So here I am, just over a year removed from losing my job. I went through every emotion, feeling and state of mind you could possibly think of. I eventually got over the anger and the negative feelings. I still feel like I have a lot to offer; I'd like to someday get another chance to help the company. Even at the end, when I was in such a personal and professional funk that it was hard to focus on the job at hand, all I ever really wanted was to help the company grow. Why do I feel that way? Because for the bulk of my adult life, that job was all I ever knew.
It was a major part of my life for nearly 14 years when it all came crashing down. Looking back, I should have seen it coming, but was too blind, or too unwilling to admit it was coming. There are so many factors that played a part in it all, but ultimately, the blame rests solely on my shoulders. Every day, I think about things I should have done to fix the problems that were controlling me. I should have been the one in control, not all the outside factors.
I've learned a lot in the past year. First and foremost is that I really miss that place. The people were fun to work with, for the most part (I'm sure I wasn't always such a thrill to be around). We all had a great symbiotic relationship, where it was ok for an individual to not know the answer to, or how to do something; there was always somebody in the office who could help.
Secondly, I found out what a nightmare the unemployment system in New Jersey is to deal with. I'm pretty sure it's probably very similar elsewhere, too. There are some good programs as far as re-training and such, but sometimes it seems like even the good things are far from worth the hassle. I've tried to do everything by the book; this was all very new to me having never really collected unemployment, save for a few isolated months when business was slow. I'm finding that it doesn't always pay to do things the way they are supposed to be done. It seems like every few weeks another problem pops up that threatens to really send things spiraling. And most of those issues stem from the colossal bureaucracy that is the state of NJ.
Anyway, here I am. I completed the computer training I sought in an effort to make myself more marketable to future employers. Now I'm finding how deep the economic downturn has been. I'm also finding myself in a strange position of being either over- or under-qualified for various positions. I have never had a problem finding a job until now. It's a lot of work, and a lot of frustration. But I'm determined to make it. I have to make it. And I will make it.
I hope to someday be able to sit down with my former employer and talk about what went wrong. I'd like to tell him how sorry I am to have let him down. And how I've let myself down, too. Writing this down here is very therapeutic for me. I never intended for this blog to get this personal, but I needed to get all this off my mind. Here's to a better and brighter future for us all.