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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Off-Ramp Ahead

Last Friday was a really exciting and yet odd kind of day. As a result of this blog, I was a guest writer for the Wall Street Journal online edition blog titled, Laid Off and Looking. That was a huge honor to have my writing published. On that same day, my guy had conversations with not one but TWO opportunities. Even crazier, while he was on the phone with one of the opportunities, the other one was beeping in on the other line! How crazy is that!

Fourteen months of waiting, wondering, and more worrying more than we care to admit, and then two calls at the exact same time! Before someone wants to call the unemployment police, (since that seems to be the "MO" of the Wall Street Journal readers which clearly missed the point, I'll be clear that these calls were not actual job offers! ) Geez, can you not just get excited and talk about these things without people going to the dark side?

After this long nightmare, one would think that this would be cause for joy and celebration. Persistence was paying off. It didn't really happen that way. I would call us, "cautiously optimistic," in our style. I'm hoping one of the lessons that come from this journey is to remain well grounded and grateful and not always seeking more.

It was a Friday night like most have been lately, the girl had a friend over and they were running through the house, we were scrounging up food from the pantry which looked more like Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and settling in for the night. I looked at my guy and said, "so, you could have a job real soon huh?" We smiled and just looked at each other afraid to move and rattle this moment and find that we may have just dreamed it. Checking each other's expressions to make sure it was real.

Since then, conversations have progressed with both companies and he'll likely be starting a new role soon. He's leaning toward an opportunity that is contract sales with a wonderful start up which has huge opportunities but obviously doesn't start out with a base salary. More than arriving at a destination, we're on the off ramp of one really bumpy road slowly making our way to another. A road that we hope is way more smooth and scenic.

The reality is, we have a lot of making up to do and there's no room for Super Target just yet. The biggest mistake we could make is to slip back into spending money we don't need to spend and not truly recovering. Not to mention, the economy isn't any better than it was a few months ago. We can't lull ourselves into a false sense of security. That would be a bad idea. The truth is, we're both in sales and selling is way harder today. Often we work twice as hard to make half as much.

Knowing that intellectually, and practicing it, are so different. Just knowing that there is some relief on the way, I find myself stopping at Subway to grab dinner. I haven't been in a Subway for months. Stay strong darn it! It's like celebrating when we lose 5 pounds with a doughnut and french fries! (Not that I've ever done that.)