In December 2018, my professional life was turned upside down. I was laid off from a job I thought was going to be my career home, and was left with a broken ego, shame, and an epic “oh shit, what now” moment while standing on the sidewalk in the middle of a brutal Chicago winter.
The holiday’s were a welcome distraction, and I’m incredibly grateful for that time which allowed me to reflect on my next move, update my resume, secure my references, and most importantly- leverage my network.
Being forced to look for a new job vs choosing to look for a new job are two very different experiences. It’s emotional, anxiety provoking, and a constant internal battle between wanting to find any job, and finding the right job.
Being the Type-A person that I am, I decided to take a step back and seize this opportunity for what it was- a chance to examine my skill set, figure out how I want to grow, and what type of environment I need to thrive and get me there the fastest.
For anyone in a similar situation reading this, the biggest takeaway I can provide is to not underestimate the power of your connections. For every 10 people you know, they also know 10 people who could be a potential path to your goals.
That path lead me to SnackNation, where I was met with empathy and the opportunity to make an impact in a mission driven business that I would quickly become wholeheartedly passionate about.
Was I hesitant to join another early growth stage company where the future looked bright and the culture was trimmed with all the bells and whistles of a progressive workplace? Absolutely. I just got burned and certainly didn’t want to end up in the same place a year from now. Yet, something continuously pulled my attention back to this company against others with similar offerings.
What I ultimately realized was that this was a unique opportunity for me to carve my own path and preserve a long term future with a company I would be proud to help build. This is a place where I can do my best work, accelerate my career, and grow and develop alongside a group of like minded individuals who care about me as a human.
Now that time has passed and I’m outside of the emotional bubble of unemployment, I understand that I didn’t have to sacrifice anything for the sake of securing my next paycheck. In fact, I ended up finding something I didn’t even know I needed. Not a home, but a community- a place with an inclusive environment where I can show up as my authentic self every single day, holding each other accountable for our goals, and celebrating the wins along the way.