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1997: Being “downsized” corrected the course of my life

I’d moved from project management into team management in the software company I’d been at for 7 years. I was “on the career path” and proud of the recognition I’d received.

Seven months later my position was inexplicably downsized. My boss sat in my office.  “You can take voluntary layoff with a 3 weeks severance package, or you can take a position in shipping.  You’ll still make the same salary (a management salary, mind you), you’ll just be working in shipping under that manager.”

Still in my late twenties, I can recall the shock and fear.  “I’ll never be able to get another job as good as this one, making the money I do.”  “No one will hire me!”  My brain said, “You’re taking the shipping position.”  But even as this thought went through my mind, the deepest calm and peace I’ve ever felt started at my head and went through my entire body.  A little voice inside me said, “You’re taking the layoff.”  My head yelled NO!  Yet my whole body was calmly clear that I would leave and I knew it.

Though I couldn’t know it then, this marked the beginning of full-time entrepreneurship and the redirection to the work I do today.  Something inside me knew this was THE moment of a massive course correction in my life—and was making absolutely sure I took it.

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