Thinking back…it’s August 2nd, 2013 . I am on my way to work at AOL in the midst of talk about headcount reductions. As I was getting closer to work I did start to get a little anxious about the reductions. I started to wonder what the day was going to be like and about who I know that might be impacted, my mind started to wander. At that moment the car in front of me turned off the road and I noticed the license plate of the car that was now in front of me…”DNTPANIC” (don’t panic). I thought about that for a brief moment and I realized how true that statement is. Things happen all the time that are out of our control. The upcoming day’s events is a perfect example of that. I pondered that for a moment and said to myself that no matter what happens today, remember what can and cannot be controlled by me. So take it in stride and if impacted, be proud of what you have done over the past 13 years, be proud to have worked with such amazing people and be thankful to AOL for the opportunities I have had over those years. With that, I put the thoughts of concern aside and continued on to work.
Long story short, I was affected by the reductions. I stood true to my conviction of “going out with pride” and I am truly thankful to my co-workers and AOL. I did the usual clean up, asset turn in and rounds of good byes and then I was off. Of course it couldn’t be helped, as I drove home (a 1 hour commute) the thoughts of what I have to do next jumped into my head and I started to come up with a list of all the things I needed to “get on with” when I got home. I could feel my heart rate increasing and that concern coming back. Through the haze I caught a few words of a song that was playing on the radio;
“…I’d Be a fool now to worry
About all those things I can’t change”
They are from a song called “Ain’t in No Hurry” by the Zac Brown Band. I realize the song is a bit deeper with it’s meaning. These words struck a cord and helped me put myself back at ease. As I came into my housing development, I was thinking about how I do need to “take a breath” and spend a little time with the family before the kids go back to school. Of course there was some feelings of guilt that started floating around my head as I know I need to get on the ball with my job search. At that moment, I noticed a bumper sticker on a car in front of me at a stop sign, it said “Live the Life you Love“. Needless to say, this again put me at ease and I decided to do just what I was thinking about. I spent time with my family.
Jump forward, it’s now the 21st of August. I have reached out in “my network”, worked on the resume and searched for the job boards, however for the past 2 1/2 weeks, I have really spent time with he family and it has been fantastic. That quality time further supports the time I have spent with AOL over the past 13 years and the time and focus I am now turning to finding my next opportunity.
At this point you are probably wondering, where the hell did the title “Signs” come into this little narrative? Well, simply put…the signs I saw all around me that day really did help me take on this change in my life with pride and confidence. I could have simply ignored them. If you read this far then I think my point is clear, be aware of the signs around you, don’t dismiss them too quickly. You don’t have to over analyze everything…just be aware.
Thank you and Good Luck AOL! I look forward to seeing you all again when our paths cross again in this wild wonderful world of Technology!