Laid off but not let down

How one woman bounced back after being phased out.

For each of us, different circumstances in our lives may seem, at the time, to create a vacuum. We may have lost a loved one or been through a divorce. Maybe our children have grown up and left home, and don't seem to need us anymore. We might have lost our job or our business. For me, I recently felt such a vacuum when I was laid off from a job. This job was especially precious to me because it was with an organization to which I was deeply committed, and it had been the only instance in my life where I truly felt that I had found "my niche."

For many months I worked as a member of a team planning the reorganization of my department and the elimination of my own position as the department manager. I thought of the impending event as "the end of an era," "the demise of my department," "the end of my career." The purpose and fulfillment this job had brought to my life seemed to be gone, and I felt a bewildering blank—a terrible vacuum.

January 12, 1998

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