My Summer Of Unemployment…And A Really Good Tan

This summer started off like most. We went on a road trip Memorial Day weekend. I went back to work that Tuesday. I lost my job that Thursday.

After 11 years with the same company, my position was eliminated as part of nationwide restructuring. That’s official corporate speak that officially sucked.

I’ve never been unemployed. When I graduated from WKU in 1991 I already had a job lined up at Vanderbilt University. After six and a half years in the News and Public Affairs Office there I briefly worked as an editor of the employee sales magazine for a national insurance company. And then, just a few months before I found out I was pregnant with my older daughter, Miss C, that company was acquired by a Houston corporation and I decided to look for another job.

I’ve been working with the same small business publishing company since 2001. My job as an editor, and more recently as a social media coordinator, saw me through my pregnancy years. After Miss A was born in 2005 I cut back  on my hours and was able to pick up my girls from school every day. Of course there were many days when I BARELY left my office in time to make it to school to pick them up before they would have had to make the walk of “my mom forgot me” shame, but all in all it was a great working mom schedule.

I was COMPLETELY BLINDSIDED by losing my job. I’d just had a great performance review. But more than 50 people nationwide were let go and I was one of them.

After 20 years of always working for someone else, I think God, karma, and my inner creativity compass are nudging me toward being on my own and working for others on my own terms. I had actually considered pursuing a freelance career two years ago when Miss A started kindergarten, but then the historic flood in Nashville happened and that fluke of Mother Nature definitely impacted my husband’s small business and pretty much every small business in our community. Between that and the economy, venturing out on my own at that time didn’t seem like a great idea. Leaving a stable job seemed foolish.

My office contents from an 11-year career in one box. I still have an old school Rolodex from the 90s. It’s an antique now, right? I’ll be yammering on about it on Antiques Roadshow one day.

After the initial shock of losing my job unexpectedly wore off I started to really enjoy not rushing in the mornings to get to work. I’ve relished spending time at home and not “having” to be anywhere this summer but with hubby and my girls who are both growing up way too fast. I’ve been spending so much time swimming with the girls that a friend asked us last week if we’d just gotten back from the beach. “Nope, this is just my unemployment tan,” I joked.

While I have loved being home with the girls this very brief summer break I’ll be ready to start working again this fall and I’ve already had a couple possible opportunities come my way. I’m going to try to make this work from home thing work for me and my family.

I also realize, not surprisingly, that I’m not stay at home mom material. When hubby and I told the girls that I’d lost my job and would be home with them this summer, Miss C looked at me and asked, “Mom, does this mean the house is going to be cleaner?!”

Bless your heart my sweet girl. Housework is probably the one job I should be fired from.


  1. Sarah says:

    Eh… housework is NOT one of the essential qualifications to be a SAHM. 😉 Good luck with your new opportunities. More professional freedom is a good thing!

  2. Teresa says:

    Haha – I’m not stay at home mom material, either! Best of luck to you – I hope you can make the work-from-home thing work!

  3. Sky says:

    As you know, sometimes gifts are wrapped and tied with different colored ribbon than we expect. Sounds like this adventure just might be a fabulous gift from the universe. I bet you are networked in a variety of ways which could bring clients directly to your home computer! Good luck and have fun creating a new career opportunity.

  4. Blonde Mom says:

    Thanks friends. It’s a little scary not knowing what I’ll be doing but this is forcing me out of my comfort zone and that’s not a bad thing!

  5. Cabinet Stomatologic says:

    Good luck with you working fro home thing, it’s a shame what happened to you with the job thing but i’m sure you have the strength to rise from the ashes, so to say!I don’t like working from home either but for me it suits cause i have my own program and also the time to relax whenever i want, so go get them girl!

  6. Susan says:

    Best of luck in your new adventures! Enjoy your time with your girls. It’s so true how quickly they grow!

  7. heather says:

    Good luck! Yeah, I should be fired for housework abilities, as well. I’m on the opposite end – haven’t worked outside of the home for nine years and I’m looking to stop working from home! Always good to change things up and see what you want to do!

  8. Blake says:

    Hey gal,
    When you walked out with your box, I hope someone told you “job well done”, because I know you were an excellent employee. I am excited for you and this new opportunity! I’ve no doubt you are at the beginning of a wonderful new chapter, Jamie. And hey – post well done. 😉

  9. Liz says:

    I like your very positive outlook on this. My best to you as you find the next good thing for you. For now, ENJOY your summer and work on that tan!

  10. HippyFitMom says:

    Hi. I was always defined by my profession. I worked since I was 16 so when I had to leave my career as a management analyst for the federal government to follow my husband, I was nervous. Staying home is really difficult. I too, am not domesticated at all. It is a journey for sure. I know things will work out for you. Good luck to you.

  11. BrettLee says:

    I like your very positive outlook on this. I think that the next good thing for you. So ENJOY your summer. It’s so true how quickly they grow!

Leave a Reply