Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Everything happens for a reason -- Part 1

Twice in the last 13 months, I have been dismissed from jobs without warning. Laid off. Let go.  Whatever term you want to use, it was devastating to me each time.  I didn't understand why any of it was happening, but as the title of this post suggests, it's all beginning to make a little more sense.

My first layoff, in October 2012, was from a marketing writer position at a university.  It was my first job away from newspapers, and I enjoyed learning more about a different style of writing. I didn't get as much learning in as I would have hoped when my job got the axe. I was heartbroken, stressed, and unsure of what was next for me.

I decided to take that opportunity to move back closer to my family and friends.  I tended to spend most of my free time and weekends with them anyway, so I figured it was time, and I focused my search on the Des Moines metro. Because my search started late fall and went into winter, I ran into the holidays, so it took a little longer than I would have liked. In February 2013, I was rewarded with a temporary position in communications at a large company in Des Moines.

Again, I embraced a new setting and style of writing, trying to glean all I could from those around me.  Some days were good, and some days were really slow.  There really wasn't enough work for me.  So I shouldn't have been surprised when my temp contract was nixed in May -- halfway through the term. But I was.

It felt like deja vu from just seven months earlier.

I continued to try and find communications positions, but I wasn't having much success. I decided maybe I needed to shift gears and open my options.  The temp agency that helped me get the communications job failed me in my new search. They never got in touch with me, and they didn't return my calls.  After six weeks of this, I had had enough. I found a new temp agency and within three weeks, they landed me an interview for a loan servicing position at the same company I previously temped at.  I liked the company and really thought there was a lot of room for me to grow and move up if I chose to do so.  Plus, I was tired of being without a job. I was offered the temp job within 24 hours and started four days later.

Loan servicing is a far cry from anything I ever thought I'd do, but I have learned so much in the past four months --- about the mortgage industry and, more importantly, myself.  The main thing I realized is that I'm far more analytical than I previously thought.  I'm also ridiculously motivated by numbers.  I enjoyed seeing my productivity reports from the previous day and trying to outdo myself each day.  There may have even been some fun competition with my cube neighbor who quickly became my best friend at work.

Without my loan servicing experience, I would not have even considered a job in insurance claims. But that's exactly what I'll be doing beginning Dec. 2.  That's right, I am starting a new job!!  I will soon have a full-time, permanent job with all the fun things that go along with it.  It will be so nice to have decent insurance again, to say nothing of paid time off and paid holidays.

To sum it up:
My first layoff brought me back "home."
My second layoff showed me my skills go beyond the creative realm.

It all had to happen to get me here.

It's been a rough journey full of rejection, but I am starting to feel like my life is on track again. Or at least getting there.  I know I still have some work to do. 

I have one more story about why I believe I needed to be in my current temp job, but you'll have to wait until next Wednesday for that.  Trust me.  You'll want to come back.


  1. I'm so excited to hear about your new (permanent) job! It's so hard to see where God is leading us while we're in the midst of trials, but looking back, it's so obvious. I loved reading about your perspective. :)

  2. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you, Micah!
    I understand how "you're hired!" can definitely make you feel good about yourself and there's nothing like feeling that you're good at what you do :)

  3. Aw congrats on teh new job... it does sound like there's a plan in all this, as frustrating as it must've seemed to go through what you did!


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