I haven’t posted a blog in a while, I’m really sorry.
Yesterday has been a very rough day or so I thought because I got laid off from my corporate job.
I was a contract-to-hire working at a corporate job for almost 7 months. It was funny because the day before I saw an opening for my position, I applied and the the following day I get the news from my contract representative that my corporate job decided to let me go.
Me: Did they give you feedback?
Contract rep: It’s unusual, they didn’t. They called me to come over to give you the news. They just said you were nice girl but it wasn’t going to work out.
Me: That’s not really much feedback.
Contract rep: I really wanted to get feedback if you did anything wrong but HR decided to let you go. (Big corporate fatty name AKA BCF) is really opaque about these things. You’re not the first person who’ve gone through it. They’ve all told me the same thing — they’ve followed all the rules and they’re a great fit with their department. It throws them off the loop.
Me: I see. I applied to become a permanent employer, I guess HR told you to let me go.
Contract rep: Look, I also cover the LA area. I’ll contact you if another opportunity comes up.
That was pretty much the summary of what happened to me.
How did I cope?
1. Talk to people about what happened — ASAP!
The first thing I did was call my boyfriend to tell him the news and my friends and network and my old coworkers a final good-bye. My coworkers had no idea what was coming. In fact, neither my supervisor until I walked out of the building. It was just the natural.
I also believe if you have the right people who cheer you on and support you, they’ll help you pave the way. I felt it created a ripple effect. That was something I haven’t felt in a long time. I guess that’s what happens when you ditch bad friends for good ones. When I told my boyfriend, he told his work’s HR, and his HR talked to me. She actually asked for my resume. And also she gave me steps to apply for unemployment insurance right away and try filing a claim.
I talked to friends and my network and they did think what they did was horrible. They asked me for my resume too. They also told asked me for my hobbies and interests and try to get freelance work for money in the mean time.
I even said “goodbye” to my old coworkers. They told me since I applied externally, they’ll try to get me back in. I said “sorry, what’s done has been done. I applied the day before and if they really wanted me to stay, they’d let me.” I told them I think I can find opportunities elsewhere.
2. Breathe back life in the things you love
I do pro bono side projects in my spare time. Neuron Highway is probably my biggest project and I can spend more time on it instead of focusing on it 2 days of the week. I felt very split between working for BCF and meeting up at school — they’re 40 miles apart! Some days after work I would debate whether or not to go to a networking event to promote Neuron Highway but I would be overwhelmed with the distance.
I feel this project can help raise my personal brand profile and introduce me to more doors. My partner from Neuron Highway told me that there are people that want to meet us but she always had to put it on hold because I always working and could never attend. I feel maybe this will open doors for exponentially.
I also noticed I haven’t blogged as much as I wanted to. But I can use this blog as my journey of getting back on my feet again.
3. Focusing on your personal brand
Maybe being in BCF it was hard to create a personal brand or maybe they recognized my personal brand and thought it wasn’t a good fit. The word “fit” is such a vague word. I thought being a great worker, showing initiative, getting along with your department and superiors, and being recognized by them is enough to stay. I don’t understand. I thought that’s what “fit” meant.
4. I can finally enjoy Saturday and other holidays
Self-explanatory. And not to mention drive 50 miles per day. I’m looking for my next job to be within LA where transit is more accessible.
5. My opportunity of getting out of the box
Since the start of post-college career, I’ve been in cell culture manufacturing. I graduated in 2009 with a Neuroscience degree in a TERRIBLE economy. But also at the time I did not have industry related experience. I got my break 6 weeks after I finished my last class at UCLA and was working in cell culture manufacturing. I’m not a biology person, I actually saw myself more of a biochemistry or a chemistry person when I was in college. I thought if I gave myself a couple years I would get out of cell culture and move into something else. Well that “couple of years” became 4 years in cell culture. I felt when I was looking to get out of cell culture, I got more calls for interviews for only cell culture positions. When I was head-hunted to work as a contractor for BCF, I thought this was my step to work for a BCF and maybe be able to move around within a BCF. The perception of working in something bigger is that you’re moving on up. It didn’t matter how many supervisors and colleagues in other departments liked me and wanted me to work for them, I felt BCF-HR stuck me in a box.
But since yesterday I felt I finally got out of that box and now I can move on.