This is not your typical love story.
It was Valentine's Day, on a Friday, a beautiful clear blue sky day. I was traveling from town to town working with my clients getting their Valentine's Day graphics and specials together. I made time to squeeze in a couple of graphics for my now ex job. One of my last task of the day was to pick up my artwork that had recently been in an art show. As I'm finishing up my task I suddenly get an email that I was being let go because of financial reasons in the company.
At first I didn't believe it. Surely it would've been handled better than an email, especially since I was the only graphic designer. Not to mention because I was the only staffed graphic designer in the company, who else would do it? I checked with both of the bosses just to see if this was true. It was. I couldn't believe it. My initial reaction was surprise. Are we going out of business? Did I do something? Did I say something? What happened to where we couldn't afford one of the main parts of any marketing firm-an actual graphic designer with experience and a degree? It was like being broken up by text.
I instantly tried to reach out to my other co-worker and interns, but all my accounts were locked, and I had no way of communicating with them because I didn't have their numbers. I decided to stop and take a breath. I needed to calm down. An anxiety attack was building up, and I wasn't going to let work make me upset.
You see, as a recent undergrad, me working at a marketing company was a big deal because I was building up a portfolio. Even though I despised business branding and marketing throughout school, this job made me love it. It was part-time, away from home, decent pay, and doing what I loved. It really couldn't get any better. I was planning with my significant other to move closer to my job because I had a 5 year plan, and at the time I thought I would be there for a while. When I was let go, I had to rethink my plan.
I was super fortunate that I was doing freelancing before the job and I kept it up, so I was able to have something to fall back on. But it didn't make it hurt any less. Over the weekend I spent time gathering up all the work I had done for them and all my other work, and revamped my portfolio. I was giving myself a business makeover. I knew that was worthy of being appreciated and I was going to show it. I instantly started applying for jobs and networking. Thankfully, it didn't take long to get in contact with some people and get interviews.
But the last thing I had to do was get my equipment that I had lent the company, and give back some of their property as well. I didn't want to go back to that place to get it honestly. The last thing I wanted to do was see anyone there, not because I didn't like them. We all got along really well. I didn't want to see anyone because I didn't want to be reminded of what I was leaving behind. But it was better to go ahead and rip the bandaid off sooner than later.
I went back Tuesday to get my stuff. It was peaceful, nothing negative honestly. I talked with one of the interns who became my friend through the job. We had an insightful conversation, and she made me feel better.
When I drove off I knew it would be the last time I would go back to that building. But I wasn't angry or sad. I was relieved and excited for future opportunities. There was no need to hold in bitterness. What was the point? I don't hold grudges personally. I got the experience and portfolio I needed to get my foot into the commercial design world.
In the end, I know I will be fine. I always find a way. It's going to hurt every now and then. But I know once I get my true dream job, I'm going to feel so happy and appreciated that I won't even remember life at the old one.