At my very first job, I stayed for almost five years. I had reached the ceiling of available opportunities there, so I began interviewing for a new position elsewhere, found one, and gave my two weeks notice. About a year in at my new place of employment, I was unceremoniously laid off without warning, with only two more days of health insurance and one more paycheck coming my way.
I now currently find myself in a third position where my job is ending. But it’s in a way completely unlike the other two. In 2010, I had my first day working on a television show on a part-time basis, which turned into full time a little over a year later. And now in 2016, the show is coming to the end of its run.
Finding out that your job will not exist in a mere couple of months is so different than what I’ve previously experienced. It’s worse than me having the control of giving my own notice for a better opportunity, but it’s far better than the job where I had forty-eight hours to full-on panic about making a game plan to pay my bills and make a year’s worth of doctor’s appointments before my insurance cord was severed.
Here I have the gift of some time to come up with a strategy, apply for new jobs with an assured and specific availability, and to process everything that’s happened these past six years. The range of emotions I’m experiencing are going in cycles and each day I’m never sure what I’m going to feel. When I chose to interview for other jobs, I had stress and fears about leaving my first job, but it was overpowered by relief and excited ambition. When I lost my second job, everything I felt was enveloped in a layer of fear, powerlessness and low self esteem. And now here in this very different scenario of counting down to a last day, I find myself a bundle of varied feelings.
All kinds of anxiety are in the mix
The idea that something you’ve grown so familiar with, a routine that has made up your day to day is going to disappear is somewhat disconcerting. For all these years, my free time and my occupied time has been dictated by this job and I’m not sure how to accept that will be gone forever soon. I’ll obviously find a new routine, but that takes time and the adjustment period can be anxiety inducing. It’s scary to start over after so much time! And is my resume adequately updated? Who should I tell that I’m looking for a job? What EXACTLY do I want to be doing? When is the right time to start applying?!
There’s some real sadness, too
I’m lucky enough to think of many of my co-workers over the years as friends and I know there will never be a point in time again where all of us can see each other on a daily basis like we do now. These days I look at everyone and I think how much I’m going to miss them. The camera assistant who does killer impressions and tells hilarious jokes, the makeup artist who shows me how to fix my smoky eye before leaving work for a date, the silly songs we sing, the people who I hug every Monday and say, “did you have a good weekend?” Coming to this place feels good and it breaks my heart that I soon won’t have that daily dose of goodness.
Worrying that you’ll never have another job
But…then my heart starts to pound and I wonder what if I never like a job this much again? What if I never get to work with such an amazing group of people ever again? What if it’s all downhill from here and nothing will come close to how this feels??!
And then, there’s some excitement about what’s ahead
And then on other days the idea that I don’t exactly know what’s next is strangely exciting. The possibility that anything can happen or who knows what I might pursue or be offered, but I’m allowed to say yes or no to whatever it is that might come next. Although the not knowing part is a little scary, it’s also a little thrilling.
Realizing that no matter what, it’s going to be OK
I try to keep coming back to the mantra of “whatever will happen is going to happen.” Life moves in continuous cycles. Some days it’s going to be great, some days awful, sometimes fantastic, sometimes mundane. I can’t be angry that my time here has come to an end, because it’s given me so much. Nothing lasts forever, it’s just essential that I remember how much I learned here about television and scriptwriting, how important these relationships will always be to me, and how my years here and everywhere else professionally have prepared me for whatever might happen going forward.