Over the last week within the United States, thousands of students, staff, and faculty have recently been impacted by the influence of the Department of Education to close Heald College. Heald College was once a regionally accredited business-career college in business since 1863. Many students are now scrambling to seek alternatives to continue their education and dear friends of mine that I have worked with for 16 years are now displaced and out of work.
As the doors closed the week of April 27, 2015 at Heald College, employees were handed final paychecks with no severance pay, no job placement, and no cobra health insurance to continue their healthcare benefits after April 30, 2015. How do I know this? I was one of the faculty members impacted by this decision.
Losing a job can be tough! What have I learned through this recent experience?
- Don’t Panic. It’s okay to be upset and/or sad, but don’t allow emotions to consume you.
- Build a Support System. Do not isolate yourself. Seek out the support of family, friends, and coworkers. My friends and family were amazing last week while I struggled with the news of losing my teaching job—a job that I have enjoyed for 16 years.
- An Emergency Fund (Savings) is Critical. Having an Emergency Fund is absolutely critical to avoid credit card debt, loans, and being delinquent on payments. If you don’t have an Emergency Fund, start building one this month. Don’t delay!
- Reduce Spending. Cash is best left in the bank while new opportunities are explored.
- Be Optimistic. Meister Eckhart said, “And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
Have you been displaced, fired, or laid off from work? What additional advice do you have to share?
My two friends James and Ben stopped by my home one evening last week to check on me. During their visit they said something profound, “Stacy, you would have never left Heald College to pursue new, exciting opportunities had they continued to stay open. You loved that job. You are now being redirected to do something new, something different, perhaps something even bigger. Go find it.”
While I think about the events that have transpired over the last couple of weeks, there is nothing more I could have done to prevent the closure of Heald College. This is an event that I had no control over, but I do have the ability to exercise how I react to this event.
Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” The world is filled with opportunities. I believe this!
I will forever be grateful for the memories that were created because of Heald College. We made a difference! I wish the students, faculty, and staff of Heald College the very best as they navigate a new journey that was not expected.