Sunday, September 18, 2016

Unemployment: The End Of Week 1

Last post, I was trying to explain the feeling of unemployment. To give a sense of the immediate personal aftermath and the frantic, hurry-up-and-wait pace of Day One survival mode. What I didn't mention, though, was perhaps the single most important piece of surviving unemployment: support.

When I called my wife, I had no idea what she would say. I knew she'd be sympathetic and loving, but as far as how she'd take the news? I hesitated calling her at work, but knew I didn't want to wait for her to come home tired, to a house full of kids, and then say, "oh, hey, by the way, I'm not going to work tomorrow. Or ever."  So, I dialed, she answered, I stalled with pleasantries, and then dropped the bombshell: "So, I guess I'm going to be looking for a new job..." and held my breath. Would she be frightened? Harried?

What she was, was amazing. "Well," she said after digesting the news, "now you have time to do what you've been wanting to do." And she was right. I could finish a novel, get my house in order and get my home studio ready, really dig into writing and producing my podcasts. We talked about earmarking money for studio equipment.

Yes, the reality is that I will probably, eventually have to get a real job, but even on that score she's 100% in my corner. More so than even I am at times. I told her if neither of these radio jobs I just applied for came through, I'd start looking at things like retail. I knew she'd be happy knowing I was making an effort to support the family. Her response: "We're doing okay. Use this time to find the right job. You belong in radio."

The point is, this could have been one of the worst weeks of my life. Should have been, to be honest. I hadn't only lost a job, but what was, really, the best job I'd ever have, working with the best co-workers I'd ever had, doing something I truly loved. Don't get me wrong: It hasn't been sunshine and pancakes, but my wife has made all the difference.

I've been in that other state of unemployment: That depressed, lethargic unemployment. This was several years ago, before any of my kids were born. I wasn't fired at that time -- I'd left a largely dead-end job to become a freelance videographer, and the truth was, there simply wasn't the work available to keep me afloat. Then, I felt like a failure. This time, what I feel is loved.

And not only by my wife and family, who are all wonderful. God has also blessed us with friends who would do anything for us, and that's a great feeling to have when you're vulnerable. When I announced my unemployment I had at least one offer of a guest room whenever we needed it. Countless invitations to "whatever we can do." I have friends in the industry searching their contacts.

I have support, and because I have support, I don't feel like I've failed. I don't believe it's hopeless. I know that, one way or another, my family and I are going to be okay.


  1. Awesome. Really, genuinely full of awe. God is great and your wife is amazing.

  2. May be an opening at image studio for a creative person with video experience. I have a friend who recently quit her job there to go back to school.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll be sure to look into it!

  3. May be an opening at image studio for a creative person with video experience. I have a friend who recently quit her job there to go back to school.

  4. We've encountered times of unemployment in our household as well. Being the wife on the other end of that phone call...well I can truthfully say that God provides grace and understanding even before we realize we need it! My husband was also able to have a supportive wife who challenged him to find the right job. It was worth the tough times and sacrifice to see him doing what he loves now! I will be praying for you and Melanie, that during this season you only grow stronger as husband and wife!

  5. Literally in the exact same boat. I don't know how I could have dealt with losing my job without my wife's support and encouragement. Thanks for sharing your thoughts man. I've been feeling the most down I've been on years.

  6. Randy, they say that when one door closes another will open. We have to believe that God already has a plan for you and it will come in his time. Meanwhile, enjoy this time with your family and do some deep soul searching. God will hear and he will answer. Love to all of you......

  7. Wait a moment! I thought I was the best CoWorker you've ever had!

  8. It's good to have that support. Unemployment happens. While you look for your next employment, don't forget to take time for taking care of yourself. A little extra stress relief. You'll land on your feet; just hang in there.