Back when I first started writing “Legally Redhead”, a blog I’d been planning and preparing to launch a couple of months before my very first post was published in January of 2013- I was a recent college graduate with a degree in Paralegal Studies, and was also just over two years into my job as a legal secretary-turned-paralegal at a personal injury and criminal law firm in the city. It was a time of personal growth, and- in many ways- a transition for me. I was twenty-five years old and was no longer the carefree wild child I had been in my late teens and into my early twenties. I was no longer hopping from job to job- from retail to waitressing- and staying out all night with my friends. I had responsibilities and financial obligations. I was behaving and conducting myself like a professional and, dare I say it- an adult- saving most fun and adventures for my nights and weekends while I was off the clock.
Since launching “Legally Redhead”, I’ve underwent other transitions, too. Small ones, of course- but still transitions nonetheless. My relationships have changed, as have some of my interests and a few of my goals- but my career remained the same- a constant (and almost reassuring in a way) in my life as I continued to grow and change into the woman I am today.
And now, at twenty-nine years old, I am once again experiencing a transition. One I was not prepared for and one I’m not particularly thrilled about- but it’s happening and I’m attempting to make the best of it and remain as optimistic as possible.
But this post is starting to sound like the prelude to awful news, isn’t it? Let me assure you all- I am healthy and I’m not dying or taking a break from blogging or anything. There has not been some earth-shattering loss of a friend or family member, thank God.
After over five years of working as a paralegal at a criminal and personal injury law firm- a job I started in my early twenties and have enjoyed immensely each and every day I reported to my office and/or the courtroom- major and much-needed budgeting and financial cuts within the practice have resulted in my being laid off last week.
Yes, it sucks. Yes, I’m upset (and maybe a little angry- if only because the holidays are right around the corner and that’s stressful enough)– but the decision ultimately came down to me: a 29-year old with no children relying on my income, manageable bills, and roughly six years of experience- and my co-worker: a 35 year old single mother of four with approximately 15 years of experience.
I was the obvious choice to get cut, and I realize that. I’m not happy about it- and even my boss was visibly shaken as he broke the news to me- but I understand why it had to happen. I am young enough and eager enough to bounce back and start anew somewhere else. I don’t have certain responsibilities to limit what I can/cannot do at this point of my life. My co-worker does not have that luxury. She needed her job more than I needed mine and my boss could not afford to keep both of us on the payroll.
I take pride in the fact that this decision was not a result of my own incompetence, or poor work ethic, or lack of skills or value. The harsh reality is that this decision was the result of the mismanagement of others. Unfortunately, I am the casualty of that mismanagement- but when one door closes, another opens. My mother and many of my friends say that all the time and I truly believe it to be true.
I’ve already been approached by a couple of different firms and attorneys with the mentions of potential employment opportunities- although I have not made a concrete decision as of yet. I have been actively working on my resume (which was in need of a tune-up anyway,) and taking some personal time to relax and reflect on this incredible journey I’ve been on.
Sometimes it helps to just stop and take a breath for a little while- although I consider myself to be a workaholic so I don’t want to stay stopped for too long.
I am grateful. I am grateful to my boss for taking a chance on me all those years ago and hiring me while I was still in college to see if I had what it took. I’m grateful for everything he taught me. I’m grateful he had the decency to compensate me financially (as much as he legally could) so that I don’t have to stress about money just now.
Most of all, I’m grateful to my friends and family members (hi mom!) who have been so damned supportive and lighthearted over the past couple of days while I process everything.
So where does that leave the “Legal” in “Legally Redhead”? Well, I don’t intend on changing this blog’s name anytime soon (besides, I just paid to renew it, anyway!) because as far as I’m concerned- law will always be a passion of mine, as will being a redhead- and I hope to remain in the field when I do eventually return to a new place of employment in the coming weeks.
I’m nervous, but excited for what happens next. It’s a whole new chapter in my life (just in time for me to go into my “Dirty Thirties”) and hopefully I can close out 2015 on a high note.