Monday, November 17, 2008

Goodbye Job, Hello Unemployment

So last Thursday, I was at home working, as per usual, when I get an email from my manager's boss (who was my manager until 3 months ago) asking if I could come in for a meeting that morning. In that very moment, I had a sinking feeling. I don't know how I knew what was coming, but I was pretty certain, though the whole time I was trying to rationalize why it wasn't what I thought it was. I went and told my husband that I would be going to work because my boss asked me to come in and I found out later that for some reason, he knew what it was going to be about as well, though he was hoping he was wrong too.

So I drove in, and went into my former manager's office. I could tell it was hard for him to tell me what he had to tell me, but the jist of it was that my company was cutting costs and my position was being eliminated. He emphasized that this was not because of performance and he, and my current manager, would have loved to keep me if it were in their power to do so. This made me feel somewhat better. What also helped was they were giving me a severance package which would give me time to find another job and give me health insurance through the end of the year.

Still, despite these positives, I was in shock. I had not expected it and had only heard that day that there might be layoffs (which may be why I had an inkling of what the meeting was about). The rest of the day I felt like I was in a trance and could barely concentrate on anything.

Friday came and I hit the ground running so to speak. I updated my resume and started searching for jobs. I applied for three: two writing jobs and an instructional design job. I heard back from two jobs that day and scheduled two interviews for today, a phone interview and a regular interview. That was pretty exciting to get interviews so quickly.

So today was the phone interview and it went very well. From what I understood from the interview, there are a lot of applicants for this job and the manager is interviewing everyone by phone (he thinks he needs to give every one a chance, I guess). He said at the beginning he was going to narrow it down to the best half dozen applicants and then bring them in for an interview. At the end of the interview, he said that I would definitely be called for another interview. Unfortunately this won't be until December and he's projecting hiring someone in mid-January. When he found out I was laid off, he realized that basically that would mean I would be trying to find something ASAP and asked if I would take something else if I were offered it first.I had to be honest and say that I would if it were best for my family. If I were guaranteed a position, then yeah, I'd wait, but I can't wait just in case (I didn't say that, though). He seemed worried that he might lose me, so I guess that's a good sign. He told me at the end that I should hear from him or his assistant by December 8 and, if I didn't hear, I should call him, so I figure that's a good sign! He said I was a very strong applicant. He also said that I had the coolest resume out of all the applicants. It's exciting to feel wanted.

But we'll have to see what happens with my other applications. I applied for two more jobs today, so 5 jobs so far, and I'm looking into other avenues as well. As part of my severance package, I get to have the help of a career transition service to help me find a new job. Additionally, I'm going to look into what LDS Employment Resource Services cand do to help and sign up with my previous temp agency to see if I can get some temp work. They're actually the ones who got me the job with Altiris in the first place when I was just out of college, so I figure they're a good resource and, if they remember me, they probably like me. I mean I worked as a temp for 18 months straight before Altiris hired me, so I was a good asset for them in the past.

I'm also going to look into government assistance in the meantime, such as WIC, Medicaid, Workforce services, unemployment, and possibly CHIP (though it's very possible I will have another job by the time my insurance runs out, or at least soon after). I just need to find out what all is out there to help me.

In the meantime, Aaron is looking into switching majors. He's been going for computer science, but it's going slowly because all he has left are major classes (except one general ed. requirement that is left), and it's hard to take four computer science classes at once. Ultimately, he just really wants to teach, so although he really wants to teach college, he's considering switching to elementary ed. and teaching school instead (and maybe going back for his master's and doctorate degrees later). This would allow him to finish quicker because he would more likely be able to go full time. He's still not sure yet, but he's planning to go and talk to a counselor in the Elementary Ed. department to find out what the requirements are and how easy it would be. He also wants to find out if there is a way to get your teaching certificate after his bachelor's degree in computer science is complete. This might be an alternative because even though it would take him awhile to finish, he wouldn't have to wait till getting his doctorate to be able to teach. And if he was ever able to go back for his master's he would more easily do that (I'm not sure how easy it would be to get into a computer science master's degree program when you graduated with an El. Ed. major). But we're still not sure because it would depend on how long that would take. Basically, he realizes that I don't want to work for the rest of my life and if he were able to teach then I would hopefully be able to quit working outside the home and just concentrate on getting freelance work to bring in extra income. That would be cool for him to start working sooner, but mostly I just want him to have a job that he's happy at, so I can be a happy stay-at-home mom.

Alex is doing great and is just a happy baby. I posted some new pictures here: New pictures are on the third page. We just love him lots and are so grateful for him. He's a real cutie.

Well, please pray for me to get a job. I need all the help I can get!

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