It happened. I have been dreading it since December 2017. I was in the hospital with mycoplasma pneumonia. I couldn’t breathe, I was on oxygen, coughing so hard that I fractured a rib, and had a high fever. I couldn’t do anything but watch TV or sleep (which was interrupted by coughing) I had the news on and the financial/business news was on. The doctor just came in to check on me, and it was then when they announced it on TV. Time Inc. was sold to Meredith Corp. Oh no, I work for Time Inc. The TV was saying that the sale would be finalized February 1. I looked up at my doctor and through the coughing and gasping for air I said, “you better hurry up and cure me, my company was just sold. I may not be able to pay for this soon.”
A month later I’m back to work rumors were circulating around the building. Then the as predicted the sale was final in February, a little later then the 1st. The moment the sale was announced as final, the TIME INC. website was down and redirected to Meredith. Over night the Time Inc. signs were taken down all over the building and replaced with the Meredith signs. The 100 year-old company, which was the father of Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Fortune was no longer. As for the Time Inc. employees many of us knew our days were numbered as well.
So when a month later I got the call from Human Resources that I was let go with a perspective end date of January 2019. All I could think of was ‘WHAT NOW!’ On pure survival, I have to find another job. I need to pay rent and I like to eat. But the dilemma is two fold. In my line of work a graphic design, who wants to hire a woman, rubenesque, and over fifty and do I still want to do this daily grind?
Now, it’s Aug, and I still have no idea what I want my Act 2 to be. I will have to find a job, the closer I get to my end date, reality will set in and I apply to the jobs I am the most suited for, design, web/app design and/or producer, production. All the things I have done my entire career. I know I still have a hell of lot to offer, even at my age. But like in so many fields my age will work against me.
If I had my choice and was independently wealthy, I would just paint, and take classes to improve my craft. The artist whom I currently study, found her Act 2. She opened her studio and teaches. She is happy. Another friend and co-worker didn’t like the direction the company was headed before the sale, found her Act 2, giving up this all together and is studying dog training! But me, I am floundering… I wish I had a clue. I'm not sure if I even want an Act 2, I love design, and I have adapted over the years. Enhanced my skills, kept up on all the new technology and design trends. I admit it I love it and I always will.
I will find work, I always do, I have worked on magazines that were shuttered, and always found work. I haven’t been on an interview in 10 years…and I’m a lot older now. I have to admit I am nervous about this situation. A friend once said to me, “you always land on your feet!” But the reality is, I don’t land on my feet I survive. There is a difference. But in the scheme of things being a survivor isn’t too bad.