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Fresh Starts & Auto Parts

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Let me just get right down to it: I was laid off yesterday.




While I was surprised, I can't say I was completely shocked as, in this position and the one I held before it, I'd watched my colleagues randomly terminated in the name of streamlining and "increased productivity." (Huh?)

The funny thing is this: Recently a few friends had asked me how work was going and I responded by saying things seemed to be "OK," "Pretty status quo," and the ironic "Haven't had any lay-offs lately!" Guess I spoke too soon.

Just weeks shy of my three-year anniversary at the job that pulled me out of the depths of despair when my husband and I were simultaneously out of work, four colleagues and I were dismissed amid yet another "restructuring."

I was sitting at my dining room table just before noon, working and considering what I might have for lunch when I received the news that my services were no longer required -- which, let me tell you, …

My New Side Hustle

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Many new career-related endeavors are born out of ambition. My new side gig is flourishing out of sheer laziness, as paradoxical as that might sound. Let me explain: I never intended to become a legit ticket scalper and yet here I am -- up $250 this month -- without even leaving my home.

Before you say, "Geez, Liz, you've really hit rock bottom," press the pause button on your sympathy for one sec and allow me to share how this all came about.

Travel with me for a moment back to 1985: A 14-year-old sits on her grandparents' sun porch surrounded by her cousins. They pass a cable box the size of a bulldog back and forth though they never change the channel. They want their MTV. While the teen is momentarily intrigued by VJ Mark Goodman, his deep voice, curly hair, and music knowledge infinitely appealing, she develops a serious girl crush on 'Til Tuesday frontwoman Aimee Mann.

The fact that this doe-eyed gal, not more than 25 at the time, can play guitar, pull off…

A Reversal of Fortune

Step right up, folks, our ride is about to begin ... again. Unfortunately, shortly after celebrating his one-year anniversary with a new company, my husband was let go. (Cue the screaming.)





There had been some "restructuring" (why is that word often the death knell for so many?) which occurred mid-winter and while it wasn't without its challenges, he was trying to make the best of it.

We knew things weren't great when the much-ballyhooed holiday party was cancelled back in December without much notice. Next, a move to a nicer building was put on hold indefinitely. Then, little by little, colleagues started to slip away and my husband wasn't sure if their departures were voluntary. (Spoiler alert: They weren't.)  The cryptic emails that followed their abrupt disappearances went a little something like this:

"Dan is no longer with the company. Let's wish him well in all his future endeavors!" and were sent out only after Dan's cubicle was stri…

A Thought Leader ... Who Me? & A Bit About UpScored

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A few months ago, Elise Runde Voss, chief executive officer of UpScored reached out to me after reading my piece on how networking helped my husband get back to work after being laid-off. In her email, she referred to me as "a thought leader in career development and progression." Now before I go any further, as a woman who can barely get her kids to wear long pants in a blizzard, I was beyond flattered, so naturally, I wanted to hear what else she had to say.

Her new endeavor, UpScored, is a career discovery platform that connects professionals to their best career prospects. As someone who struggled with finding a job for far longer than I'd have liked, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.

Fortunately, I had the pleasure of speaking with the entrepreneur who is determined to streamline the job search (and hiring) process. I highly recommend checking out the site. I did -- for research purposes, of course -- and was pretty impressed and surprised by how user-friend…

Where I've Been

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A few friends have asked if I've given up writing this blog. While I definitely hadn’t intended to, I haven't had much free time lately. As I've mentioned in other posts, I've been freelancing whenever and wherever I have the opportunity. 

Initially, I felt like I couldn't turn down any work in case one of us found ourselves unexpectedly out of work again. Then, I just kept it up because I enjoyed having an opportunity to write on a variety of different topics. Now, I’m doing it more than ever because I found myself in need of a big ole influx of cash. Let me explain. 

In November, my husband and I went to a fundraising event which we attend every year. In the name of a worthy cause, I often find myself spending the silent auction portion of the evening bidding on items we definitely don’t need. Think: shopping carts/chair caddies you can take to the beach (??), skydiving lessons, a bouquet of fast food gift cards … you get the idea. 

But when it comes to the live auc…

The LinkedIn Endorsements You Wish Existed

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When it comes to LinkedIn endorsements, there are different schools of thought on their value. Some people are delighted when they receive a notification that someone thinks they're great at proofreading and three unrelated skills. Others regard them as a bunch of hooey. I probably fall into the latter category as I've been endorsed twice for speechwriting. Yet, aside from the short lackluster toast I gave at my dad's 70th birthday party, I really have no experience with this. And I don't think the people who endorsed me were at that small affair.

While the catalog of endorsement traits is vast and sundry, here are a few I wish existed, because, let's face it, we've all worked with people who've honed these skills to perfection:

Oration

A testament to those long and loud personal calls, which after 10 minutes begin to take on the fever-pitch of a televangelist

Nomadic Tendencies

The ability to carry an always-full water bottle and wander from cube to cube com…

How Networking Brought Us Our Unexpected Fairy Tale Ending

My husband just celebrated his six-month anniversary at his new job and since several people have asked me how it's going for him, I thought I'd provide an update. But first, here's a quick recap: After 20 years at the same company he was laid off out of the blue on a Monday in November of 2013.

At first, he experienced the feelings of relief and the euphoria that come from shedding the mantle of responsibility and knowing never again will you have to see the manager who sent you confusing and condescending emails for years. But, unfortunately, as months passed, those positive emotions gave way to fear and anxiety as his job search extended well beyond when his generous severance package ended.

Thankfully, in March, after networking with just about everyone he'd ever been within 50 feet of, he received a job offer that seemed too good to be true. In fact, it still does. His commute, which was 90 minutes door to door each way (on a good day) has shrunk to just 20 minutes.…