Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Gift of Change

“Change is the only constant” according to Greek philosopher Heraclitus… so we might as well embrace it!

For the last year or so, we have all witnessed the dismantling of the economy and most of us have feared being pulled under along with it. In Canada, we have not experienced the effects of the downturn quite so harshly as our friends in the U.S. and other parts of the globe, but for those who have been hit, that hardly matters. It’s always personal. And when it’s your world that’s being blown apart, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine how and when things will ever be right again.

I work in the marketing department of a large retail corporation, and over a span of about nine months, my colleagues and I have watched our employee ranks dwindle to about half, never knowing when or if it will be our turn. At the start of the cull, there were approximately 2400 people employed by the various departments within our head office and now there are only 1200. And last week marketing, which had been spared for so long, took a blow.

I am one of the lucky ones (for now). While the writing job I have held for the last five years will be eliminated seven weeks from now, I will have the opportunity to do something different within the company. Many other “creative types” also still have jobs, albeit with the independent specialized organization to which they have been outsourced. But they too, I am certain, will be fine.

That leaves a handful of freelancers – some of whom have been with the company for longer than I have - who are now being left to their own devices. Dedicated and hardworking people who have no social safety net. So what are they to do?

I have heard a lot of people remark about how sorry they feel for these individuals and each time I hear it, I have to cringe. Yes, losing a job in this way is harsh, but these are some of the most talented and hardworking people in the business and I know each of them is fully capable of coming through this situation better off than they were before. They had the guts to accept their current positions knowing full well they could lose them at any moment. And now they are faced with a challenge… not unlike any other challenge we all go through periodically.

Wait long enough, and eventually everything changes. Whether we choose to ignore what’s happening and push it away or tackle it head on, either way life is not static and we will absolutely have to deal with the consequences one way or another.

For my friends who will be leaving, I hope you remain confident in your ability to turn your dreams into reality and trust that the Universe has much better things in store for each of you. I look forward to seeing what you make of this opportunity and I’m certain you will all be better off for it.



Shadow said...

change is but an opportunity you still have to discover... it is not something anyone relishes, yet going with the change as opposed to against it, will turn it around into something good.

Felicitas said...

Absolutely! How beautifully you put things, Shadow.

Karen said...

Elaine called me last Friday to let me know what went down but obviously I have no idea what awaits me specifically on Tuesday.

Ah well... bring it on.

Felicitas said...

Karen, you are far too talented to worry about this. If you don't end up with Elaine and I, you will be doing something better - I'm certain!