Saturday, August 15, 2009

Into the Unknown

It was exactly one week since I wrote my last blog but a lot of things happened so fast in those six days in between... A lot of things that can make my page burst if I write it all. As I opened my blog and read the comments from my friends, this one hit me bull’s eye:

Dan Denardo said...

"SS, I've been on both sides of this equation. Being on EITHER side is terribly difficult. The good news is that each time I was in this situation (either side) I was in God's hands. And when I was told to take a "different lane", God had a better plan for me."

(Dan, I hope you won't mind putting you on my page. Your words said it all for me this week.)

An emergency meeting was called by our General Manager Tuesday morning. I had to shorten my trip and go back to head office on the next available flight.

"We are adopting a more viable structure that can withstand the difficult challenges we are facing while keeping profitability. Because of this, we will offer redundancy package to 71 headcount: 43 Sales Reps, 9 District Managers and 19 people in Head Office. Out of those 19, three will be from Senior Management...." then I couldn't hear anymore. What? Three Senior Managers? Who? When? Why?

I had been in this company for the last 23 years. It is the largest pharmaceutical company in Europe and the third in the world. I was a part of the growth of our subsidiary. I started as a Sales Rep and worked hard to reach my way up to Senior Management, which is two notches below the GM. I survived two big mergers and I have seen a lot of people come and go. I know this was coming but I haven't seen myself leaving this way.

"All positions with several incumbents will be assessed to know who should be left behind."

To leave or not to leave, that was the question. I had two options: To continue enjoying the company's comfortable benefits while dragging myself to work and facing greater pressure OR To take my generous tax-free redundancy package and explore new possibilities while facing uncertainties. I chose to leave. It was the lesser evil.

When the verdict was given I was told that I was one of the two strongest contenders for the remaining post but they did not choose me. I want to believe that it was because I told them I wanted to leave. At the back of my mind, I think the GM simply liked the other one. But deep in my heart, I know that this was God's hands working miracles in my life. He was answering my prayer to give me what is best.

Yes, I am now at the other side of the equation. Last week I fired three people, this week they "fired" me. Last week I was lamenting of the hurt and pain I inflicted. This week I am silently suffering the pain of separation and the fear of going into the unknown.

I just sent an emotion-filled farewell letter to my team before writing this. I had to do it because I need to thank a lot of people who touched my life. I had to do it because my team also needs closure and assurance that everything is okay.

But am I really okay?

I haven't really cried yet. Maybe because I do not want to show that I am hurt. They have a name for it. Pride. Maybe I haven't realized the enormous impact of this event to my life and that of my family. I am still in the process of sorting out from the chaos while groping blindly to cling to whatever can make me stable.

Where am I heading?

As part of coping up, I computed my package and started thinking where I should put it and how much I would spend. I also listed the things I always wanted to do but have not done because I was busy.

Here is my short list of things to do after August 31:

  1. Buy a good camera and pursue my interest in photography.
  2. Book a 1 week vacation in a local resort and just chill.
  3. Take a 1 week trip to Nepal or any exotic Asian destination.
  4. Attend Toastmasters Club Meetings again.
  5. Put up a small food business.
  6. Enroll in a gym.
  7. Start painting again.
  8. Revive my bonsai garden.
  9. Renovate my room.
  10. Update my files with headhunters and start looking for another "lane"

Looking at my list, I realized I have a lot of things to do with so many possibilities ahead. After August 31, my week will start grinding at a different pace in a different plane. Until I start that week, I will never know how it will feel to live a different life in a different world.


Dan Denardo said...

Searching Soul,

I'm honored that my words resonated with you.

When I lost my job at the end of Feb '09, I was convinced I was in God's hands. Fast-forward to today and I've never been more convinced of that.

When one door closed for me, another one opened. I walked through the new door to a vivid new adventure...still in God's hands of course.

Hang in there, SS. Clearly, you're a bright lady with a solid foundation. If I can ever help with anything, including your photography passion, please let me know. I've made a living in photography for nearly 30 years. I'm here to help.

SS, I hope you realize the opportunity you have before you. I'll be saying a prayer for you.

You're going to do well. After all, you're in God's hands.

My best to you, friend.

SearchingSoul said...


I am so touched by your words and I am feeling a lot stronger inside. Thank you for your generosity, both in offering your expertise in photography and in saying a prayer for me.

Only those who have been through this ordeal will know how difficult it is. But taking it from someone who has been there, I am assured that I will be more than okay because God will help me, too, all the way.

May He reward you and your family with more blessings for your good heart.

Lesley said...

Ss, I just know that with the faith you have in your God that everything will be alright for you. And that list of things you have to do sounds fantastic! I haven't known you long but I've sensed the stress and pressure you've borne with your job and I sincerely hope that the opportunities open to you now bring you lots of joy!

Mukund said...

Well, I have not been on either side till now (Just started with my career) :) and DD said the best thing anyone could have but I will give it a shot...
The first thing is that the shopping list is really cool, it is something that always helps to get the spirits high
You have worked for 23 years may be its time you did something for yourself and get into something bigger and better... till then try and be cheerful and keep writing.. its good to share at time...

Aashayein said...

My dear friend,

Life is ironical isn't it? It has strange ways of showing things.
I am sure you will do well for yourself..maybe it was meant to be this way.
In a way, I'm happy that you will be able to do things you have always wanted to.
It's a blow nevertheless and I hope you are doing fine my friend.

Lots of Love

Ron said...

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. But knowing you, you'll be just fine. You're strong, smart, and you have hope and pride. That alone will get you very far. Of course, you don't need me to tell you this.

I was with Dan when he lost his job, I can't say I know how it feels but during the last few months, I've never seen Dan happier and more creative. Things do happen for a reason and this is MEANT TO BE.

My prayers are with you.

chemist said...


Sorry to hear about your job 'situation' but Mr. Denardo sure said it best. And that picture you attached (the one showing many arrows offering different lanes to take!) was most appropriate in the lives of many of us. Which way do I go?! Naturally we like choosing a path but many times the path chooses us! All the best from all your followers and please keep blogging even though your travels may be a little less.

Traveling Chemist

Granny Annie said...

You are SO RIGHT! God works in mysterious ways and you will come out of this smelling like a rose. Your attitude is right and your plans are great. It is always good to take a deep breath and stand back to evaluate your options. Keep looking at this as a positve change in your life.

Deedee said...

It is a hollow feeling to be let go after years of belonging to a company. It sounds like you have a lot of things to do that will keep you inspired and help you find a new direction. Enjoy whatever time you can devote to just relaxing for a bit...that's the best part of being "Cut Adrift!"

Femin Susan said...

I knew you would still serve the Lord in some way. We can't quit God, He is too good to us. My prayers are with you both. God Bless!

EjG said..., what a powerful post. It's often better on the other side of these things. I was booted several years ago from another company than I work for today, and it forced me to follow a passion.

I think this is now your opportunity to follow a new passion.

Say a prayer, realize it ain't fun right now, but then also know time will bring a new reality where yesterday seems almost trite and tomorrow looks as if it's filled with grandeur...because it is.

Good luck on the next steps in life...and please keep writing.


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Your followers will love this link

SearchingSoul said...

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for your encouraging words. I am so touched.

Lesley: It was a very stressful life indeed but I always found a reason to hold on because I was scared to venture into a different world. Now the joy of finding new opportunities is at my doorstep.

Mukund: I never counted the years before this maybe because I never separated my personal life with my career.

Deboshree: It’s really good to have a list of things to do to divert my mind from falling into the pit of negativity.

Ron: Thanks for your generous words. I agree with you that things always happen for a reason and this reason is always for the greater good.

Chemist: I like what you wrote: “Many times the path chooses us.” I would like to add that when it’s the situation the journey is always worth taking.

Granny Annie: Standing back and evaluating my options is indeed the best call for the season.

Deedee: When I learned that they are cutting me adrift, I visited your blog and read again your description of how you felt when it happened to you. It is indeed a hollow feeling inside. It’s like losing a family or a home or both.

Fermin Susan: My work was my way of serving God. With new opportunities ahead of me, I will have a new way of serving Him.

EjG: I never had a chance to follow my passion and now is the opportune time to do it. Yes, it’s really very unpleasant now and scary at times, but taking the words from friends who had been there and had done that, the future looks bright.

Bonsai Amy: Thanks for the link. Though I had been into bonsai a long time ago, more reading materials will be very handy.

Lesley said...

Hi Ss, I left a message for you about the Nemesia in my latest post.

I hope you're having a lovely Sunday!

Lesley said...

Just popped in to wish you a happy weekend. :D

Lesley said...

Hiya, happy hump day.... at least that's what they call Wednesdays in America. I still can't work it out. duh! :O)

chemist said...

Searching Soul:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!! I was wondering what has transpired with your job situation recently. Hopefully more paths are opening up real soon!!

Traveling Chemist (in Vernal, Utah)

Al Navas said...


Wonderful attitude! In a way, retirement feels somewhat the same. However, change is good for the soul, too; but we may not realize it at the time.

My best wishes for a great and unexpected outcome!

r4 adapter said...

Wonderful attitude! I just couldnt stop my self from laughing after seeing 2nd image..

kanishk said...

I can ever help with anything, including your photography passion, please let me know. I've made a living in photography for nearly 30 years

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