I Got Laid Off And Made A Career Change All in Two Months

In the very last week of November, I was laid off from a job that I had for a year. By the first week of February, I signed an offer for a new job that I could not wait to start.

Photos by Jeremie Dupont Photography

So let’s start at the beginning and catch up to now.

Everything happens for a reason is so cheesy and so very true.

I started at Diply with rose-coloured glasses and a lot of ideas of what would happen with my career while I was there. I started as a writer, with the very clear plan of becoming an editor. I laid out these goals from the start and was confident in the path seeing as I had a lot of experience in the publication industry.

And then reality came knocking and my rose-coloured glasses flew off my face.

I was making far less money than the other writers, the company wasn’t doing well at all and was becoming very good at dodging questions and delivering false promises, and my team wasn’t the team I signed on for.

“Cut once, cut deep,” was what the CEO stated again and again. But four cuts later, that was just another lie disguised as a confident business choice.

I started job hunting mid-November as work had gotten so bad it wasn’t rare that I had to go on a walk to cry a bit or call my mom. I wasn’t being supported in my role, all my goals were forgotten and the raise I had been told was coming for almost a year was nowhere in sight.

I went from working for amazing women to having the upper management become an old boy’s club that was too good with their wording.

So when I, along with most of the writers, got cut it was bittersweet because I felt a lot of relief of it being over.

Sure financially it was horrible. But given the option of staying, I would have left anyway. And I think it spoke volumes that even when I was let go, my current manager didn’t say a thing.

Affording rent was out of the picture, but it was shocking how relieving it felt to be out of such a toxic environment.

Timing is everything.

Now, getting let go so close to Christmas is rough.

Offices are closing, people are tired and a lot of projects are put on hold until the new year.

But I jumped into the job hunt the day after the cut and was back to doing freelance the next week. Freelance is not my jam because I truly find it exhausting, and I don’t like chasing companies for the money they owe me.

I had interviews right off the bat which was awesome but I knew I wouldn’t hear back until the new year. And I think we all know that waiting isn’t my strength.

I had, in total, just under twenty interviews. I think. Some of the phone ones are a bit foggy in memory, but there were some weeks I was doing 5-7.

Of all of them, three stand out on my memory.

One with a company that would have been amazing. The projects went well, I did numerous interviews, but they went with someone else. I was under-qualified for sure, but I was excited to have gotten so far in the process.

The second would have been a learning role in marketing, but that opportunity was stolen from me by a man at the company and while I won’t go into it again, you can read about it in the article I wrote for She Does The City. 

And the third one is the job I now have.

What do you do when your dream industry is crumbling?

See, I’ve always wanted to work at a magazine. But that industry has had some hard hits, and the online publication world isn’t looking too great either.

It’s hard to realize that your dream might not be a responsible choice. That your passion is an unreliable source of income.

I had a coffee right with a Toronto mega-boss woman who I adore greatly (hi Julie!) and she mentioned trying to get into the agency side of things. It was something I had considered, but I was having trouble breaking into the agency world because of lack of experience. Totally understandable.

I didn’t know much about marketing world, but I had worked with so many PR firms that I knew that was the direction I wanted to head in.

A few interviews mentioned that I could go back to school for PR but I knew that wasn’t an option (right now anyway) so I kept trying, and I admit I was 100% reaching the end of my wits as January dragged on. I was going to start applying to the retail world, as my deadline was to have a job by February 1st.

I’m self-taught and proud of it.

I’ve now left the writing world and entered the social media marketing world, and everything I know I taught myself.

And that didn’t really occur to me until my now boss (an amazing woman I’m thrilled to work with) introduced me that way to a part of the team out west.

It helped shake the imposter syndrome I’ve been feeling and made me realize how far I’ve come.

Sure I’ve gone to a few panels here and there, but it’s been a lot of just reading articles and throwing myself into freelance contracts along the way. I’m good at social media, and I’ve learned a lot of the years running different accounts for publications and different start-up companies.

And now I’m in a full-time position at a PR firm that works with restaurants and hotels and I am living my current dream. I get to look at yummy food, learn about the latest trends in the hospitality industry and learn a lot. Like I learned more in a week at my new job, versus a year at my old one.

Photos by Jeremie Dupont Photography

Your dream is allowed to change.

I think the hardest part of all of this was a lingering feeling that I was “giving up” on what I’ve always wanted to do, even though I know that’s not true. I’m still writing (hi, you’re reading it right now) and I have the intention to always do so. I edited a book (which is now published!) and I want to finish up a similar book of my own in 2019.

But regardless, you’re allowed to make the changes in your life that will benefit with you, even ig it’s a path you never considered a few years ago. That’s why I hate the “where do you see yourself in five years?” interview question, because I have no idea.

Right now, I’m happy and proud and excited about what’s coming up in this new career. And I hope you are too but if you’re not, don’t be afraid to make the change. I just need a little push, and it was for the best.

 

9 Comments

  1. February 27, 2019 / 5:42 pm

    I think there’s a myth that every job needs to be an amazing, perfect experience to set you to your next level, and that you should always be finding “dream jobs” when in reality I think it’s been said that millennials are expected to have at least four job changes in their first ten years in their career, not to mention career trajectory changes. It’s normal to question yourself but when someone like you has such a strong skill set and work ethic i know that even if your goals change, you’ll make it work.

    • bri
      Author
      February 27, 2019 / 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much girl!! It’s so true! And I think it’s so different from older generations that really, had one job and made it work. Who the heck knows what comes next for us really, but I’m excited to see.

  2. February 27, 2019 / 9:29 pm

    Ugh this makes me so happy and sad at the same time. I’m so happy you found something amazing!! I’ve been job hunting for a year now and have never felt so under qualified/ lame/ why am I being ghosted when the interviews are going well?? But girl you deserve it. I will meet you there soon!

    • bri
      Author
      February 28, 2019 / 9:37 am

      YOU’VE GOT THIS! If you ever need anything, job ideas or leads or just want to meet for a coffee to bounce ideas just let me know. It’s really hard to handle a job hunt, it’s exhausting! I have no doubt that you’re going to find something you love, but let me know if you need me! Because you deserve it too!!

  3. February 27, 2019 / 10:01 pm

    I don’t have a ton of bandwidth to leave a great comment right now, but I just wanted to say that I’m so proud of you, Bri. Watching you chase (and change!) your dreams has been so inspiring, and I could not be more thankful to know you. 💕

    • bri
      Author
      February 28, 2019 / 9:38 am

      I miss you so much!! Thank you so much Rae, I cannot wait to chat about it all over a drink (or two) as soon as you land here next!

  4. Monica Kee
    February 28, 2019 / 8:49 am

    my experiences are way older than yours, but i too, changed my “dream” and found my niche. I love being a nurse. I took a job in psychiatry because they hired full time,and it made more sense than chasing part time. But i was hired on to an amazing team of caring, supportive and very smart nurses, who taught me the importance of psychiatry in the world of health. Psych nursing has always (and still is to some extent) been where nurses go when they don’t care about losing their “skills”. But i belonged there, and i found value in what i do. I eventually found my way off of the front line, and into a job where i can write (yay) and use all of my experiences as a nurse specializing in psychiatry.

    • bri
      Author
      February 28, 2019 / 9:46 am

      Yess!! I think that even though it’s more ‘common’ now for job switching to happen a lot, it’s certainly not a new concept. I think that I’ll get some chances to write too & I can’t wait 🙂

  5. February 28, 2019 / 11:56 pm

    I loved reading about your experience. An ex-colleague and great friend was let go at the end of November too. So I completely understand. Also there’s so much content development and writing skills required in the social media field so I feel you’d be great at that. I’d love to know how you managed to secure so many interviews at such a tricky job hunting season. I’m looking to make a change but haven’t had any luck. Thanks!

    http://www.baublestories.com

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