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Viewing my Layoff as a Blessing

Given that I just found out about my job elimination last week it’s fair to say that it has been the most pressing issue on my mind. I’ve run the gamut of emotions from sad, angry, happy, elated and utterly confused.

My company’s restructuring initiatives have been going on for quite some time, but somehow or another I thought I’d be the last to be impacted. I’ve always received stellar year end ratings and reviews. I’m the kind of girl that’s known for getting things done and for working long, hard necessary hours to make that happen when necessary.

My loyalty to my company and my unwavering desire to do a good job has never been questioned. In fact, the mere fact that a fellow coworker all but offered me a position, (without knowing that I’d recently been laid off), is a sign that I’m well respected in my profession.

Of course, at the end of the day while all those facts are well and good it really makes no difference. A strange set of circumstances put me in a position where the quality of my work wasn’t a factor. I was simply in the wrong group at the wrong time and that group has been disbanded.

I can’t weigh what I’ve done or would have done differently. What matters is right now. I’ve been presented with a severance package and I’ve decided to take it.

I’ve been so focused on the long term aspects of this decision that I hadn’t really thought about how my overall financial management plays a role. Sense, (a long time reader of One Frugal Girl), wrote “I am glad it will work out so well for you… and that you are one frugal girl and can afford to take the time off from work to concentrate on what matters most to you!”

Until I read that comment I hadn’t considered how my desire to scrounge and save played a role in my ability to choose to take this package and to choose to stay home for a little while. My life is truly blessed. I have the cognitive abilities to work a highly skilled job that pays well. I met the man of my dreams many, many years ago and he is also able to work in a highly compensated profession.

While income is a huge factor in this decision, so are all of the major decisions we’ve made about our money over these last ten years. We could have chosen to live beyond our means, but instead we live a very modest lifestyle and I still clip coupons and save wherever I can in spite of earning a healthy income.

It is this desire to save for a future goal, without knowing exactly what that future goal was, that will now enable me to stay home for a little while. This focus on our finances has allowed me to put all of my options on the table in order to figure out just which way I want to turn.

While many of my coworkers are bitter and angry about these circumstances I’ve been able to put a positive light on this life changing event. I now realize a lot of this has to do with the way I’ve managed my finances over these past ten years.

Despite earning similar incomes many of my coworkers spent money on extravagant vacations, expensive homes and fancy cars. I make no judgement on their choices, but I now see how these choices are making them fear the layoffs in a way that thankfully does not impact me.

I have spoken to many men and women who say they cannot afford to live without a single paycheck. That they will not be able to pay their mortgages and car loans if they don’t find a job immediately after leaving this one.

I am thankful that my husband and I are not in that position. I am thankful that we’ve been saving for all these years and that the money we’ve stored in combination with my severance will provide me with the option of staying home for just a little while.

I am thankful that I can look at this situation as an opportunity and a blessing rather than a curse.

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» Will I Ever Need to Work Again? One Frugal Girl

Tuesday 9th of April 2013

[...] of 2011 I held my newborn son and simultaneously waited for my severance check. My unexpected layoff and associated severance package was a blessing, but I still wasn’t prepared for life without [...]

L. Marie Joseph

Friday 1st of July 2011

It always goes like that. During layoffs the ones with the most debt suffers. I was laid off with absolutely no debt but a mortage and have no regrets. We had 2 years of expenses in an investment accounts. So when they made the annoncement, I had no worries

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 30th of June 2011

@spaghetti0625 - Thanks for sharing your story with me. Having more time to contemplate the situation doesn't really help. One minute I think I'm making the right decision and the next minute I'm second guessing myself. I'm definitely concerned about going crazy at home without a little adult interaction. In the ideal situation I would find a less stressful job a few months after the little one comes along. I have a lot of contacts but finding the ideal job won't be easy.

@Maggie - It's good that you are using the package to pay off debt and getting your husband on the same page. That's usually half the battle!