So I Lost My Job

Honolulu Rainbow

I didn’t think either my partner or I could ever lose our jobs. We’re both very well educated, motivated and talented (and modest) individuals who always strive to succeed. Yet, just the other day, I fell victim to the swinging axe of the economy and lost my job. With it went my income, health care and for the moment a great deal of my self esteem.

So what now? Well, it’s actually probably for the best. My job wasn’t the most fulfilling intellectually and while I at times enjoyed the work, it is time for something else. However, apparently bills like to be paid; a shocking fact I know. So now I must begin the search for another job, and quickly if I want to continue to eat and feed my super cute pups.

But will it be in the same field? Who knows, but probably not. I was never supposed to be in that field in the first place. I have both a BA and a MA in International Relations because I love dealing with international affairs and I of course love travel. I need to find a way to pursue these passions professionally. My former career involved domestic politics which I enjoyed, but I have always wondered if that was the best long term option. Now, at the tender age of 36, I have the chance to start over and pursue what really drives me; about which I am truly passionate.

My fear? Well, I have many, but they mostly revolve around the fact that I’m too old to start a new career. Who is going to hire me and trust that I will excel in a new career? I know I can do it, but it’s hard to convince others of that fact. But I am smart, I am determined and I will find a way. I just have to believe, for my own sanity, that there is a master plan and that this is a part of it. I don’t want to be that guy always pushing that oh so heavy boulder up that damned hill.

Have you ever been in a similar position? What did you do?

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

37 thoughts on “So I Lost My Job”

  1. Sorry to hear this, but see it as a new opportunity to look for a job you really like. I quit my job ages ago before it quit me moved by recession needs, and I never regretted it :)

  2. Oh you are so not too old to start a new career! Your new career is here! Look at what you’re doing this year and where you’ve been in the past two years! I know this is easy for me to say because I’m not the one who has lost the job (yet) but this is a great opportunity for you! You will so land on your feet and then some! Matt, you are a talented writer and you love to to travel; there is no reason why you can’t create your livelihood from this. I firmly believe, losing your job didn’t happen because the Universe wants you to fail.

    Stupid country with stupid politics, we have to worry over health insurance because we aren’t recognized as being in a legal relationship with another human being…ahem…I digressed…sorry…my bad

  3. I’m not sure it helps but just know you aren’t the only one pushing the boulder. We’re on the verge of that boat as well.

    I’ll send some extra good thoughts your way.

  4. Saw a re-tweet and found your site; love the title Landlopers. Very sorry to learn that you lost your job. It’s a kick in the gut regardless of when/how it happens. I know it’s a cliche, but when one door closes, another door really does open. With your incredible writing/photography/blogging skills and your previous work experience, you’ll figure out what you truly want to do in this next phase of your life. Now you’ve got the gift of time to think it through and make it happen. (BTW, 36 is sooo not too old, no worries there.)

  5. sorry to hear about that but i just love and admire your positive attitude…and the chance for a new beginning that you can be passionate about!! 36 is still young, and the uphill climb isn’t so bad when it’s something that you are excited about…at least it wasn’t bad for me! :) good luck!!

  6. I’m sorry to hear about this. I also know someone who lost his job recently, and the sad part is his wife is about to give birth to their baby. I hope everything will turn out just fine for both of you. As the Filipino saying goes “Habang may buhay, may pag-asa”, which means, as long as you are living, you have hope. 36 is not too old! Stay positive!

  7. Very sorry to hear, Matt. The exact same thing happened to me this past January and it opened up new doors linked directly to my passion. I hope the same doors open for you.

  8. Matt, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I’m an independent IT contractor, so having contracts end without a new one lined up is part of life for me, but it still sucks when it catches you off guard. I was on the bench for about 14 months about three years ago. I thought I had four months left at the time, but the contract was with the state, and the bottom fell out of the state’s budget. No one else in my field was hiring at that time.

    When I first got the news, I immediately went on financial defense. I cut every expense I could possibly think of — cable television, smartphone, coffees, dinners out, flying club, overseas vacations. I signed up for unemployment compensation immediately. Once I figured out what I had in savings, what would be coming in, and what I could do without, it took much of the weight off and removed the sense of urgency. I realized I wasn’t in a position where I had to take the first thing that came along.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t tie too many hopes to my degrees. I have a BA and an MA in economics, and I was 24 the last time the degrees mattered to anyone I’ve worked for. (I’m 40 now.) You’re likely in the same boat. Your work experience is probably going to be much more valuable to a prospective employer than a degree you earned over a decade ago, even if the new job is in the field you studied. Even if the prospective employer is you.

  9. Oh man! That’s so hard! I lost my job a couple of years ago and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I hope it turns out the same for you!

  10. I’m sorry to hear this Matt. Being comfortable and set on a schedule really does wonders to motivate you, but I am so confident you’re going to find the job of your dreams because you have a very strong work ethic. I wish you the best in your search!

  11. So sorry to hear this but it’s for the best. I think searching and finding a new path is going to make you so much happier than you were before! Good luck!

  12. I’m sorry to hear this Matt. I certainly share some of your concerns (I’m 33 and wondering if it’s too late for my career change, brought on by quitting my unfulfilling job to go travelling, which I don’t regret for a moment) but I think you’ll land on your feet. All the best to you both.

  13. Yes, I have been in a similar situation, and it turned out to be a wonderful thing because I found something better, something I enjoyed a LOT more, and was able to work in something that was my passion. And I was older than you when it happened so. . . :)

    I know it sounds cliche and trite, but I truly have seen that things work out for the best, and now you’re more free, in a way, to pursue what you REALLY love, and that’s a great place to be in even if it is terrifying initially. I know you’ll do great and send you a big bear hug from Ecuador.

  14. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your job, but it sounds like it may have been a blessing in disguise. It is really hard to make a change without being forced to, and it sounds like you just got that push!

  15. So sorry! Use your blog as your portfolio, it says loads about what you’re capable of creating! You’ll bounce back, I’m sure of it.

  16. Matt, not good news.

    However, with your credentials, creativity and integrity, you should be able to find (or create) a new job.

    As for being old for a career change…No way! I didn’t go to university until I was 27, and then went straight through and did a PhD. I didn’t start my career until I was 34. I’m now 45 and I’m going back and doing an MA in a new field – with the intention of branching out here in a couple of years time.

    AND: here in a Australia, there is a man who just graduated from law school at age 97.

    Never too old!

  17. Matt,

    We understand your pain from a little different perspective. We worked our butts off for 20 years, retired at 50, and then lost half of our assets in the stock market crash of 2008.

    At 52 years old, the big ole’ “now what” was heavy on our minds as well.

    While we still haven’t solved the asset problem, we’ve reinvented ourselves as “The Roaming Boomers” and are working hard (will fear still in our bellies) to see if we can’t take a strong passion and make it something that brings value to 79 million baby boomers, and brings a portion of our assets back in the door as well.

    Chin up my friend. You’re a bright guy and will figure it out. Perhaps it time to take your Land Lopers property and ramp it up!

  18. Do what I do when I need extra cash… Drug Mule! lol Pays very well just a little high risk but thats nothing right? ;)

  19. Sorry to hear about you losing you job, but I’m sure great opportunities will come out of it. Look at the bright side… more time for travel and blogging! ;)

  20. I’m sorry Matt, I know you hated your job but it sucks to get the rug pulled out from under you without warning. That said, I know you are destined for bigger, more interesting things!

  21. It sucks that your career change is being forced upon you at a timing of someone else’s choosing.

    When Todd and I quit our jobs to go round the world, the economy was doing fine. One month into our trip, it tanked. We stuck out the travels, unsure if we’d be able to find jobs when we got back.

    It took some time, but eventually I was able to find my gig. And the transition became an amazing opportunity for a slight career change — from full time job to consultant — that has been the best opportunity I’ve yet had in my job track.

    There is hope. Be open and quick to respond to crazy ideas and it’ll all be okay.

  22. It sucks to lose your job but it’s also kind of a good thing since you didn’t enjoy it anyway. Go find something you would love, though it will be a long hard search.

    I’m 21 and I’m already working for an IT company that develops systems for utility companies. It’s a really stressful job and I end up not having time for my travel blog because I’m too beat at work. :(

    But maybe this is a chance for you to get some rest :) it’s a good thing, bills will eventually get paid ;)

  23. Matt, trust me when I say you will be fine and even better a year from now. I’m on my 5th completely different career since college. When you are starting new, you tend to think how can i prove myself. But what you need to think is who is lucky enough for me to work for them? Don’t discount your life experience.

    Might I suggest you look into combining social media with international relations somehow. I’m finding TONS of work in social media and you already have amassed such knowledge. See if you can find an angle that way:)

    Good luck!

  24. Sorry to here about this Matt. I experienced the same thing a few years back, which actually forced me to do what I always wanted. Leave the corporate world!

    My advice for new opporunities is stay positive as when you least expect it, expect it.

    I never did return to a “Formal Job” and it seems like opportunity comes my way at just the right time. That’s not necessarily for everyone, but I have been blessed with it so far.

    Best of Luck, Travel and Enjoy!

  25. Sorry to hear that, Matt. I’m sure something will come up, hopefully it’s something that fulfills you. I’m educated as a teacher and I work as a manager for a company that contracts with FedEx- I’ll bet many people work outside the field they were educated for.

    Best of luck. I hav no doubt you will bounce back since you are resilient.

  26. Sorry to hear Matt. Keep that positive attitude and think outside the box. I bet there are plenty of companies in DC that would be willing to take a chance on someone as talented and skilled as you! You’ll find something soon!

  27. Ouch, sorry to hear that. It’s always rough, even worse sometimes when it was something you loathed, strange as it seems. You’re probably in a better position than most though, with varied talents and interests, so take stock and find something MUCH better.

  28. 1. 36 is not old!! Trust me. I’m almost 45!!

    2. You have been wasting your time doing something you don’t love, to pay the bills.

    3. You are such a talented writer, photographer and storyteller – this is definitely a good door closing to a better one opening – it just may be hard to recognize it this soon after jobloss shock.

    4. You most likely have more connections in the area you love than you even realize and someone will see you’re now ‘available’ and grab you up, if you don’t pursue something on your own. Believe me, the good stuff doesn’t get left around long – be it in dating, employment, whatever the field.

    I know good things are in store for you Matt. Karma and life work that way!

    Take care

  29. Matt,

    I came across your website via my girlfriend. Awesome site, you’re such a talented storyteller.

    I was inspired to write you b/c I’m in a similar boat – – thirty-something, BA and recent MA in International Affairs, love of travel and cultures…and currently no job, but knee-deep in the job search. This post really struck a chord with me and I’d love to connect with you in person.

    I’d love to hear how you got started with landlopers and maybe we can both brainstorm career ideas. If anything, I’d be happy to open up my network to you if there is anyway I can help. You’ve got my email in this post if you’d like to reach back out.

    Best of luck with everything! I know you’ll find the next opportunity soon!

    Best, Raul Bernal

  30. Darling – I”m going to tell you right now that you aren’t too old…ever. You are only too old if you think you are. We’ll discuss over good wine in Costa Brava. :)

  31. When things like this happen I always look at it as an opportunity and try to do something entrepreneurial. Good luck!

  32. So sorry to hear this Matt. Now, with that said YAY!!! I have been there and done that (more than once) … A door slams shut and windows of opportunity open every where!! This will be the BEST thing evah! Something GREAT will come your way, I just know it!!!

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