In the Beginning, there was a Layoff…
This blogpost has nothing to do with publishing and everything to do with someone who works in the publishing industry. Back in February of 2013, I was laid-off from my position as Production Manager at ABC-CLIO after almost nine years of dedicated service. The time since February has been spent on new learning, new experiences, and sending innumerable applications and resumes for various positions within the publishing industry.
The line that I was given for my lay-off was that the company was producing fewer books. Since I had just completed a very intensive master’s in publishing science program that completely revamped my skill-set to attack problems in the new digital/electronic phase of the book publishing history, I am still scratching my head as to why this decision was made. I have my own conclusions that I will keep to myself but having been in the industry for 30 years and having taken the time and personal expense to go back and increase my knowledge and academic experience base, I might have thought that that would weigh heavily in the balance for keeping me on to take on new responsibilities
The Unemployed Club: One We Want to Leave
I am not alone in this endeavor. I know that there are so many people that are unemployed right now, that the country is yearning for an economic boom. Since this appears to be a pipe-dream in the political climate that we find ourselves the only thing that we can do is actually position ourselves as the experts. The most important lesson that I’ve learned is that you must continuously get up in the morning think about the mortgage payment that you have to make and do something that will get you some cash flow coming into your household. Unexpected events like a hot water heater dying or an external hard drive crashing with all of your important information become flashpoints of complete anxiety. What little money you have is budgeted, and every extra expense is a killer on the emotional psyche. My retirement money is gone, I was forced to use it to stay in my house, and unemployment insurance will not kick in until all of the money is exhausted. I’ve started to think about tasting the Friskies pate that my cats get in the morning since this will be my staple when I am 75 years old!
Time to Pay the Mortgage…
Every day I think about that mortgage payment. I think about losing my house. I think about why I’m in this position when I did everything right. I think about not having the money to be able to pay for COBRA to have Health Insurance. I think about all of my brothers and sisters as Americans who are in the same dire consequences or even worse. We did not choose to be in this position, but waiting for the government to help us is not going to happen. The overriding mental image is that you have to care for yourself. You have to build an empire based on your experience and academic credentials. You have to stand up and look adversity in the face and stare it down. It’s not easy and it’s going to test all of your mettle, but this is the circumstance that we find ourselves. We can only find our way out through personal initiative. Depending on someone else or some other company to come in and save the day is not realistic. In this age of social media the ability to reach more people in a single minute then all the speeches that have ever been given to an audience is your ticket to a better life. Think differently and build your own vision of a future, not one handed to you by someone else.
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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing: History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle
Gifts From God Will See You Through
I was blessed by God with the ability to put together sentences, paragraphs, chapters and thoughts in a structured semblance that is easily read and understood. I will use this ability to build a better life for myself and I have already started the process in structuring digital reference materials for the publishing industry. I will not be a victim. I will not sit and wait. I will build a future based on my terms and my gifts. As we enter this time of Thanksgiving, I implore you all to think about your fellow Americans. Think about those who are hurting. Think about those who do not have a job and have not had work for months and years. Think about those who are agonizing over their mortgage and rent payments. These people are one step from homelessness. These people are your fellow brothers and sisters. These people are Americans. Think about what you can do to help them. If this blogpost can push one person to help another person in dire circumstances, then it was successful.
Help me, help all of us in the ranks of the unemployed, and help yourself! We’re not looking for a hand-out; we’re looking for a HAND-UP!
My best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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