Jessica Ward

5/26/09:–Dear John, Thanks for the Layoff

I’ve done a run of personal essays lately, and this one is no exception.  “Dear John” started as a therapeutic writing project to give myself a snapshot of where I’d come  in the three months since I was laid off from my job.  (The essay was published several months after it was written).  Friends and family urged me to have it published and after much thought, I relented for the sake of providing a little recession-hope, I sought a home for it. came as a reference to me via my friends at Seattle’s Child.   BusinessWeek was also great to work with because they were patient with me every time I started to back off the project–for fear of damaging my still-good relationship with my former boss. He’s a good guy, and I don’t want anything to read out-of-turn and hurt any feelings.

That said, I’m happy to be on my own, and without the fear of not being able to find a job, and without someone “pushing me out the nest” I don’t think I would have ever worked up the courage to go solo.

The moral of this story: “Fear not, and work hard!”

**Update**  This story has since been carried several other places, including publications in India, and Australia. 

Yahoo business

2 thoughts on “5/26/09:–Dear John, Thanks for the Layoff

  1. Mike Ettlemyer

    Jessica — The BusinessWeek letter is truly inspiring. I’m glad I discovered it today via my Twitter feed.

    I, too, know what it’s like to receive a layoff, sense impending doom (still have this at least once a week), yet live to fight another day…and now I have the time to pursue other things that I never had time to do in the past 15 years of an upward career. I look forward to “bringing home the bacon” again soon, but it’s nice to have time to reflect, recharge, and go after something I really want and need to be happier in life. My layoff isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Right now, it is the best thing.

  2. admin

    Yay Mike!! I’m glad to hear your layoff is working out so well for you! It’s taught me a lot of lessons, I have decided to live life wtihout debt. Right now we live on my husband’s income and all of my self-employment income goes to pay debts (cars, student loans and adoption loans all now paid off, just a credit card and the house left). This way I’ll never worry about money again. Money isn’t life. I learned in Africa last year that a far better quality of life than mine (in satisfaction, richness and family quality) due to lack of money woes. Granted, I’ll put money a little higher rank in my priority scale, for the sake of providing the kind of plumbing and electric lighting standards of living that I’m accustomed to, but seriously, worrying less about money has been the most rewarding thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>