“We feel that you’re no longer making a productive contribution to the company…”
Sitting on the edge of my seat, with only a large executive desk between us, the heart palpatations intensified. A nauseating feeling immediately followed.
There was an awkward silence with the obvious answer unspoken. It never occured that it would come to this heartless, harsh conversation. The difficult topic of job termination.
It was soon over. Shutting his office door firmly behind me and returning to my desk, the obliging tasks of tying loose business ends were completed swiftly and clinically.
“Just get it done and get out…just get it done and get OUT…”
It was the mantra in my head, keeping me focused.
Except for the annoying facade people make when one leaves a company after a gentle nudge, there was no emotion.
Until I got home.
I was relieved. I was pissed off. I was angry. I wept. I was scared.
The next morning was the first in awhile where it was entirely my own. No client meetings booked. No phone calls to make. It should have felt liberating. For once, I was no longer on auto-pilot.
Sitting in the sunroom, my mind started to contemplate the future plans. There were in fact plenty to look forward to – an imminent arrival of twins, a celebration of marriage.
But, still. When my career had been all-consuming, the thought of it taking a back seat or even being a non-existing priority, didn’t sit quite right in my mind.
And it felt that my worth – measured by all things corporate and business related – had been compromised.
Then the door bell rang. There was a flower delivery and I could only think that my ever thoughtful fiance had sent them to cheer me up.
Instead, among the arrangement of deep purple orchids, was a card from two colleagues.
No soppy messages or strained, polite words of condolences. Only a famous Shakespeare quote:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”
The message was not only timely but clever and poignant. My colleagues knew what happened was harsh and in many senses, unfair.
And while life is full of injustices, in this case there was no need for sympathy. Instead, the words filled with hope. Encouraging me that while the job is gone, what I was – and am still – capable of, still firmly sits here. Within me.
Skills, qualifications and experience are always transferrable. What’s crucial is how they’re presented in the next stage of life.
Remembering that where there is now an empty office desk,a legacy has been left behind; While corporate staff turnover feels like a rotating conveyer belt, certain peers and colleagues never forget important contributions you made; those long hours of overtime and dedication to meeting deadlines were all in preparation for bigger, tougher but far more rewarding challenges yet to come.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost been 3 years since those words arrived at my door.
There is still a juggle to find balance between domesticity and career. But there is also a quiet confidence. It’s only a matter of time and patience until the next exciting play is on. For those curtains to be drawn, to make my grand entrance in a new part.
Are you waiting behind the curtains for your next play to commence ? Or are you in the midst of one right now ?
Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.