Change of Plans

For the last several years, I’ve been preparing for a transition from a full-time corporate career to self-employment.

Update, 10/1/2020: The post below was written during a very sad and stressful time in my life, and no longer reflects the way I feel about myself or my artwork. Normally, once a blog post is outdated, I delete it or rewrite it, and just move on. However, because this one has been linked to from other places, and because I hope sharing that I sometimes have some pretty difficult days will be helpful and encouraging to other creatives and career-changers who might need a reminder that “this, too will pass.”

I had been hoping this transition would be into the art world.  However, after trying every way I can think of to sell my artwork and failing spectacularly, I have had to face the hard reality that I’m the only person who actually likes my artwork enough to pay for it.  I’ve come to terms with that, and I’m OK with it.  I have a home full of abstract work that I created. I enjoyed making the artwork, and doing so had the desired therapeutic affect. Along the way I’ve met so many (real) talented artists, and for that I’m grateful.

I just need to think of something else to do “when I grown up.”

Meanwhile, as I’m mulling this over, I have received some news last from my manager that I’d been preparing for over the last few YEARS, and yet I am oddly taken aback now that it’s actually happening.  She asked me to start looking for another job. I wasn’t fired. I’m still working full-time, and I’m still in good-standing, but the project we’ve been on is coming to an end, and it’s time for me to look elsewhere.

I had expected some sort of a lay-off notice with an end date. I had hoped for a reasonable severance offer (after 17 years of employment). I was counting on using this to obtain re-training provided by the unemployment insurance.

But no.

After explaining that I needed to start looking elsewhere, my manager provided me with three examples of open positions with one of our affiliates and suggested I might post for them, which I did. However, because I don’t have required skills and training for those positions I’m doubtful those particular leads will pan out, and I’m feeling a bit lost. I’m not really familiar with this style of employee transitioning, so this is a whole experience.

I’ve tried to find information online, and I’ve only found posts about lawsuits involving “age discrimination.”  I’m in an at-will state and most of my coworkers are over 40, so this really doesn’t apply to me.  I know I’m fortunate to get this much of an advanced warning about a pending termination and I’m not interested in any sort of a discrimination claim.

I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this sort of informal, unofficial termination process?

11 thoughts

  1. Just a number of months ago I was laid off suddenly after 21 years of service to the corporation. They had already laid off a number of people so maybe I should have seen it coming. Companies are all about the bottom line, even when they are making money hand over fist. You do whatever you can to secure your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen I was in the professional art world back in the 70’s, gallery Sales, collectors, even had a show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It’s all BS, has nothing to do with talent for the most part. Promotional hype with follow the crowd collectors and smoozzing with the rich. You’re a great artist, if I had the money and a place to display one of your pieces I can think of several I like. Now, as a long time employer in my day I’ll say this. I don’t care if a project ends or a department closes, if the business is still in business anyone that dismisses a 17 year employee rather than use them in another capacity is a fool, period. I once hired a guy that had worked as a mechanic at the same repair garage for 15 years and trained him to be a medical engineering assistant. Became one of the best employees I ever had.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the kind remarks, Mike, and the encouragement. I think we’re all artists in some capacity…whether we ever make it professionally or not. As for my day job, well…all good things come to an end eventually, and this is probably the kick in the seat I’ve needed to make the changes I’ve been needing to make. I’m over the shock of it, and feeling optimistic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve no experience with either, but I have a friend who is an artist that takes her art into the city to try to sell it, and there are local craft fairs. I’m sorry this didn’t work out. Never give up doing something you love. Several friends have lost jobs before retirement after working for companies a long time. They’ve each approached it differently. Look for similar job (it took a long time to find one), get educated for different job (one became a yoga instructor, and one became a licenced drone pilot), and one looked for less stressful work. I have a friend who is considering working for as a temp, because she doesn’t like her corporate job. That isn’t ideal, but it can lead to a job. One of them did look into age discrimination. I don’t think it went anywhere. You never know. It could be a blessing in disguise. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry can’t help on the change of job front – but empathise with what you said about your art work. No easy answers to this one. Except not to lose the enjoyment of doing it for yourself with sense of creative release. I always think of Vincent – success too late in a sense, in that he is so admired today, but isn’t around to receive the praise. For me I guess I lost the ambition and I too stopped trying so hard, as someone put it – released from ‘the tyranny of success’. Be encouraged to keep looking for that job opportunity to keep the bread on the table. Maybe now you can see your art in a new light. Have a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy. I think in a misguided sort of way, they’re trying to help us. This just is not at all what I was expecting. In any case, I’m not going to let it get me down. Onward and upward! 🙂


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