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Monthly archives: March 2015

    Karen’s latest article in the Business Journals touches on the personal impact of the recent round of major layoffs at Target Corporation. Join in the conversation by leaving us your comments.


    My phone was ringing off the hook Tuesday with news and updates from friends at Target, which had just laid off 1,700 corporate employees.

    All the messages brought me right back to my own experience in 2009 when I was part of the marketing layoffs at the Minneapolis-based retailer.

    That uneasy feeling, the pit in your stomach, the sadness of saying goodbye to colleagues, the reality of packing your office and walking out the door with the news media standing there taking video — UGH! It all came rushing back and felt very raw. I understand those going through the turmoil. You can never brace yourself for something like this even when you know its coming.

    When I got my news in 2009, I had just gotten married, moved into a new house, and found out I was laid off the day after arriving home from our honeymoon. Ouch. Talk about a tough re-entry! It took me a few hours to get my head around it enough to even call my newly-minted husband and tell him that the honeymoon really was over.

    But what ended up being a very difficult time was also rather liberating. I’m a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason,” but I understand not everyone subscribes to this philosophy.

    Six years later I can reflect and share a few of the lessons from my rearview mirror.

    It’s OK to take time for yourself

    This may seem like the furthest thing from your mind when you’ve lost a job, but it can be very therapeutic. In fact, I would argue that this time CAN be part of the job search process — if used effectively.

    I was able to take a couple months of downtime to get reorganized and refocused before I made decisions about what’s next. This time also allowed me to slow down and listen to what my instincts were telling me, rather than jumping into something I might have regretted later. I’ve spoken to others from my “Class of 2009” who also felt the same way and were glad they had some time to digest and recalibrate.

    If finances allow, it could mean taking a dream vacation that you’ve been thinking about but didn’t have the time off. It could also mean re-evaluating your passions and career — maybe making a change, going back to school, or moving to a different city.

    It became crystal clear to me after a couple months that I needed to open my own agency, which many people along the way had told me I should do, but now the choice became so much easier. It was something I never would have done if not given this “opportunity.” If you take time to really understand what you want to do and can clearly articulate it, this will also help others in your network be able to help you when the time is right.

    When there are peaks and valleys in my business, I try to come back to the value of taking some down time for reflection and repositioning my compass.

    Continue reading the rest of the story in the March Business Journal here.

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