As part of my ongoing “The Pain Of It All” video series, I interview Gwen about her job loss from a financial services firm. Yes, her name is just Gwen – like a Brazilian soccer player. No last name.
Gwen’s story is unfortunately not atypical. She worked at a company where folks were losing their jobs all around her, even in the face of financial success. As more and more friends fell by the wayside, her workload drastically increased. Cliques developed. Anxiety and depression set in. Finally, she decided to talk to HR about her concerns, and she was almost immediately dismissed.
Several things made her story notable to me:
1. She demonstrated a strong work ethic. It’s always great to see young people working hard at their jobs, and caring. I was not working as hard at my job when I was her age.
2. As coworkers lost their jobs, she was handed their work. Her workload dramatically increased. I can’t imagine the stress of watching friends lose their jobs, while being handed an amount of work that could just not be completed.
3. Everyone’s worst nightmare happened to her – she decided to talk to management about her concerns, and her reward was a pink slip. And this was after receiving a positive review and a bonus just two weeks before her termination.
4. After getting fired, she doubted herself. When talking with me, she used the word “depression.” With no support from her former employer, and getting fired under extremely bizarre circumstances, how else could she be expected to feel? She did say that she had an immediate desire to go kick some ass – do something, achieve something. She had two job interviews that she felt she was highly qualified for, but didn’t get either job. She then wondered if she just needed to take a break and breathe a little bit. However, her impending marriage, bills, and other pressures of life wouldn’t allow her to remain unemployed for too long.
5. A happy ending – she starts a new job after the Thanksgiving holiday! I could tell she was quite excited. She’s filling in for a friend’s maternity leave, with the potential to stay longer term. The best part is that she wants full-time work, and the employer knows this. They have a great up-front understanding that should serve them both well.
Thanks again to Gwen for her candor. After 15 or so minutes working out some Skype audio issues, I think we had a great interview. If you want to find Gwen on the webernet, check her out here:
And a reminder: if you’re interested in being interviewed for this series, or know someone who might, have a look at my blog post here where I explain what I’m doing. I’d love to talk with you.