Thoughts on Jobs, Lost and Found

February 6, 2009

Many of you know that Lara lost her job a couple of months ago.  I’m not sure how many of you know that she found a new one.  But the process of going from job to joblessness and back was an interesting and fruitful one for us, and I wanted to take some space here to talk about it.

Losing her job was initially traumatic, of course. Lara called me at work with tears in her voice and told me how her entire paper had been shut down, and they had all been forced out by security guards, with barely any time to get their things together.  It was a huge shock for a young married couple, just settling in to financial and domestic responsibility.  It was especially disappointing because just a few days earlier we had sat down and come up with a savings plan that would set aside the money we needed to move (something we were very ready to do) in just eight months.  Those plans were all out the window now.

But even from the beginning, I felt confident that we would be fine.  We had the foresight to have an emergency fund saved up, and it (though small) would see us through the next couple of months.  I also had just gotten a great job at the UCSB library, which payed well enough that we could really live just off that, if we were really careful.  And as the weeks went by, the situation actually became incredibly reassuring.  We learned just how little we really needed to get by.  Despite the consensus of modern America, we were quite comfortable on one income.

And actually, losing the job for Lara was more of a relief than a burden.  She had been working for the Goleta Valley Voice, which was owned by the Santa Barbara Newspress.  Some of you may not be familiar with what’s going on with the Newspress, but suffice to say that new management took over several years ago, and instituted one of the worst First Amendment violations in recent history.  The Valley Voice was mainly outside of it; the Newpress generally seemed to see it as beneath their notice.  Lara never had any problem writing what she wanted to write in her stories; if she had, I know she would have quit.  But still, that pressure of never knowing if you might get fired for something you said, and constantly having to apologize for the newspaper you work for, really added up to a substantial psychological burden.  She loved her coworkers, and we both love Goleta, but it really wasn’t worth it.  All in all, we were glad to be rid of it.

Now, as of two days ago, she has a new and much better job.  She’s working for the Noozhawk, an all-online newspaper which seems bound to offer all the challenges and innovation that Lara had been missing in the past.  Online is really where the news industry is going, which is something Lara has felt very deeply about for some time, and she’s very excited getting to work at the head of that wave.  It will present its own challenges and stresses to be sure, but its definitely a change for the better.

Looking back, this whole experience has taught us the power of God’s plan.  Lara left a job that had become a burden; we learned a valuable lesson in frugality and making ends meet;  then she got an even better job (which by the way also pays more).  And now we can hop back into saving money again; but the time off has made us reassess our priorities.  Now we’re not in such a rush to move.  We’re going to save up the money anyway, so we’re ready when the time comes.  But Lara’s in a job she loves, and the Lord is slowly opening door for me in theatre here in town.  I think we’ll be staying a bit longer than we originally intended, and be much better prepared for the challenge of a new city when we finally get there.  We’ll have more job experience, and hopefully, a bit more perspective.

The Lord’s plans are definitely much better than ours.


4 Responses to “Thoughts on Jobs, Lost and Found”

  1. Johnathan Hayward said

    I couldn’t agree more with this. Being currently unemployed, it’s an extremely tough place to be. But it has really helped me focus on the priorities, and trust God with everything. And now I have a few job prospects…so I’m thankful.

  2. caseycaldwell said

    You’ll get there, brother.

  3. I love you so much. You are such a blessing.


  4. Kate Paulsen said

    Amen Sir! You truly have been faithful with the gifts God has given you, and learned some valuable lessons along the way! I’m so proud of you and excited to see where the Lord will lead you in the days to come!

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