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Lessons Learned During a Layoff

Even though it has only been a little over 7 weeks since my husband has been laid off, we have learned a few lessons.

I admit I would rather have learned these lessons by reading about them on someone else’s blog instead of living them out myself, but live them out we have.

Lessons Learned During a Layoff:

  • Getting a job is easier said than done. My husband has applied, inquired, emailed, personally visited, and called many businesses with no results.

 

  • It takes money to make money. My husband finally got his commercial driver’s license in the hopes that he will be available for a wider range of jobs. In order to get the license, he had to pay fees at the driver’s license office, have up to date auto insurance, and pay a trucking company for some behind the wheel training.

 

  • A bargain is not a bargain if you can’t afford it. I used to read over the sale fliers for Bealls or Payless Shoes or Target to see what bargains I might pick up for a steal. I might even find a BOGO! (Buy one, get one free) Now, I throw those right in the trash. It doesn’t matter if something is a great deal at 50% off if you can’t afford the 50%.

 

  • We used to spend an awful lot of money just ambling down the aisles at Walmart. Now that we are on severe saving mode, we go directly to the aisle of the item we need, and make a bee line for the check out. I can’t believe how much money we keep in our pockets this way!

 

  • Our children pick up on the tension and fear we think we are hiding. Whining and bickering in children seems to be directly proportional to worry and stress in parents. It seems they know something is wrong, even though the adults try to keep it under wraps. We recently had a tearful family meeting wherein a certain Smockity repented of her bad attitude and lack of faith.

 

  • I am much better at giving than receiving. I love to give. Giving makes me feel generous and helpful and happy. Receiving, though I am thankful for the many blessings we have received, makes me feel needy and burdensome and not in control.

 

  • I like to be in control. One of the most challenging parts of this whole ordeal is that I have absolutely no control over what is happening. I may be a knucklehead, but I’m pretty sure God is trying to teach me something with this one.

 

  • Our friends are awesome. We have been hugged, checked up on, called, written, texted, visited, and emailed. Basically God has blessed our britches off with some stupendous people in our lives!

I’m certain there are more lessons in store while we wait to see what the future holds. Only time will tell what those may be.

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Comments

  1. I wish more people understood your first point! I was out of work for close to a year and wanted people to understand that it certainly wasn’t through lack of trying on my part…hoping this ends for your family soon!

  2. We’re right there with you. Learned the same lessons and continue to do so. My husband has now been out of work for 2.5 years! Thankfully, I had my webdesign and tech skills and had been working from home since 1998 – I kicked all that into high gear, changed my business model and have been supporting our family ever since.

    My husband also got his CDL license, but did not choose to go over the road; instead was hoping to get a local delivery type job. Didn’t happen.

    My husband continues to look for jobs daily – just as he has for the past 2.5 years. He’s had many, many interviews – some of them he was in the top 3, and they go with someone else. So many are looking, guess hiring a middle-aged, over qualified guy isn’t their top pick. :-\

    So my husband is my CFO with my company and he handles all the billing and human resources things. He also does most of the shopping, cooking and laundry – and I work. A lot. But we make our house payment every month, we pay my Team and do have some left over.

    It’s not easy, but the Lord has most definitely provided.

    I’ll pray for you all and pray your husband finds a job quickly.

  3. I feel your frustration. My hubby has been out of work for 2 years now. Our friends and family have put him to work on odd jobs and we have cut out a lot of things to keep going. It’s no fun, but it is exactly what we needed to get us to a better place as a family. We are stronger for all of the trials. While I hope it will be over soon, I am grateful that it happened. I hope your hubby finds just the right job for himself and for your family!! Blessings to you all!

  4. My husband and I have discussed everyone of your topics at some point in the last 7 months since his layoff. I think your first point is the hardest for other’s to understand. Before my husband lost his job I never understood why people couldn’t just go out and get a job. I mean, can it really be THAT hard!? Lets just say, I’ve completely turned that way of thinking around. Yes, my husband could probably get a minimum wage job, but that isn’t even close enough to cover the bills. I’m thankful for unemployment as we EARNESTLY look for work! Praying or you, and I love this series!

  5. Heather says:

    Keep it up! You are doing great! We had 3 different lay offs in 15 months because my husband took jobs just to take them for a while. The most lasting lessons I learned were that we had NO idea how little money we could actually live on and how much we overspend on a daily basis AND I learned that it is actually very difficult to accept a gift with humility and graciousness and not with embarrassment or shame. I know God was teaching me some huge life long skills there and now that we are back on the giving side of things, I am much more sensitive to others feelings. Praying for you, even though I’ve never met you. Thanks for all you do!

  6. Your honesty is admired & appreciated.
    Sometimes I’m tempted to wait until a “trying situation” is over and THEN write about my lessons learned… Your approach & open honesty encourages all of us – and hopefully lots of that is returned to you.
    Praying for you as the Lord directs your steps.

  7. Your honesty is refreshing. I am sorry that your family is going through this “hiatus between successes”. I have been going through my unplanned sabbatical, hiatus between successes, for 7 months. I am a single parent of two amazing teenagers and the head of my household. I hold multiple degrees and decades of executive leadership but cannot even get an interview.

    I have used this time to finish my MBA, write a book and start my blog, seasidesteps.com. God is working in my life and I know he is in yours as well (but I agree with your position that learning these lessons by reading someone else’s blog would have been easier!)

    I applaud your sincerity and always look forward to reading your posts.

    Krisi

  8. loverunningmommy says:

    Amen Sister.
    Your first point is so true! We are going on almost two years that my hubby has been out of work. He has applied everywhere even minimum wage jobs Nada!!! Thankfullly I am working full time but it so frustrating for him and me =(

  9. “Our children pick up on the tension and fear we think we are hiding. .. ”

    I have noticed this with my children too. It’s been hard for me to not snap at them when they do it. I heard a quote the other day that said “We are to absorb chaos, create calm and provide hope” (they were referring to the role as Christians, but I think it applies to moms too!)

  10. Hello,
    I live in a fairly small town, which has a University in it, and it is getting very difficult even to be poor as the starting point.
    I live a very frugal life, but with our two energies, my daughter and I have made it this far. She, Aspen, will be graduating next year, and look what they are going into.
    Why aren’t we sending these letters to those who actually can do something? I do pray for all, and especially the foodies I have met on this path of future food blogging. I find that these individuals are one of the kindest, giving, sharing, loving, and actually up on the food situation in our world. We are global, and food is the universal language. We all love gr8 spices in our lives as well as our foods.
    I hope to have a website one day, and a facebook, have to give in to that, oh well, and twitter, o my cupcakes!!!, one of the crowd, but being a foodie it is fun to be one of the crowd, it tastes so gooood.
    I have always owned my own businesses, and find that for me I have had to learn all of your lessons since you have been laid off as my everyday existence. I am raising my daughter on my own, at 61, and having a multiple health issues, and disabilities, being poor for now is all I know, and thankful for it. I have few close friends, but they have kept Aspen and me afloat, and us them many times also. It is all about survival, and doing it the correct way is enriching to all that are concerned.
    I am sorry that you all are having these unemployable times, but maybe you could think of what your local town needs, and doesn’t have and then set out to create a niche for that need.
    If you have the energy, time and some resources you would be amazed what you can come up with. Gr8 businesses have been created out of the need for employment, when there are times such as these, and hope is the answer for me, and hopefully for many. People who have no hope are easy to control. Not getting political, but our manufacturing sector has been nill for decades, and now it is here, the lack of, and we are lacking in jobs as well.
    Well, have a wonderful foodie of a day, and many prayers for all, from the Sacred Mountain, in Flagstaff, Az.; The San Francisco Peaks. blessings to all, kerbe/redraven.

  11. Wanted to tell you that a friend of my husband’s just got a job driving a snack and potato chip truck. It’s strange hours, up very early to deliver but he finishes pretty early in the afternoon. He goes home for several hours then later in the evening he goes to the warehouse to restock his truck for the next morning. However, from what I understand he is making really good money and has super benefits! So, now that your husband has his CDL, maybe he can check into delivering locally for companies like that (snacks, pop, etc.). Thank you for your sweet honesty on your blog, I am praying and cheering for you guys. AND, I think I’m gonna get that bread slicer thingy from Amazon through your blog. Every little bit helps, right?

  12. Because somebody mentioned people not wanting to hire somebody overqualified, I will pass this on- my mom kept applying for jobs when they moved here. She has a Master’s and also worked at a fairly high level for Boeing for decades (she knew all the astronauts who died in that last awful crash, and had been given an award by one of them). Nobody would hire her or even call her back.

    She started leaving off some of her job experience and education from her resume, and then she got several calls and was hired for the one she wanted most-just a receptionist at a local place that works with developmentally delayed adults.

    Now, she wasn’t looking to support a family, just for extra income, and this was also about six years ago and the economy has been driven off a cliff since then.

    My husband’s first civilian job after he retired was selling cars and that didn’t work out at all- I think it lasted a day, to be honest. His second was a recruiter for a trucking company, and that was horrible (it was a very unethical business with utterly skeevy practices in hiring). He was so discouraged. He did some substitute teaching. His third was a cashier at a local grocery store. From there he was promoted to assistant manager, then manager, and then regional manager for four stores.
    Again, that was a different economy. Praying for you.

    Maybe he could offer golf lessons to home schooled kids for some cash or barter in the meantime?

  13. Thank you for sharing your humility as I’m sure that will connect with others who are going through the same thing. I really don’t know you of course, but in your posting today versus some earlier ones I sense a visible change. Honestly, it’s only when we are truly tested in life that our heart gets refined and we have two ways to respond.

    You are so right about children – they are so smart and are able to sense things so easily. It’s so encouraging to hear how your family is supporting each other through this challenge. Continuing to wish the best for you and your family…

  14. Reading through the comments I just want to say that my heart goes out to everyone unemployed at this time. I was inspired by your readers who have shared that it’s made them stronger as a family, more compassionate and understanding, and able to make the best of their situation. My husband has been unemployed several times in the past, but in this economy it’s harder I think. I am thankful that my husband has a job (even if not the best job). I don’t live in denial that it could happen to us too, and I think this economy is a wake-up call for us all.

  15. No words of wisdom to help you, but just to let you know you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Melinda says:

    I’ve been praying for you and your family, also. Thank you for being so honest about what this feels like. I appreciate that.

  17. Thank you so much for writing this series. I read every post! My husband is life-guarding full-time now, still under-employed 9 months after he was laid off. We’re hoping for an education/ministry job to begin in the fall with the new school year. As I read your bullets above, I feel like I could have written each myself! We are dealing with so many of the same things. As we look at job possibilities, we may have to move again…to Pennsylvania, California, or even China. It’s hard to imagine uprooting our family again, but I’m praying for the faith to trust God in these uncertain times. I pray the same for you. :)

  18. Connie,

  19. We have recently come out of a long season of unemployment. My husband was without a job for 2 years and 9 months. He was laid off from his job with no severence pay, so we were instantly without income. God always provided for our needs. It was very humbling and sometimes scary. Some of the little things were even funny. Once I didn’t have money for laundry detergent, the little bit that I had went to groceries, well… our small group showed up that week with a huge thing of Tide. They never knew exactly what I needed, but God did. We have soooo many little things like that to tell. My husband is highly educated from an ivy league school, we were pretty naive, thinking that we could not be a part of this bad economy. God knew what we needed, I often think of what it may have protected us from that we never knew. The Lord had plans to move us half way across the country for a job. It is still very scary. It is reassuring to know that it has all passed throught the hands of God before it is written on our lives.
    God Bless you and your family.

  20. I’ll pray for you while I’m praying for us. I’ve been laid off for a year now and my husband works in retail, therefore not a great paycheck.

  21. “I like to be in control. One of the most challenging parts of this whole ordeal is that I have absolutely no control over what is happening. I may be a knucklehead, but I’m pretty sure God is trying to teach me something with this one.”

    Yes. It’s so hard, isn’t it?

    And harder when people want to look at you at say that maybe there was some really bad sin in your life that caused it, or maybe you didn’t have enough faith, or maybe you didn’t try hard enough to get a job….

    It’s so hard, when you feel you’ve done things right – you’ve not gone in to debt on purpose, you’ve been faithful, you’ve done right by your husband, your children (at least the best you all knew how….) – and despite your best efforts (control, there….) things have spiraled out of control. It is humbling. And hard. And yes, wonderful lessons learned – but so hard.

    I am praying for you sweet friend – and shopping your Amazon link too.

    Love, Holly

  22. PRAYER REQUEST
    My husband is out of work. We came to help my mom for awhile after dad had a heart attack. We got here by someone coming and getting us as our car is on its last leg.
    My husband was suppose to go back to his job in a week. He got sick and could not get back, and as a result lost his job.
    He just got a call to go to Boise, Idaho (from CA) for a good paying job from July 5 to end of year. We have no car, and no money. He has to let him know by tomorrow. With God anything is possible. We do want His will. We have not had a job like this in 6 years. So very frustrating for my poor husband who feels stuck, but is waiting on the Lord.
    Nana-Nina

  23. Thanks everyone for the prayers. We now have been loaned a motor home, and some cash to go to Boise, Idaho. We are now employed again.
    God is so gracious to us all.

  24. So can you use these to keep a lunch cold as well?

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