I got laid off from my magazine job last week. I was fairly calm and resigned to the fact at the time, but then, the next day, it happened: Detached from my co-workers and hours removed from the assurances it had nothing to do with me but was strictly because my position was being eliminated, I began to have huge pangs of panic and self-doubt. Huge.
I felt like the girl who’d just been dumped by her boyfriend. I worried, Did I do something wrong? Had I not done enough? Were they, as the saying goes, just not that into me?
Because if my company liked me and respected my work as much as they said they did, wouldn’t they have found a way to keep me on? Would they really let a little thing like money stand in the way of such a meaningful relationship?
The sad truth of it is, no matter how great your old employer insists you were, it’s hard not to take something like being laid-off a little personally. I’m over it now, though. The wave of insecurity and second-guessing myself has passed. Because if there’s one area of my life I do feel pretty confident about, it’s that I’m damned good at what I do. Or that I at least try as hard as anyone you’ll ever meet. So don’t worry about me; I’ll be fine.
That said, anybody looking for a talented writer and editor—full-time, freelance, or otherwise? My ex-employer will even give me a good reference. Promise.