My Life In The World Of Unemployment – An Update

If you’ve ever lost your job, then you know it’s a flat out traumatic experience. This was my third… no fourth time in the world of layoffs. And no, it’s not because I am a sh*tty employee. I’ll have you know, I rarely called in sick, if ever, and I never, ever missed a deadline. So why all the layoffs? Oh how I wish I knew. Maybe it’s the state of the economy, or the world of advertising, maybe I just made poor decisions in employers. Either way, it’s been a few months since I’ve written anything regarding the emotional state of my career, so here goes.

How I feel after losing my job 6 months ago


Before I get into how I feel, let’s rewind…I’m feeling the need to prove my non-sh*ttiness. Why? Again, I don’t know. Let’s just call it validation and PTSD.

  1. I worked at a publishing house where all the magazines were sold off and the company was dissolved. I was told unless I wanted to move to West Virginia, I had 3 months to look for a new job.
  2. I was a coder at a startup dot com right before the startup dot bomb. I knew something was up when there was no longer all you could eat cereal in the kitchen, and we were asked to reuse the back side of paper in the copier. Yup, just like all the other dot coms, we had burned through our venture capital without making one sale.
  3. I stopped working small mom and pop shops to play it safe. I went to an in-house marketing department at a furniture company…they went bankrupt 2 years later.
  4. For the last 10 years, I worked as a Creative Director for a small ad agency downtown…you can get all the deets here.

Someone told me that getting laid off is like getting dumped by someone, but the asshole takes all your money too. Pretty much…yup, that’s the nutshell.

Not sure if it’s because I’m older, or because I have more responsibilities, or maybe it was because I had been at the agency for 10 years…but I’m still processing this breakup. Understanding these emotions has been mostly through dreams. For example, I’m standing outside my designer’s office, and my production artist walks in and closes the door behind him. I pop my head in to see if they need help. Nope, we’re okay. I’m no longer needed.

That’s a tough pill to swallow. When my sister was lying in ICU…literally dying, I was on the phone with freelancers trying to find someone to cover for me…not my boss. When Mercedes Benz and Virgin Atlantic were going full steam ahead, it wasn’t me who planned our wedding…it was The Boy. I arrived to work at 8:30am, took the 12:40am train home, fall asleep by 2:30am, and be up 4 hours later ready to do it all over again. F*cking dedication. I always, ALWAYS, put my job first.

After I was let go, word spread my designer was promoted to Creative Director. My title that I worked my ass off for…my title…I was pissed to say the least. Yes, there was swearing. I shed some tears. Finally, after my temper tantrum, The Boy sat me down and said, what is Mark (the owner) supposed to do? Every agency needs a Creative Director, and he can’t afford to have Ross (designer) leave. He was right. My designer got my title as a consolation prize. He didn’t earn it. Oddly, it made me feel better.

Shortly after that conversation, I had my latest dream. Again, I was at the agency, sitting in the lobby around all my old co-workers. They were holding some sort of company gathering. Mark (the owner) had started to appreciate his employees and the morale was boosted. No longer was he walking around like a little tiny tyrant acting all passive aggressive.

Each Account Exec had a weird looking craft on their desk. Wait, was my former boss encouraging creative play? I stared at the awful pile of dried up clay dumbfounded. Suddenly, there he was, standing at a podium, handing out books…each one specially chosen to fit the employee’s interest or passion.

I was sitting next to an empty desk when he held up a book about Paris and started talking about flea markets. Wow! He still cared! With tears in my eyes, I was about to stand up, when he called on an unfamiliar name. Behind me a young girl with dreadlocks stood up to receive the book. MY BOOK! She gave him a hug.

Wait, who the hell are you?!?! (My dream for some reason had concocted an intern.) I looked at Mark. He said if I wanted the intern’s position, he’d love to have me back. I could even have the book. And that’s when I realized…even if I could return, I didn’t want to return. Over the last 6 months, I’ve worked too hard to build a solid client roster and refocused my attention on the blog. That morning I awoke with a realization that I had fully embraced unemployed and accepted my layoff.

The last six months has been a rollercoaster. I can scream at every bump, or I can throw my hands in the air and enjoy the ride. This year will hold many twists and turns and ups and downs, but I’m glad to have you along for the ride. Buckle up…helmets are optional.



  1. Patrick Weseman February 5, 2018

    Wow, I now feel bad. I am voluntary leaving my job after 22 years because basically I got screwed over and they hired some idiot who everyone says is basically plant life and can’t pee straight without a road map as my supervisor. I found another job right away that I will be starting in June but I still have four months to go in my current job (I am not going to screw over the students like the new admin screws over everyone else). That is if I don’t kill or maim this idiot for a supervisor.

    Anyway, I feel bad because it seems like you have a lot of skills, dedication and everything and don’t have a job. So, I am sending you positive thoughts and prayers that you find the right one this year.

    • kyla February 6, 2018

      Naw, don’t feel bad Patrick. Everything happens for a reason. In this life, I’m supposed to be freelancing and blogging and would have never left voluntarily. Just like you’re supposed to help in another school. We all just need a little push. Life is strange. For the most part, the last 6 months have been really good, but there are some days where it gets ugly. It truly is like getting dump lol. These random dreams have made me process feelings I didn’t know where there. But I’m thankful for them because I know I’m on the right path 🙂

  2. Julia@Cuckoo4Design February 8, 2018

    What a road to your freelancing. I’m actually excited for you now. I remember my first walk to the boss’ office where I knew he was going to tell me I no longer had a job. It was awful! But I also found myself embracing unemployment and I think if that wouldn’t have happened, then I would have never found a way to stay home with my children and work on the side in my own pace.

    • kyla February 16, 2018

      It’s so crazy how you know it’s coming sometimes, but you’d never take the jump yourself. I’m so thankful for the way everything turned out, but it is truly fascinating to process these emotions through dreams. Feelings I never really knew were there. I’m excited for this new found freedom =) Thanks for stopping over Julia!

  3. cynthia merriman February 8, 2018

    i feel so bad f or you!! my heart goes out to you. i too have job experiences that i had shake me head and ask “is this for real?” one thing i tell younger women is i learned the hard way-quit trying to be a square peg fitting into a round hole with certain job placements. because i have had jobs where everything went so great and i could do no wrong and then there was the places i could not understand what the problem was! turns out square peg-round hole dilemma. if you feel red flags popping up listen to your intuition very very closely!!

    • kyla February 16, 2018

      Oh don’t feel bad at all! It’s just so interesting to see how your dreams process emotions. Feelings I never thought I had but needed to be aware of. The mind is a funny tricky beast. But looking back now, I’m so much happier and in a better spot. It’s not an adventure I would have taken on my own, but I’m super excited for this new path =)

  4. Diego Lopes February 15, 2018

    Well, I’m so sorry to hear that! But everything happens for a reason, right? Wish you all the best on this next journey!

    • kyla February 16, 2018

      Everything does happen for a reason and after processing all these emotions, I’ve realized this is exactly what I need to be doing. Blogging and freelancing has been so freeing. I’m incredibly happy. It’s just funny how the mind works and how even though you may not realize you’re hurting, if you listen to your dreams, you’ll find you’re processing traumatic events and feelings you never knew you had.

  5. Maria February 17, 2018

    It’s been 8 months of unemployment for me so I know the feeling. But I think these things happen to make us listen to our own wants & needs, and move us closer to where we should be. You seemed to have landed exactly where you should be. Best wishes on your path!

  6. Jill March 1, 2018

    I felt MY blood pressure rising reading your post! Their loss, our gain! I’m excited to read your blog. It seems so many blogs that I’ve followed for years have become “professional”, and I miss the personal side. And many design blog go for a big reveal and now seem unattainable for the “average” or even above average income homeowner. So while I understand the patience, frustrations, and the restraints of working with a budget, I can’t wait to see what you pull together! I hope you keep sharing and feel good about this path you are going down. And wish you much success.


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