Recovering After You’ve Been Let Go

Last year at this time I was let go from my job, and it was the first time in my career that had ever happened. With the change of the corporate division president, it was decided that the company would no longer pursue launching their product in the US automotive aftermarket, so no marketing = no job.

The Writing on The Wall

In June 2016 when our consumer marketing strategy was presented at corporate headquarters, our then division president did not approve it, so it was only a matter of time before the proverbial other shoe would drop. I spent the following eight months filling my time with busy work scrounging up possible private label customers – not marketing.

At the end of February, my boss had the courtesy to tell me that I was being let go that morning, so I started to empty my desk and pack my things. Within 15 minutes I was sitting in a conference room with the president of the finished lubricants division and HR. I was offered a very fair severance package, and with that I was quickly whisked out of the office with my box in hand.

What Next?

The are natural phases that you go through when you’re terminated. Shock and/or Disbelief, Sadness, Anger and Resolve. Everyone deals with each of them differently. Some phases last longer than others. Bottom line is – there is no right or wrong way to recover.

After the initial shock wore off and I shed a few tears, I was mad. No – I was really pissed off just thinking about the steps that had led me to the ranks of the unemployed. So much of it was out of my control, and I had become a casualty of a change in leadership and triggers that were never pulled.

Regroup and Move Forward

I spent the month of March regrouping, updating my resume and taking the dog on long walks. I started canvassing LinkedIn and regularly, with a goal of applying to three jobs a day. I was a little nervous that the Houston job market was still recovering, because I wasn’t seeing a lot out there for my experience and skill set.

The key is patience. Easy to say, harder to practice. Know what you’re willing to accept if offered a job, and stick to it. You don’t have to take the offer if it doesn’t meet all of your defined needs. Salary, benefits, office hours, company culture, distance to the office, expected travel, etc.

Know what you’re willing to accept if offered a job, and stick to it.

I was fortunate because I didn’t have to wait too long to arrive at the next stop on my career journey. A month to the day that I was let go – I started a new job.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation where your position was eliminated or you were simply let go? How did you deal with it? How did you recover? Do you have any advice for someone going through it today?

Originally posted on my LinkedIn page.

Does your work evaluation matter, or is it a filed formality?

Companies have evaluations because there is a need to measure the growth of the employee from year to year. The exercise of self and manager evaluation takes place at the end of the year at my company. I outline my goals, accomplishments and challenges, and also have the opportunity to assess my manager’s efforts.

Pae-gi – “The determination to succeed in his/her work.” Employees are expected to strive to be equipped with Pae-gi. Company leaders are to discover and develop those with it.



Evaluation is an exercise in voicing your opinion “professionally”

This year’s self-evaluation flowed easily. I was hired to lead marketing for the launch of a branded company in 2015. My managing director presented the launch strategy at headquarters this summer, and our focus changed from brand launch to private label business. If you know private label, they market their own brand, so supplier marketing isn’t needed.

In my evaluation I explain the change in my role, and outline my current responsibilities. I describe my efforts, plan execution, challenges and obstacles. Then I rate my company satisfaction and provide opinions or suggestions for the team/company.

My self evaluation takes a couple of days to complete from start to finish. After I write my initial thoughts, I go back a couple of times to edit myself before it is ready to submit. In other words, I start by being very to the point, and then upon review I censor myself and make it more “professional”.

Manager Evaluation – Critique or Assessment

My manager evaluation is currently open on my computer. It has been for two weeks. Do you approach it as a critique or assessment? Is there as difference?

According to, to critique is the act of passing judgment. Assessment comes across as friendlier. “An evaluation of one’s abilities and failings.”  (British Dictionary)

The majority of the evaluation is by rating. Categories include:

  • Passion on work
  • Affection/Trust on employees and clients
  • Responsible for his or her actions
  • Challenge for higher goals and breakthrough
  • Pursue Innovation Change
  • Moral Ethics and Differentiating Personal/Work

Write-in sections address the manager’s strong points, developmental needs and overall opinion.

Does it really matter?

Evaluation is a balancing act. A good or poor review can impact potential for pay raise and bonus. I toil over how to articulate my thoughts in just the right way. It doesn’t do any good to just point out the negative. You want to give opinion that will hopefully inspire improvement.

I find myself questioning if any of it matters. If you see no action as a result of providing your opinion, you wonder if it was read. Or was it read but your concerns didn’t make the priority list, and it was filed in the “black hole of paperwork” on someone’s desk?

How do you approach your annual evaluation? Have you seen any change as a result of your input?

Finding Inspiration When You’re in a Professional Rut

Inspiration is the most gratifying when you experience it unexpectedly. It’s that cliche “a-ha” moment when everything just clicks and you see things from a whole new perspective. At some point in your career you’ve experienced the professional rut. The creativity comes to a stand still, and your zeal for more has waned. So where do you turn for inspiration to move you forward?

Earlier this summer I found myself at a professional crossroads. I came to my company a little over a year ago to launch a new brand in the American automotive aftermarket. This summer, the powers-that-be decided to pursue private label instead of a branded product launch. The caveat is that private products don’t need marketing support from the manufacturer.

Searching for Purpose

I have been pushed into a sales role which isn’t what I want to do professionally, and it is not what I know I’m good at. I know, we all do things in life that we don’t necessarily “want to do.” Fortunately, my company values me as an employee. Texas is an “At Will” employment state, so I could have easily been shown the door when the product focus changed.

With the wheels of progress turning slowly, I was feeling stuck in career limbo and lacking purpose. I’ll admit that I have been drowning in a sea of uncertainty until a few weeks ago. I was difficult for me to draw any inspiration. I had no drive making me want to do better than what was expected of me.


Inspiration Won’t Find You

My latest dose of inspiration came as a moment of clarity. A few weeks ago it dawned on me that my dream job isn’t going to magically fall into my lap. Instead of waiting for something to happen, I need to be proactive. That means making the best of my current situation while keeping my eyes and ears open for new opportunities.

Sitting at my desk, I took a look at a list of prospects I was working on. I was approaching it all wrong and trying to connect with the wrong people. That realization gave me a new found purpose. With some investigative work on LinkedIn and Google, I scheduled six meetings in a matter of a few days. As a result, I’m feeling inspired.

Everyone has their own ways of dealing with obstacles in their path. How do you overcome them, and where do you find your inspiration?