Getting laid off from a job is like waking up with a gigantic pimple on your face; It happens at the worst time, comes without any warning and it makes you feel self conscious and question your most immediate plans. I was unfortunately laid off from my job last week and since then, my emotions, attitude, and body have all been tested in a way that I can only describe as “The 5 Stages of Grieving – Employment Edition”. People told me that I should give myself three good days to be sad and feel sorry for myself after the lay off, but after those three days, I should hit the ground running and start working towards creating my next chapter in life. Well let me tell you…I made the most of the those three days, completing ALL FIVE stages of grieving (I don’t half ass anything). I even got reminded as to why I picked to work in the industry of marketing and communications to begin with.
I didn’t realize that I was going through the grieving stages until I was in the checkout line at the grocery store. It was nearing the end of day 2 of living my new unemployed life and all I had in my hands to put onto the moving belt going towards the cashier were two things: Tampons and Sushi. I tried not to make eye contact with the young, multi-colored hair cashier because I could feel her judging me by my sad excuse for a grocery store run. If I looked at her, she would somehow just know that I was unemployed and hadn’t showered or put makeup on, much less been out of my apartment at all the last two days until now…when I absolutely HAD to for feminine hygiene and general survival reasons. “It’s not that bad”, I thought to myself as I swiped my debit card, now hyper aware of how much money was leaving my bank account. I need tampons for obvious reasons that I cannot avoid and yes I’m buying sushi because I have no real food at home, but at least I’m making a healthy choice by getting sushi- so what if it’s a Philadelphia roll? I had zoomed through the stages of Denial and Anger and was now passing through the town of Bargaining. When I got home and ate my cream-cheese-filled-rolled-up-rice-of-goodness on the patio, the depression stage kicked in. But, once I finished my roll and deleted a few job rejection emails, the skies opened up, birds began to chirp (or maybe it was just the sushi settling in my stomach) and I entered the final stage of my journey: Acceptance.
I decided that I was going to start doing what I love and do best, which is marketing. The brand: me. I have to be my own personal pimp and show companies why they should choose me over my competition and why I am the obvious choice for the success of their business. The challenges of understanding others’ wants and needs and then creating the demand for a product before seeing the fruits of your labor are what drive me to do what I do. I think a lot of people do their own version of marketing everyday whether they realize it or not. Now that I have competed my “5 Stages of Grieving- Employment Edition”, I am ready for what the world has in store for me next. I just hope it doesn’t happen to involve tampons and sushi.
– Angelica Villarreal