Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lesson Learned

Blogging at 6:00 on a Saturday morning is never a good sign.

Yesterday I became unemployed and I've had a lot to think about for upcoming changes. I thought I'd make a little list of things I've learned.

1. Just because you feel like you should stay in a certain place doesn't mean you need to stay at a certain job.

2. Whenever you are hired into a company where you have more education/training/experience than any of the other employees, it will never be appreciated. You'll only be seen as a commodity that costs more.

3. When you hit your one year mark, demand your review. Don't let your boss sit on it until he lays you off and never has to give you the supposed "retroactive pay increase."

4. Riding your bike to work 17 times can save you one tank of gas. Not working at all can do the same thing, with less effort!

5. If you can, work for a company that offers vacation payout. Or at least severance. Or dignity or compassion or something.

6. Never take leave-without-pay when you have the vacation time to do otherwise. Even if you're going on your honeymoon and saving your vacation days for your Bike Oregon trip, or the holidays or whatever. Especially if your company doesn't offer vacation payout.

7. A new job means renewed hope in the day-before-a-holiday email.

8. Typically the more stable the company, the more thorough the benefits are. If you are hired and promised a 401K with matching within 3 months and 19 months later it still hasn't happened, get out. Get out now.

9. Don't work for a company that offers less than 6 holidays a year. If they are stingy on holidays they'll be stingy on everything else and you'll always get a questioning look when you request time off that you have earned.

10. Even if there are a bunch of things you'd like to say on your way out the door, do your best to keep your mouth shut. It's best not to spill gasoline on a bridge you just stepped off of and then throw a match over your shoulder. You never know when you might need to use it again to get to the other side. (The bridge or the match ;))

11. Demand a letter of recommendation as soon as you remember to. It's much better than having the promise of a "great reference." After all, you never know what someone will say about you on the phone. Get your praises and laud in writing. It's just safer that way.

12. Do your best to forgive and let go. Then move on. Holding on to bad experiences from the past will only make you bitter and ugly. Be bitter for a day or two, cry it out, blog if necessary and then let go...

13. Sometimes things have a very specific purpose that is completely unrelated to the thing itself. I'm pretty sure the purpose of my job for the last 19 months was to stay in Utah so I could meet and marry Spencer. A few days after I solidified my employment in Utah, I met Spencer. Two months after we got married, I'm sans employment... Coincidence? I think not.

14. One way to get the 24th of July off is to lose your job. You'll also get the surrounding days off as well. Woohoo!

15. If you're working for a small company when you get laid off, you can honestly say that there was a 20% downsize --- and you won't be lying! And it sounds a lot better too.

16. If you ever lose your job and are getting lots of genuine (and appreciated - thanks everyone) "oh I'm so sorry" comments from everyone and want to hear something different, call my sister Mollie. Upon hearing my news she immediately said, "Aren't you excited!? There's something great around the corner! I can't wait to see what it is." {thanks, molls}

17. Sometimes the best way to figure out what will fit, is to figure out what doesn't.

18. Being unemployed will give you a chance to paint your new home, get the last few boxes unpacked, wedding photos printed, thank you notes written, and art on the walls. I thought I'd never have the time.

19. If you're still reading and have any contacts in the Salt Lake City area that could help a non-manager marketing professional with 2-3 years of experience in need of work, please let me know. Thanks.

-Ray LaMontagne-


MegRuth said...

I am so glad you are out of there. You were so under appreciated! And I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. You were supposed to stay in Utah and Luke was supposed to come to NYC. In less than a year he was back in Vegas.

Life works out. You'll find something awesome soon!

Oh, and unemployed painting is the best!

Mollie said...

I didn't hear anything about unemployment allowing you to take a trip to San Diego... :( I'm glad to see you are taking this all in stride. Blogging can be such therapy.

Mason and Erika said...

I'm thinking of people I know... but you'd probably have to move to Indianapolis for me to really be of any help (and I'm tight with the marketing people at my current place of employment... hint hint)

Okay, just kidding. You don't have to move here. I will start thinking of my contacts out there.

Good luck! My unemployment soon after we moved here only lasted a month and a half - and it was the greatest thing that could have happened to me at that time!

Love you girl!

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