living on layoffs

I admit that watching the Seattle layoffs take place, along with those around the country, has been sobering. The last two months have been particularly difficult (huge understatement) because as my management team was trying to “right-size” our organization for the resources we have and the work we have to do, Aaron was being laid off himself, along with hundreds of other architects in the Seattle area.

Word on the street? There’s nothing going on out there.

So, what’s an itgirl to do? First thing I’ve done is tried to acquaint myself with my new role at work, as I’ve taken on new responsibilities in areas that I’m familiar with but don’t have a ton of formal experience or expertise.  You guessed it: MarCom.

Truth is, I love strategic marketing (now that I know what that is). I’ve been reading Made to Stick and Marketing Straight to the Heart and Communities Dominate Brands and Mission-Based Marketing. I’ve been cleaning out the cobwebs on my social marketing RSS feeds, and thinking more about social media, word-of-mouth,  community-based brands, and viral marketing. I am anxious to have some authority to work from in these areas and have been flirting with the differences between “dominate” and  “lead.”

Bottom line: I may be becoming a business-person. This has become very handy for Aaron as he’s reacquainting himself with his real interests in architecture, and finding new ways to articulate why he’s interested in his projects, and why they matter. Now he’s reading Made to Stick.

So while I’m living the manager side of the lay-off dream, Aaron is living on unemployment. But it’s not as bad as that sounds. He’s way less stressed about it than I would be, I can only imagine, and so it has given me a better understanding of who he is (amazing) and who I am (neurotic). Not exactly the way that I had planned to spend my first six months post-writing on a new “self-care” plan.  In a word, this has been good.

I am very blessed to realize that hard times help you get to know yourself and your partner better. Very blessed to recognize that my good fortune (so far) makes it relatively “easy” to tighten my belt and just focus on paying the damn mortgage. (Thanks to Sallie Mae’s pay-back policy, student loans can wait – although this does make me feel a little cranky on certain days.) But the most wondrous thing about all these circumstances is that you realize what’s most important: people and how their lives can be impacted by what you do and what you don’t.

I’m still searching for a purpose for my blog post-production for the book that started it. Speaking of, here’s an update on the book: it’s in final proof, the cover-art is in production, and there’s an American Libraries article coming out next month that’s primarily an excerpt from the first chapter. I’ll post when it’s available…and/or when I better understand what the blog should be for in its next iteration. Until then, I’ll share tid-bits of things I’m learning from personal and professional life as it goes on.

Hope y’all are doing ok out there amidst all this craziness.