It's official. Many of the per diem jobs, mine included, are being eliminated, and the ones that remain will be filled by those who want them and have the most seniority. This means that I, one of the most recent hires, will almost certainly be laid off come February 28.
I could feel sorry for myself, but my house is paid for and I have no kids to support. The people I really feel sorry for are those with big mortgages and kids to feed, clothe, and put through school.
I could see my situation as a catastrophe. But, instead, I choose to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to find another job that offers a higher salary, paid vacation and sick leave, health coverage for me and my wife, and, most importantly, makes more fulfilling use of my interests and talents.
I don't hate my current job. I like and respect my supervisors and co-workers, I keep physically active, and I'm earning money that helps to pay the bills.
But surely I can find and do something better than an entry level clerical job with a low salary and no benefits. Yes, I have my share of weaknesses, but I also have strengths that my current job scarcely taps. I need to focus not on what I'm losing but on what I stand to gain, and to welcome the layoff as a jump start to a better job and a better life.
In his remarkable novel Magister Ludi, Hermann Hesse wrote a poem called Stages. Here is a passage I cherish from that poem and which sums up my view of my situation:
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
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