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Life After A Beautiful Mess

Updated: Feb 5

The other day, someone asked me how I've managed to stay so positive after losing my job back in July.

My initial response was "I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE", but after giving it some thought, I realized they were right. There's been a shift in my attitude and perspective on life ... for the better. Crazy, huh? Let me explain.

A recent auction find. 🔮

I'm writing this post 4 months after losing my job. If you want to know all the juicy details about that, there really aren't any. The company I worked for decided to scale back and focus more on family and less on business. If there was a way to keep me there forever, they would have. We were (and still are) extremely close ... like family.

There are no hard feeling between us at all. I was given a really generous severance and have felt well taken care of considering the circumstances, which I'm extremely thankful for.

But yeah, as many of you know, I spent over 9 years living and breathing A Beautiful Mess. I loved my job, and I truly felt like I was "set" for life. Maybe it was naive thinking on my part, but that's really how I felt—like the brand itself was completely indestructible.

After getting the news that I was laid off, I panicked and spent the majority of the day in bed. I also had a big surgery planned a couple weeks later, so my mind was shifting back and forth.

Everyone's situation is different, but for me, knowing that I didn't have to cash out my retirement fund to pay my mortgage and bills was a HUGE sigh of relief. I had a little buffer. Once I was healed up from my hysterectomy, I started the job search.

Looking for a job at 40 is A LOT different than it is when you're 30. I have way more "boxes to check." I would describe the process as mind-numbing with small bursts of encouragement.

Considering everything that's happened this year, I haven't completely lost my mind. In fact, I have a positive spark inside of me that I didn't know existed.

Here are a few things that have helped me the past 4 months:

  1. Starting this blog. I never planned on starting my own blog. Ever. My goal has never been to become an influencer or make it big— I just wanted to have a creative outlet other than Instagram. I soon realized how therapeutic it felt to write blog posts, check comments, start an Amazon affiliate program, and share my photos on Pinterest. These are all things I did at A Beautiful Mess, and now I can still do them. I had no idea how much I needed this until I started doing it.

  2. Branching out. Having severance pay has made a huge difference in this situation for obvious reasons. But, the idea of running out of money is still in the back of my mind all the time. Initially, I didn't think about doing freelance or part-time work, but after sharing my situation on Instagram, I had two friends (who own local businesses) reach out to me about occasional work. The balance of looking for jobs and working a little has been really good for my brain.

  3. Networking. Yeah, we hear the term "networking" all the time, but I realized I needed to take it to another level to make things happen. The first thing I did when I started looking for a job was update my decade-old resume. Never in my life did I think that I would put my photo on a resume, but here we are. I'm proud of the resume I put together (with the help of some smart friends) so I shared it on social media. First on Instagram and then on Facebook. I had over 40 people re-share it on Facebook, and it resulted in several job interviews.

  4. Changing my surroundings. I make it a point to leave my house every day and surf LinkedIn from a coffee shop. It has made me realize that I didn't get out of the house enough when I was working remote for ABM. Like, at all. Doing something as simple as changing my surroundings has made me feel better.

  5. Staying busy. I know this might sound annoying, but I rarely get bored. Maybe it's because I'm not good at sitting around, but I try to keep my days pretty full. Right now, I have more free time than I'm used to having, and life is eventually going to go back to being really busy, workwise. I try to remind myself every day that this is temporary, and I should try to enjoy the extra time while I have it.

  6. Embrace hobbies. I have been buying and re-selling vintage decor for over 15 years, and it's truly one of my favorite things to do. It makes me happy. So while this isn't a new hobby for me, I've been listing more items than I usually do (between FB Marketplace, Etsy, and IG stories) to make extra money. I also started a series on this blog called 10 Favorite Things. Yes, this is exactly what A Beautiful Mess does every week, but I really enjoyed writing those posts. lol. I make a little extra money from Amazon commissions between the blog posts I write and the things I share on Instagram. I don't care if I make $5.00 from it— it's fun for me regardless.

  7. Moral support. This is the most important thing on my list. The advice, support, and encouragement I've received from my family and friends has been the biggest game changer for me. Listening to what someone has to say is one thing, but really believing them changes everything. Everyone I've talked to during this big transition in my life has told me the same thing. "We aren't worried about you at all. You're going to find something even better than what you had before!" Wait. What? I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you hear something enough, you will start to believe it. I've truly been surrounded by positivity this whole time. And I can feel it.

I hope this post is helpful if you're in a similar situation in life right now. Every day, I tell myself that things are going to work out and be OK. That doesn't mean I don't have bad days. Trust me. But, I really do believe that I was laid off from my job because there is something better out there for me. It was time for a change, and I can't wait to find out where I land. Until then ... chin up. Let's be happy while we're here.

xoxo, Jacki


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