Freewrite Friday: The Gift of Time to Introspect

Sitting here with my cup of coffee, I wonder what direction the freewrite will go today. I began to reflect on the week. One part of the week that stood out to me was LinkedIn posts from someone I grew up with. She was impacted by another layoff. Her second one this year. It pains me to know she is managing the emotional rollercoaster of a layoff for the second time this year. She is so strong for pushing through this.

I began to think more about all of the people being laid off and the timing of the announcements. These announcements are occurring around the time of year when most companies implement hiring freezes as they assess budgets for the year to come. Either those laid off get lucky and are able to land at a company that a) isn’t in a freeze cycle for budgets or b) an opening popped up, or they struggle with rejections and the “wait until January” replies.

Regardless of what is ahead, this time of year can be viewed as a positive. The Universe is giving the gift of time. The time to introspect. There is time to be with loved ones, talk to new people, and explore new interests. I don’t know about all of you, but I have certainly been in roles where work dominated my thoughts at all hours and outside interests were left to the back of my mind.

Those that are laid off may be facing challenges with the new routine, the panic of finding the next job, or an identity crisis. In a Harvard Business Review post by Janna Koretz, Koretz highlights the following,

“No matter how it happens, becoming disconnected from a career that forms the foundation of your identity can lead to bigger issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance use, and loneliness.”

Janna Koretz, Harvard Business Review: What happens when your career becomes your whole identity.

So for those that were impacted by a restructuring or layoff, now is an excellent time to assess if work has become your whole identity or not. Now is an opportunity to create time for yourself, for activities outside of work, while continuing to focus on the new job ahead.

For those still in the workforce, my ask is that you continue to carry the kindness into 2023. If your team announces open positions, please reach out to your network and anyone you may know that has been laid off.

As for me, I am continuing to look for opportunities. I have found meaning in writing to help others while searching. For those that know me, you know that writing is also helping me stay busy as a bee because “doing” is my thing.

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