Never Gonna Get Laid Off, Never Gonna Turn Around and Desert You…

Weellllllllllllp. Layoffs have hit my sector bigly and I’ve had an axe hanging over my head by a thread for a long while now with my boss salivating at the chance to slice the string. I know, though I don’t know, but I know, and everyone at the company knows, because it’s pretty obvious when such things are going down, that I have a job for mayyyybe two to three more weeks. Then — (f)unemployment? Ugh, if only I could take a chill pill and lean into the “fun” part of that, you know?

Here’s the deal… I never was a fit for this job, or any job I’ve had. I’ve gotten by on producing shiny objects — tricking people into thinking I can actually do a job. I’m not a one-trick pony, mind you — I have a whole host of magic up my sleeves. Problem is, I got short arms, and I run out of tricks soon enough. Then everyone realizes I’m a total fraud.

Oh, before you start throwing “imposter syndrome” at me let me tell you that I am convinced most everyone is a fraud, their brains are just not trying to solve every single problem in the universe at once so they can slow down and focus on whatever it is they are doing at the moment and get it done and move on to the next thing. My anxious-as-fuck brain freezes up all while jolting around seeing ALL OF THE POSSIBILITY. And then, when I’m working on creative projects — which is most of my work — I don’t know how to give useful feedback as I nit pick to sculpt the project until I’m happy with it. I don’t actually know what the end result is until I see it, and that’s not the way one can work in the corp world. Everything is all frameworks this and Simon Sinek that. Yea, I came up with a blog business idea earlier that while on unemployment this winter I’m going to read every single “top” business book that my colleagues quote to quote-zoo to sound smart and I’m going to summarize them for people like me who have no attention span and create quizzes so we can all remember the important bits to sound like we know our shit.

After I get through my little project, I’ll be seeing stars and going to interviews quoting all of the visionary visionaries, nodding along as yet another CEO references yet another book that everyone in business obviously has read, duh, even though I haven’t, oops. Even if my name isn’t as alliterative or sepia-toned colorful as as 

I’m glad I’m getting let go. Really. Not really. Kind of. I should have left this job a long time ago. Let me say I am glad I didn’t. I’m so fucking lucky. Soooooo lucky. The amount of income I made the last two years is abso-fucking-lootely ridiculous. It’s unlikely I’ll ever see that kind of AGI on my annual tax return again, ever. Unless this blog blows up bigly and I get a book contract that goes top 10 NY Times bestseller list and my face magically appears in all of the airport bookstands next to all those other books someone must buy waiting for their flight because why else would they put them there?

So if you haven’t noticed I’m flipping out a wee little lot bit and terrified of what happens next. I’ve managed to land a series of interviews for a series of companies and they’ve all gone nowhere. I fucking HATE feeling like I have to fake it in interviews to get a job — both because I don’t like faking anything (TMI never faked it, that it, thank you much, yes I know you were wondering and wonderers cannot be left hanging in these parts) and also because that is just a recipe for disaster if I get hired under some pretense and then have to actually do the job. I just want to be able to be myself (well at least 80% of myself, I can leave  20% of myself  in the  NFT car in the virtual parking lot) and get hired for who I am and what I bring to the table. Ah, such wishful thinking. Who would hire that? Who would hire ME? I wouldn’t. That’s a problem.

I’ve got a whole host of ideas on what to do next. Because I need a job. One that pays well. I haven’t made less than $165k in over 7 years. And I’m looking at jobs that pay $100k-$125k. And I can’t even get those. I’m considering a year or two of a low-paid job to build up some specialist experience but still I have to get the job and do a good job at it and that all leads me to that I need an MBA and to get an MBA I need to learn math and take the GMAT and I’m going to be 40 in a year and it’s too late for all of this, I’m just fucked beyond fucked. I do figure that there are certain things I can improve — skills I can learn — and other things that are harder to get better at. Creativity seems hard to optimize. I can beg borrow and steal ideas but I’m never going to be some sort of creative genius. I can, however, perhaps, learn data science. So I’m shifting to trying to find a path that’s learnable. Real. Hard. Skills. Ones that pay well, ideally. Or I just start this business book blog and start interviewing business people and make a podcast and make myself a person that people quote. Yea, my dream job is being paid $250k to speak at a conference for an hour. Who’s hiring?

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6 thoughts on “Never Gonna Get Laid Off, Never Gonna Turn Around and Desert You…”

  1. 40 n 15 yrs in industry is plenty enough to call it a career. 40+2 kids is legit grounds for “switched to mommy track” even if it means resolving to LCOL city n living on $60K a year for a family of 4.

    1. Maybe one day we will do that. I don’t think I would like that life though. I like to travel and experience nicer things sometimes. I like having money. If I had $5M I would consider it. One day.

  2. I agree with Financial Orchid. You made it long enough for your stocks to vest and won that jackpot. With a net worth of ~$2M+, you really do have the option of fully retiring if you are willing to move to a LCOL city. Alternatively, if your hubby is still pulling in 6 figures, why can’t you retire and stay in the Bay? What is your annual spending? If you have to draw only $40-50k from your portfolio, you can easily do so in perpetuity. You are past coast FI where only one of you needs to work to provide just a portion of your annual expenses. Either way, I think you have earned the right to be “funemployed” for a few years, if not forever. Knowing that should give you some comfort.

    1. I guess that’s true, if we were to sell our house. The $2M includes our home equity. I also like working sometimes. I would be bored and sad if I didn’t work. I haven’t run the numbers with husband’s income but I don’t like the idea of drawing down our portfolio just yet. Maybe in our 50s. We could cost fi and reduce our living costs but then I would have no job and no money to spend and be bored. I’d prefer to work. I would prefer to have a job I like though.

  3. Hi Joy!

    I hope you and your family are doing well! It wasn’t too long ago you were thinking of quitting or waiting until they decide for you. If they do decide for you, the new time to think your next steps may end up being good for you, and your happiness. It looks like more money would be great, but you are well set to have years of freedom or time to focus on your family and also find the job that best fits you. You can always tap home equity too if needed.

  4. I empathize with your situation. I also have 2 young kids and a household net worth over $2M, but somehow feel like I can’t afford to retire. I remember fantasizing about the $2M figure even a decade ago, thinking that it seemed so far out of reach, but that I would be able to do whatever I wanted once I hit that figure. Now here I am, with that net worth but still feeling like I’m only treading water in my HCOL area. I was decent at my job before I had the second kid, but now I feel like I’m drowning and have considered being a stay a home parent. But my husband thinks we can’t afford it. It’s hard to believe unless you’re actually living the situation.

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