I spend a lot of time thinking about job security for myself and for everyone around me, especially with my recent change of roles, and today was no exception. A couple of things struck from two different sources and it seemed too connected to be mere coincidence.
First, this article titled “After a job loss, trying to regain one’s bearings” made a sudden appearance in the Washington Post. A former employee of ours that was laid off three weeks ago wrote and published a journal entry of sorts about dealing with losing a job and bouncing back after the shock of it.
Then, a friend of mine told me that she was in danger of losing her temp job because work was slowing. Her office is cutting from 3 to 2 and will be making a decision on what to do soon.
Yawn. I know what you’re thinking. Are we all so jaded that we’re numbed to the stories of job loss in today’s market? Even with a normal amount of cynicism and not my above-average dose, I’m pretty sure the answer’s still yes. But dig a little deeper here.
I’ll admit, when I first read the WaPo article, I agreed with a colleague of mine and said, “Where’s the substance?” In other words, what’s her point? And then it hit me. Much like I said in a previous post, if we’re going to be miserable, it’s nice to know we don’t have to be miserable alone. I don’t think there’s anyone left that feels like they’re the only one suffering in this economy, but reading someone’s else’s story, especially one as accessible as the one written out in this article, has an odd sense of comfort that can instill a little bit of spirit.
What drove the point home for me was when I met my friend for dinner and I heard her say that she proposed to her boss that rather than lay someone off and keep 2, that all 3 people simply split the 80 hours between them. “That way,” she said, “everyone can still work a little while they’re trying to find another job.” No, I wasn’t floored – after all, she’s my friend for a reason. But it reaffirmed that people are looking out for each other, that we’re all in this together.
So where’s my substance? What’s my point? Share experiences, use your network, be a part of someone else’s. All this connectivity is what makes us who we are. Even in good times, that won’t change. But in bad times like these, it’s all the more important to understand and develop it.