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 Normally, once a blog post is outdated, I delete it or rewrite it, and just move on.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.
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?