#MyFirst: How to Turn Your Layoff Into a Career

Jillian Knox Finley
PHOTO:

Västanhem

I've been on the corporate treadmill since I was 19. I was the green-eyed go-getter who plowed through a full course load on multiple scholarships while working two internships in college.

I was gainfully employed in my competitive creative field immediately upon graduation at my first choice of Fortune 500 companies, and I was grateful. I had laser focus on the come-up, willingly sleeping under my desk on occasion and pulling all-nighters to get ahead. (Before you think This kid's annoying, know the theme of this article is my comeuppance.)

I had the loyal, enthusiastic, tirelessly devoted heart of a dog for all my employers. That's why the words "We are eliminating your position" fell on stunned ears when, at the age of 30, I experienced being laid off for the first time. My job was my identity, and my identity was being stricken from the payroll. It took Kiefer Sutherland, multiple unfinished vision boards with my girl gang, and a few plane flights to get my groove back. It came back sevenfold.

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