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By Cindy Rayfield, FranNet Mountain West (Colorado, Wyoming and Montana) ~

Getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me? I know that sounds crazy to anyone in the position of a recent layoff. How can getting laid off from a job ever be a good thing?

Well, looking back on my situation, a layoff led me to where I am today. My life is better because of it, and I’m a better person as well. I can actually pinpoint the time in my life where things turned for the better, and it was during the time of the dreaded layoff.

My first layoff (there was more than one actually) was devastating at the time. Nearly  two decades ago, on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of December, my boss left me an obscure voicemail message on my home phone. I will never forget it. She said she had to “share some information with me.” I went to her office that Monday morning where I was told about my new unemployed status. I picked up a small severance and was promptly shown the door.

I had never faced a layoff before and I suddenly felt inadequate, worthless and embarrassed. It’s difficult to find a job when those feelings are so fresh but, like most people, I had to get past my emotions and immediately look for another job.

I was hired back by the same company in a different department about two months after the first layoff.

However, less than a year into my new job, the department I was working in was eliminated and I was laid off again. This time I wasn’t offered a severance package.

That second layoff should have left me more devastated than the first, but it didn’t. It turned out to be a kick-in-the-pants I needed to finally change things. In hindsight, it really was a blessing. That layoff got me out of the corporate world. I don’t believe I will ever go back.

I started a business, which led to another business, and another business. With each step I have gained more confidence in myself and my own ability to make decisions. I have no regrets. Now I am in control.

For many people facing a layoff, it can be a life changing event. Here’s my advice based on personal experience: don’t let layoff change your life for the worse. I know it seems awful when it happens. But time will give the proper distance for you to look back and see that a layoff may be just what you needed.

We all get shaken up sometimes and we don’t know what it’s going to look like when everything settles. If a layoff brings nothing else, let it bring you the ability to be open to something new and different.

Think of it as a springboard into a new adventure!