After the layoff: Day 2

It’s now been about 36 hours since the end of the world at the end of the world.

I remain optimistic. In fact, I feel pretty relieved, all things considered. For the first time in four and a half years, my fate is back in my hands.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed working on Fallen Earth. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have thrown so much of my time, energy, and hope into the project. However, a project of that scope contains so many moving parts and relies so much on luck and timing.

The word for the day: Options.

I have so many possibilities floating around out there. I could go back into journalism. I could stay in the video game industry working on someone else’s project. I could go into teaching. I could become a freelance writer for a while. Or maybe I could start something of my own, something simple and catchy, with a small team, small budget, and great profit potential.

Before taking the time to daydream about overly ambitious “what if” plans, though, I had some practicalities to deal with:

* The U.S. Postal Service: They stopped delivering my mail in the apartment mailbox about two weeks ago. I called and asked “What the hell, dudes?” They opened a bug report and gave me a case number for reference. I expected them to thank me for playing Postal Service.

* Unemployment: All signed up. May not need it for long, but it’s good to have the income.

* 401K: Talked to the plan managers about getting my Icarus retirement money rolled over into a Roth IRA.

* Task Spreadsheets: I’ve organized my personal war plan. One tab’s for “Business” – things like getting the mail sorted out, handling the 401k plan and unemployment, and budget issues. The next tab is dedicated to the job search: Where I’ve applied, when, and whether I got a response, what it was, and when it arrived. Third tab is “Writing,” for NaNoWriMo and other creative tasks, which I should resume tomorrow at the latest. Fourth tab is “Jointhesaga.com” for tasks related to OtherSpace and other related projects that need my attention. I just added a fifth tab, which I think is ultimately the most important: “Exercise.” Now, more than ever, I need to remain active and continue trying to improve my shape and conditioning. Lethargy, complacency, and laziness are a bad combination, but easy traps to fall into after something as traumatic and life-changing as a layoff happens to you. I won’t let that happen to me.

Thanks to a tip from a pal on Facebook, I’ve signed up to work freelance as a contributor to the gaming section at Brighthub.com, so that’s going to guarantee a little money coming in, at least.

Speaking of social networks, I can’t say enough good things about the support I’ve received from friends on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve also got a lot of support close at hand. Like me, my girlfriend’s a force of nature and she does a great job of helping me stay focused and on task. My family’s been there for me during the past two days too. I’m leaning on them emotionally like I don’t think I really have before. My brother keeps me laughing, my mom keeps me grounded and pings me over and over again with job prospects, my stepdad cheers me up by reminding me just how broad-based my skill set is thanks to the different careers I’ve explored over the years, my father thinks he might be able to get me a job as an air traffic controller, and my stepmom clued me in to some other job prospects that wouldn’t involve hundreds of passengers’ lives in my hands every hour.

The biggest lesson that I’ve learned in the last two days is that I’m not alone. I’ve got support from many different directions. It’s a blessing and I’m grateful to everyone who’s been there for me so far.

I hope I can return the favor…but not too soon.

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  1. November 10, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I hope that you find a job that you like soon–that is always a difficult situation.

    • November 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      It’s tough, but it’s survivable. Thanks for the positive thoughts!

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