I was laid off twice in one year, and I absolutely would not recommend it to anyone.
These bumps in the road were, of course, damaging to my confidence and motivation when it came to my career; but they were also devastating to me financially.
I think it's really important to be able to talk about money in general, but especially so if you're living in New York City. So many of us are in a situation where losing our source of income, even for a week, can be difficult to come back from.
I'm still coming back from the hit my layoffs took on my finances, and it's now seven months after the second time I lost my job.
Let's start from the beginning. The first layoff came about four months into my position as a staff writer for a digital media publisher. I did not see it coming whatsoever, evidenced by the fact that it took me about 10 minutes into the meeting to realize that I was being let go.
I had no savings to speak of, no backup plan, and absolutely no idea how to deal with what was happening to me.
I went on unemployment insurance (roughly $300 a week; not sustainable but enough to allow me to survive for the time being), borrowed money from my parents for the first and only time in my life (a few hundred to help me cover my upcoming rent payment), manically applied to jobs, and emailed every single work contact I had ever made.
After four months of pure anxiety and subsisting on peanut butter, I landed another staff writing gig at another media company. Seven months in, the company went under.
This time, my past made me a little wiser. I had purposefully stashed away a few months' rent (a difficult thing to do when you rely on every dollar of your paycheck) for this very reason. I knew going in that my company's stability was questionable, and saw the similarities to my last position. So I prepared.
Of course, it was impossible for me to save enough to be okay indefinitely, and after those few months, my stash was running out. I was on unemployment insurance again and freelancing as much as I could but it just wasn't cutting it.
I started getting really anxious about paying rent. My 26th birthday was fast approaching and I would have to start paying for my own insurance.
My sister had also just gotten engaged and I wanted so badly to shower her with gifts and travel to Boston to see her, but I just couldn't afford it.
I finally got a full-time web content management position, where I have been employed for about four months.
I work 40 hours a week and freelance on the side, whenever I can, and I can still barely keep my head above water.
The financial burden of living in New York City is a big reason for this, but it's also because I still haven't fully recovered from being laid off twice in one year.
This city kicks you when you're down, that's for sure.
But here's the thing: I'm still here. Maybe I don't have a 401k, but I pay rent. I make it work. I figure it out.
And in New York, that's honestly a feat.