I got “LET GO”. Or was it “RESTRUCTURED”. Or “LAID OFF”. Oh wait, I remember now. It was “GETTING CANNED.” Regardless of the term they told me or how I describe it when I talk to people, I can’t really help but get a smile on my face, puff out my chest and feel like I have accomplished something. Yeah you heard me right. Being let go and subsequently mentally letting go just feels good.
I had a really sweet role at an outdoor company for the past few years but nothing lasts forever and they restructured the company at the end of May. The initial response of everyone that I tell is a frowning face, with a furled brow and an immediate apology. I think they are confused when I return the response with a smile, a high five and a statement that usually includes the word “stoked” about 7 times.
In todays world, losing a job or throwing a curve ball in your career path is heavily frowned upon and usually considered a bad thing. I beg to differ. In fact, the week following my “DISMISSAL” I was more stoked than I had been in a longtime. Not because I hated my job or the people I worked with. But because the future is uncertain and that is exciting. You know when you go on an adventure or a first date or try a new restaurant, there is something that gets your heart pumping. it is the unknown that lies ahead. And thanks to my being “CANNED” I got to feel that feeling about how I will spend most of my waking hours in the future.
My first decision was to take the “advice” from that day from my former boss and the poor HR representative from the corporate office that had to come tell the 15+ people that day that they were being LET GO. “I am sorry Pitt but we are going to have to LET YOU GO.” That term bounced around in my head for a few hours until the lightbulb finally went off. Let go, I can do that. I am going to let go of the more common reaction to what just happened to me. To the expectations of those around me and what i should do next. To the worry and scurrying about trying to find the next job. I am going to slow my roll and enjoy what was just handed to me.
When climbing with my wife, there is one thing she always does when she reaches the top of a climb. She pauses and says, “Hold on, I am going to take in the view from here for a minute”. I think to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that.” It is so easy to get caught up in moving on to the next thing. The next project, the next adventure, the next step, the next job. And once you get to the next thing, you spend most of your time wishing you were still on top of that climb, enjoying the view.
No, I don’t have a lot of money saved. My 401k has just enough in it to pay for one ski pass and an overpriced burger from the lodge. But if I wait until I have more than that, I will miss some things that are happening right now. There will always be jobs to be filled and emails to be sent and paychecks to collect. But there may never be another summer to freely chase adventures with the family and catch up with long lost friends or even just spend an entire afternoon playing monopoly with my six year old.
So for all of you that are asking me how the job hunt is going or what I am going to do next. I have one response. “Hold on, I am going to take in the view from here for a minute.”