Life, As I Know It

So you've lost your job, now what? | @jessicazimlich

Deep breath in. The Friday before last I got laid off from my job in Marketing. Deep breath out. After the initial sting of letting those words roll off my tongue dissipates, I feel the need to tell you that I’m okay and that I actually feel an overwhelming sense of relief. No pity parties here. It wouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist to figure out that I wasn’t happy where I was at, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t take a huge blow to my ego or that I didn’t allow myself a nice long cry while I wrote this post (and several other times over the past week and a half, if I’m being honest). I wanted to go out on my own terms, dignity intact. However, those weren’t the cards I was dealt. That’s life.

The recent stress of being so utterly discouraged by the situation I was in had manifested itself across my face in the form of acne that rivaled that of my teenage years. Trust me when I say, it wasn’t pretty. I’m keeping Jess’ tips on hand in case the stress of not knowing what’s next offers up similar results. #eek

Elizabeth shared this piece from the Cancer horoscope (I’m a Cancer, of course) last week and I was shocked at how deeply it resonates with where I’m at right now. “Happy New Year, Moonchild! No, this is not a belated greeting for the Western New Year or the Chinese New Year. This really is an opportunity for you to start fresh in some part of your life – perhaps even to transform your entire life in some wonderful way. That means you can’t let this day go by without celebrating in some way, and without making a resolution to do those things you regret you hadn’t done in the past. This really is a brand new beginning, and it opens an auspicious path to your future. Make the most of it.” I’ve probably read that excerpt at least a hundred times and each time I feel an overwhelming sense of hope that this is my chance. My chance to test the waters, to find a way to make a living doing something that I love and to feel passionate about the work I’m putting out into the world.

I’ve been meaning to share this story with you and I’m honestly glad that I waited, because it fits perfectly with today’s confession. Back at the end of January we went to dinner to celebrate my younger brother turning 16. When you think of having a deep, thought-provoking conversation, you probably don’t think dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, but it’s all about who you’re conversing with. I had the most invigorating talk with my little sister. She runs a little side hustle where she take orders and bakes sweets for friends and family (cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, you name it – aka all the things I can’t get enough of) and earns some spending money – not a bad gig for a 14-year-old. I not-so-jokingly said that she should ask Grandpa if he could buy her a food truck and we could set it up at First Fridays here in Kansas City and sell her goods to the masses. I’ll have to let you know how that proposal goes. We got to talking about what classes she wants to take when she starts high school in the fall and how those will ultimately help her get to where she wants to be in life. Harper is definitely a big-picture thinker. I told her no matter what, not to stop doing the things that make her happy. Her response was simple, but it rocked me to my core, “I don’t really care how much money I make when I grow up, as long as I love what I’m doing.” She gets it, plain and simple. I’m floored by how wise she is and it was a reminder for me that everyone can teach us something.

I can’t express how lucky I am to have the support of Pete, my family and friends. Each and every one of them has been nothing short of encouraging. I’m thankful that the hard work we have been putting in has set me up to be able to take things slow, if I need. I didn’t make a big leap to something I love and I’m not 100% sure what’s next for me. All I know is that I’m being pushed in the direction of my next big adventure, ready or not.

Before you go, Grace and Hallie are two people that I genuinely look up to. They’re as real as they get when it comes to blogging and I appreciate their open dialogue regarding their careers. Even though we’re all at varying places in our lives, I found their most recent posts (here and here) extremely encouraging. If you haven’t read them already, I highly suggest you do.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this post. What would I do without you? It felt good to write it out and clear the air so that I can start conjuring up what my next move might look like. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop, promise.

Image via Glitter Guide

115 comments

115 thoughts on “Life, As I Know It

  1. Rachel

    Isn’t it crazy how life sometimes works out! What some may take as a huge blow can turn into the greatest blessing in disguise. I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to hear what adventures you have!:)

    Reply
  2. Katie @ Live Half Full

    I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I’ve been laid off three times since I graduated college in 2008, but each of those times has given me an opportunity to level up and move forward. I think you have a great perspective and will do the same!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Three times?! That’s insanity. This is technically my second time, but the first go around was for a part time position right out of college. That pushed me to make the move to Kansas City (something I’m super grateful I did) so I’m crossing my fingers this brings a similar positive outcome to my life. Thank you so, SO much, Katie 🙂

      Reply
  3. Biana Perez

    Your sister said it best and I’m taking those words to heart today!!! You’re going to be crazy successful in your next en devour – what ever that may be!! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

    Reply
  4. annie

    You’re going to do GREAT things, Jess. You’re incredibly talented and I know that the perfect situation will arise for you. Sending up some prayers!! xoxo

    Annie

    Reply
  5. Rachel

    Ugh that is the worst! I always worry it will happen to me as well- with the economy and the job market, it’s becoming the “norm” for people to just get laid off, no matter how much of a rockstar you are. You have a great attitude about it and I know sooner than later you will have something awesome to share with us!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      It came as quite the shock! It’s tough out there, that’s for sure. Thanks for the sweet words – I really appreciate them, Rachel!

      Reply
  6. Fashion Column Twins

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I’m currently in a similar situation. They are relocating my position at PacSun to Cali and I decided not to go. Thankfully I’m staying on for a couple more months, but it’s scary not knowing what you’re going to do next! This is just the inspiration I needed. Thanks for sharing!
    xo Emily
    http://www.fashioncolumntwins.com

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Oh no! That’s so crazy – I’m sorry. I think fear of the unknown is the worst part, but I know something great will happen for you. Thanks for being so supportive, Emily!

      Reply
  7. Natalie

    Girl, you are the best. And I completely understand. I was just laid off from my PR job, too. Like you, I wasn’t happy. And like you, I wanted to leave on my own terms. But at the end of the day (after many, many crying sessions), I felt this weird sense of peace and happiness. It was as if I knew everything was going to be okay in the end. And I know it will. Just like I know you will do amazing things! You already are. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to publish my post about my experience, and kept going back and forth on the issue. But I loved reading yours and it’s giving me the courage to share my experience with my readers.

    Keep your chin up, and best of luck (not that you’ll need it)! I can’t wait to hear what you do next.

    xo,
    Natalie
    CincinNatalie

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s the worst, no matter what the situation was like! I’m so happy that you found courage from these words. I can honestly say that I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. Thanks for being so awesome, Natalie!

      Reply
  8. AnnicaNicole

    I am so sorry Jess! That can be such a hard thing to deal with but you’re taking it with such class! I know you will find the perfect opportunity soon enough and everything will fall into place. Your post has definitely encouraged me to stay positive about some things going on in my life and it’s great that you can share that with people!

    Annica
    http://www.lifemodifier.com

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      It was quite the pill to swallow. I really and truly appreciate you taking the time to pump me up 🙂 I’ll be sending all the positive vibes your way for the things going on in your life!

      Reply
  9. LaPetiteFashionista

    xoxo sweet girl, sending hugs your way.Even though the blow is difficult sometimes they can be blessings in disguise. I know you’re not the kind of girl to wait for success to happen to you, you’ll make it happen on your own! Excited to see what you do next & if there’s anything I can do,shoot me an email!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I’m starting to believe that thanks to everyone’s sweet words. This means so much coming from you! I appreciate your willingness to help me – so so thankful for you!

      Reply
  10. Lorin Jetter

    1. You’ve got such balls for sharing this!! 2. You’ll be better off in the end, I’m sure of it! Xoxo

    Reply
  11. Maya McDonald

    First of all, I think you’re totally kick ass, and awesome, and amazing, and everything else good in the world. This next chapter of your life is going to be the BEST ever, and I know you’re going to do fantastic things. Keep being strong and riding out the storm with a smile! xx

    Reply
  12. Sabrina Nooruddin

    Thank you so much for sharing, I follow your blog and find inspiration for multiple places in my life. I have been there and I know how you feel – but better things are headed your way. Keep your head up so you don’t miss them 🙂

    x. Sabrina // Simply Sabrina

    Reply
  13. Elle

    Thanks so much for sharing this, its actually something I really needed to hear right now! You got this girl, I know you’ll come out ahead!

    Reply
  14. Alexandra Sperrazza

    I bet that was super hard to write that post. But you did it. You aren’t the type of person that is defined by set backs. I’m cheering for you, girl, as you find your next big opportunity!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. You really are the best and I’m so thankful to have you in my life. p/s check that extended forecast. I see a whole lot of walks and talks in our near future 😉

      Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thanks so much for sending this over Lauren! I actually did see this and it’s honestly the ONLY thing that is even remotely close to something that I would be interested in doing. I appreciate you sending it over to me!

      Reply
  15. Kara Krittenbrink

    I was in a very similar situation about a year ago. I was let go from a job that I was miserable at. It stung but looking back was the best thing that could have happened. You have a great outlook on it but I know there are days ahead that will be hard. Keep remembering that when God shuts a door another one is opened (or maybe even a window,lol).

    -Kara
    http://www.everydayk.com

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thank you for sharing that with me, Kara! It certainly helps to know that I’m not the only one and that things are looking up for everyone who has already been through this before. Onward and upward!

      Reply
  16. graceatwood

    Oh my gosh Jess – I’m so sorry to hear that you were laid off… it’s the scariest thing in the world. But I am sure that it will ultimately end up being an amazing thing for you. I was laid off about six years ago. I was 27 and terrified at the time but it ended up being one of the best things ever. This was all before blogging, but I took some time for me, interviewed like crazy, and found an even better job. And once I found the job, I traveled for a little bit before starting.

    It was the same as for you — I was not happy but it still hurt. You always want to be the person who leaves, vs. getting left, after all… (haha) but it sounds like it was the universe sending you a sign that it was time to go. I think you are approaching it perfectly. It’s a fresh start, a chance to do something you really love and figure out how to do it. I have no doubt you’ll be amazing. Big hug and best of luck to you!!!!

    (And thank you for linking to my post!)

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I hope that someday I can look back on this time and have the same thoughts on my situation. Getting left in the dust was NO fun at all. Almost everyone I’ve talked to has told me to take some time for myself, but it’s so hard when I feel like I should be doing the complete opposite. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post 🙂 I appreciate your encouragement more than you will ever know!

      Reply
  17. Jen

    I’m sure it was very difficult to write this post and I applaud you for doing so! I’m in marketing, too and it can be such a scary industry. We’re all one big budget cut away from the unknown. I’m also a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and while it may be so hard right now, I’m sure an amazing adventure awaits!

    Loved Grace and Hallie’s posts about their job situation too 🙂

    Good luck girly!
    Jen

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Hi Jen! It felt really, really good. I’m so thankful for your sweet words. On to bigger and better things! I hope you have a great week and are staying warm 🙂

      Reply
  18. Paige Vaughn

    Thank you for being so honest + raw, I admire you so much for that! You really are going to kill it on your next adventure. <3 Stay strong lady! We're all rooting for you!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      🙂 Thank YOU, Paige! I appreciate the extra support more than anyone will ever know. I hope you’re doing well. You’re almost finished with school, right?!

      Reply
  19. Emily Lott

    You are so strong and brave! You will find something in the future and think back on these past few weeks and smile. Can’t wait to hear what you do next 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I sure hope so, Emily! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I hope to have something to share sooner rather than later 😉

      Reply
  20. Rachelle

    I want to give you a big hug, you are extremely courageous and I so enjoyed this post. First I am sorry about you losing your job and second I am happy for you. Sometimes we get stuck just because we get comfortable, and I know for a fact that times like these prepare us for greater things. So chin up and hustle! You are smart and beautiful inside and out, you got this!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thank you so much, Rachelle. I love that you are happy for me, because I’m really trying to view this as a positive thing and that certainly helps when I need some extra convincing! 🙂 Here I gooooo!

      Reply
  21. Rachel

    You are doing so well! Keep it up – all it means is a better road ahead 🙂 Way to have a positive outlook on it – and your little sister is definitely wise for her age!

    Reply
  22. Hollie

    THIS IS SO YOUR CHANCE. Embrace the possibilities right now, whether it’s getting a job in the same field or doing something totally unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. I got laid off a few years ago, then took a part-time job in a bookstore to make ends meet. It ended up being the gateway to a much better career, and I got a shit ton of discount books.

    It sucks now and it’s really hard to understand why these things happen in the first place, but you are going to find exactly what you’re meant to do! Lots of people believe in you, lady. 🙂

    Reply
  23. Meg - Life of Meg

    Oh Jess, my heart breaks for you reading about the super awful news. I am deeply sorry – I am sure that was horrible to experience. Just do’t ever forget how incredible, driven, and wonderful you are – they are really missing out! As devastated in some ways as I’m sure you might have felt, I am so excited that you have the freedom and drive to choose a new and way better adventure, in the meantime, your girls are here with margs and hugs when you need us!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Oh Miss Meg, that means so much. I feel guilty not talking to you all about this in person after GBS, I but I didn’t want to make it about that. About those margs… 😉

      Reply
  24. Jessika Garcia

    Jess you are such a positive person! I know you said that you cried already, but if it were me, I would still be crying (but, that’s just me). We’re in this together girl! You’re amazingly talented and passionate and I cannot imagine the things that God has planned for you in the future! Lots of blessings to you and all of those that are lifting you up during this hard – but awesome – time in your life! We all love you! xo. Jessika

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Wellll, I might still be crying..shhh haha. You really are the best for saying that and I appreciate your positivity so much. Thank you, thank you!

      Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thank you, Darcy. She is one smart little lady and nothing would make me happier than to see her follow her dreams. I hope you’re having a great week!

      Reply
  25. Cara McDonald

    I believe things happen for a reason. The universe didn’t want you to be there, and there are things ahead that will serve you better I am sure. Proud of you for being vulnerable and sharing this with everyone. I’m excited to see what’s ahead!

    Reply
  26. Caitlin Fore

    Girlfriend! I hate to hear about a blow to the ego. But I am super excited to see what your little determined self will do next. I am always hear if you want to bounce ideas or just have an ear to talk too. It’s a scary world of being an entrepreneur but you’ve got the spirit girl! PS I’m not on bloglovin’ (holler)! Cheers! Cait

    Reply
  27. Natalie Pearson

    Jess, thanks for sharing the difficult places. You are all grown up. I’m proud of you. You’re abeautiful, strong, courageous woman.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thank you so much, Natalie. Your words mean more than you know. I hope you are doing well! I’m so glad that Faith texted me yesterday 🙂

      Reply
  28. Jess

    Everything happens for a reason!! And girl, I’m here for you with the breakout situation…I’ve tried just about everything in the book! Also, I’m a Cancer, and I hadn’t read that horoscope and it absolutely resonated with me too. There’s a reason this happened when it did, and I have 110% faith in you that you will make the most of this opportunity! I think congratulations are in order, yes? Please reach out if you need ANYTHING!

    xoxoxo

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      It’s seriously out of control and the stress of even having the breakout is just adding to the situation..HELLLPPP! Us Cancers have to stick together 🙂 It’s funny that you said that, because those are the exact words that came out of my sister’s mouth when I called and told her. Thank you so SO much, you’re the best!

      Reply
  29. Amy

    Go Jess. As much as it sucks when things like this don’t happen on your terms, it all ALWAYS works out in the end. I’m in the opposite position right now – just started a new job, which has its own challenges. I’m sure you’ll shine on through this challenge and the dream will fall into place. xxx

    Amy @ Girl for Granted

    Reply
  30. Ashlyn Nicole Williams

    Girlfriend you are so so so strong & capable of great things. Sometimes we don’t always understand why things happen the way the do, but in the end there is a reason for everything. I always try to take each day as a lesson learned. & always, family + friends are your biggest supporters! We are all rooting for you love. xo

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I agree 🙂 Thank you so much, Ashlyn! Having a strong support system is crucial and I couldn’t ask for better. On to bigger and better things!

      Reply
  31. Katie

    Jess – I know you will work it all out and I can’t wait to follow along on your adventure. Remember how much support you have and lean on them when you need it. I’m here for you too! xo

    Reply
  32. Nicole

    Hot Mess Jess – I wish my hot mess was as fabulous as yours! First off – what courage to share publicly, especially right after it just happened! Bravo lady. Bravo. I am so sorry that this happened – definitely not easy to hear even if you didn’t like it. It’s like someone canceling on you who you don’t even like. It’s like wait a second – I didn’t want you first! Haha. I am guessing you’ve already heard this, but usually these are the little acts of the Universe pushing you to where you really want to be. Doesn’t help how you feel right now, but someday you will look back and it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Especially since I know something has been brewing in you for quite some time now. Love you and look at all this love you got below! Clearly you are doing something right. xoxo

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      The ugly cry was real, trust me!! That is EXACTLY what it felt like haha like, wait a minute…this isn’t how it was supposed to happen! You have no idea how much this means to me. Now I just need to attempt to get my ducks in a row and figure some things out for myself!! I’m so thankful for all of your support – love, Jess

      Reply
  33. Jess

    Best wishes going your way! My job has been up in the air before and, if it should happen again, I just hope that I can see it as another door opening to new and exciting opportunities.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thank you, Jess! It’s a crummy feeling, but I’m trying to figure out what it is I want to do next! I know that in the end, it will be a good thing 🙂 Thank you so much for reading!

      Reply
  34. Joyce Novacek

    Thanks for sharing so honestly! Focus on the sense of relief – it’s there for a reason 🙂 Any time something like this happens to me I think “this will be great material for my memoir some day.” 😉 good luck!!! I know you’ll do amazing things.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Thank you, Joyce 🙂 That’s a good way to look at things and I agree, definitely writing material haha. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I appreciate the sweet comment!

      Reply
  35. Carrie Berschman

    I loved this post so much I have read it 3 times. Isn’t it funny how we get perspective from younger siblings… which is where we least expect it.. no offense! 🙂 Your passion shines through on this blog + you should be so proud of this space + platform you have created! Good things are coming your way, girlfriend! <3

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading it 🙂 I totally agree. She is one smart cookie and there is still so much I can learn from her. I’m so happy to hear you say that, seriously, it means a whole lot and I’m thrilled that you’re following along! p/s sent you over the email with the KC recs!

      Reply
  36. Alyssa Ponticello

    I truly believe everything happens for a reason, sometimes we just can’t see those reasons for a while. You’re such a strong, positive person so I know you’ve got this girl!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Me too 🙂 Let’s hope that the reason shows up sooner, rather than later 😉 haha. Thanks for the encouraging words. They’re getting me through this Friday!

      Reply
  37. Sarah H.

    Chin up, buttercup. People like you (who are hard workers and have a positive outlook) will bounce back better than ever before. Hell, I don’t even have a positive outlook and I still bounced back when I got laid off 3 times in a 3-year period after graduating college. I have the utmost confidence in you!

    ~Sarah
    P.S. I’d love it if you would visit my blog, Sarah’s Real Life!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Sarah, thank you so much! This is technically the second job post-college that I’ve lost this way. It’s tough out there and three times, that’s just crazy! Thanks for sharing this with me 🙂 I appreciate the kind words.

      Reply
  38. Rachel Bindl

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure it wasn’t easy to type it out. I am sorry, and I understand why you’re not feeling so great about it. It’s just scary. But you can do it! I hope that as this door closes, another five open — as cheesy as that sounds :). Good luck, my dear! We’re all rooting for you!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      This probably makes me sound weird, but it felt good typing it out. I didn’t want to feel like I was hiding anything. It’s very scary, but it’s pushing me to step out of my comfort zone and figure some things out. No cheesiness there 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet comment!

      Reply
  39. Hillary Dixon @ Style in a Sma

    I’m sorry for the loss of your job. I was in marketing once too and was let go (overhead, ya know!) But, like you, I was miserable and since then I’ve found so much happiness in other parts of my life! I hope you will find that too! I love your blog and I know that you are going to do great things with it! Good luck girl! 🙂

    Reply
  40. Wake Up for Makeup

    Oh Jess, this post brought back so many memories for me! I have been laid off from ad agency jobs…TWICE! I was unhappy at them, but you’re right, it still stings. I remember my mom saying “at least you didn’t lose a job you really loved.” Wise words mama! I wasn’t listening to destiny clearly because it took getting laid off twice to get to where I needed to be. This experience will do nothing but good for you, I assure you. I’m a believer that most change is good change. <3 This post may resonate with you. http://wakeupformakeup.com/?p=2939

    Reply
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