Looking back at my journey, losing my job taught me so many valuable lessons. The first was that a bigger salary or a fancier title does not equate to feeling satisfied in a career. Don’t get me wrong, having a decent paycheck was nice. But at the end of the day, it didn’t matter. I remember feeling extremely undervalued at Calbright College (my previous employer). I gave it my all and advocated for students with disabilities and when it came down to it, I felt like my voice, and my knowledge was dismissed. I remember telling my mom how much satisfaction I had at my previous part-time job, compared to my current job at the time.
Second, I underestimated the power of using my voice to help others. After I left, I started to get a lot of phone calls and texts from people sharing their experience working at the college. Their stories were very similar to mine and I decided to use my voice to advocate for those who couldn’t. Never in a million years, would I have thought I would be connecting with California’s legislators. I always imagined that was something that happens in movies but not in real life. Low and behold, I was wrong. I actually just talked to an assembly members’ office today, so don’t ever think you can’t make things happen, because I am here to tell you, that YOU CAN!
Third, I found that pursuing a new passion is very rewarding! How awesome is it that I get to create artwork of dogs? Not only that, I get to use my artwork to team up with rescues like Pasadena Humane and Barks of Love to help animals in need get adopted. Best of all, I get to use my creativity. While working at the Calbright, I wasn’t able to fully tap into my creative side. I love creating posters, graphics, flyers, you name it, and that was something I missed. Now all I get to do is create!
Fourth, one of the most important lessons I realized was that I needed to prioritize my health. I honestly didn’t realize how much stress I was under until I had taken time to reflect back. If someone were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 10, how stressful was your job, I would have said a 4. But I would have been very wrong. See, for me going to the beach is my grounding place. While I was working, I would go 2 to 4 times a week, not realizing why I needed to go but just that I had to. After discussing this with my therapist, we concluded I was using the beach as a way to destress without even realizing it. Now, I find myself visiting less often, and when I do go it’s to enjoy the ocean. Additionally, I was getting migraines and you know what, they stopped once I left. Our bodies are resilient, and they communicate with us in many ways, and for me, mine was saying that I was STRESSED.
Here are 3 additional tips I learned:
- Don’t ever depend on one income revenue. Losing my job taught me that it’s pretty scary to depend on one uncontrollable variable (aka your job). I don’t think anyone really thought 2020 was going to impact the workforce the way that it did. Now, I have my own business, where I control more of my income.
- Try to always have 6 months to a years worth of savings. My unemployment didn’t kick right away, but thankfully I have always been good at saving money.
- It’s okay to feel, and let out your emotions. I cried a lot and that’s healthy. It is how we process our emotions. I cried because I was hurt. I cried because I could no longer afford to purchase my own home. I cried because my life changed overnight and that is normal human reaction.
Last but not least, you are stronger than you think! If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. To know that someone else is going through exactly what you are currently facing brings comfort knowing you are not alone in this wild ride, we call life.
This post was originally published on Tiffanydnaka.com