs their parents.

I submitted my resume along with my coworkers to the new owners of my product line. Everyone got calls from their HR. I rather freaked out. I had gotten myself enrolled in a computer science class as I was considering a career change. It would allow me to stay in town.

I pushed the new owners back and said that I needed some space. I needed to see if I could cut programming. The class was challenging in a good way. It pushed me to look at problems in ways I had not looked at problems. As an R&D creative, solving problems is my gig. Was I a savant at programming? Nope. I hacked my way through it.

At the end of October, I had my 50th birthday. Something snapped in my head.

My career field is lucrative. I learned from a few vendors that the company that purchased my product line have quite a number of employees who live at the employer's site during the week and are home every weekend - commuter job. Some had been doing it for many years.

I'm kind of a homebody. I also tend to work a lot when I am working. My partner (he became my partner, that wonderful man) is rather independent, too. We don't share a home yet and his schedule as an RN means that we don't see each other more than a few times a week now.

Commuting is not ideal, yet, I accept it. I interviewed in December. Their organization was reorganizing. My manager also had her last day in early January. She joined the company that purchased my product line in early February. She was now the hiring manager. Finally, I visited to meet her new manager (major reorg) in early April - the first week I was unemployed. I interviewed with a different company the next week.

Offers came in for both companies late last week. Both required commutes - ironically, one is 9 hours north and the other is 9 hours south (9 hours drive time). The jobs are different. I turned down the "different company".

I'm going to counter the offer from the company that purchased my product line today.

I'm grateful that my former company provided a generous severance package to make this transition easier. I'm grateful that my product line sold. It had gotten more difficult to bring new products to market over the last 8 years with more internal policy being added. Also, had the line not been sold, the current business owners likely would have just shut the lines down as it did not fit their business model.

Funny to say that I'm happily unemployed. Change is difficult. Acceptance of it can be hard as well.

Then I remember:
Every day is a fresh start.
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