Like so many others when the economy began to implode, I lost my job. To make a long story short, I worked for an ad agency. When the clients’ direct mail and print advertising budgets shrank, I was reorganized out of a job. No complaining, though. I’m used to it. Every client loss or downtown in the economy brings layoffs in marketing/advertising staff.
Even though everyone knows that during a recession, advertising and marketing should be maintained…or even increased…to remind customers of the company and to continue to buy the company’s products, marketing and advertising budgets are cut first. But that’s just life in this business.
You see, I’m a buyer of printing good and services, but the internet changed everything. The advent of not just websites but online advertising and online, downloadable files changed the entire industry. No longer do companies want to spend the dollars to print large quantities of their brochures or sell sheets or white papers. Instead companies put those materials in PDF form on their websites for download. It saves money. Lots of money! In addition, as internet usage became more common, print advertising shrank. Just ask any newspaper today. I don’t know how much less expensive it is to advertise online, but I do know that readership of printed newspapers and magazines has decreased significantly over the last 10 years.
The result for me, and others like me, is that my career field is dying. It’s not dead yet and, like manufacturing in this country, it will not die altogether. Remnants will remain…and parts will come back as the economy grows again. But large portions of the print industry will never return.
After my layoff, I sat in my apartment in San Mateo, CA, deciding what to do next. After much soul searching, I decided to let the lease on my apartment expire and move further north in California to be closer to family. I missed my family. Family keeps me grounded and feeling safe. Most of all, I don’t feel quite so alone. No matter how close friends are, family is closer. It’s all about the closeness that comes with the blood relationships of family. I needed them more often than at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe they needed me too.
So, when my lease expired, I packed up my belongings and moved. I don’t know what fate has in store for me, but today I’m just enjoying being alive.
This morning, just as the sun crept over the horizon, I took my cup of coffee out onto the porch to watch the sun rise over the tall, multicolored green pines to shine down on my face. The sky turned golden, then pink, and then to the most incredible azure blue imaginable…a color that only exists when absolutely no smog or haze filters the pure light of the sun. The multicolored green pines against the deep azure blue clarity of the sky took my breath away. Blue jays squawked and picked up dry grass for their nests. Starlings tweeted to one another as fat gray squirrels scampered across the red earth from one pine tree to another. A pair of hawks spread their large gray wings to the sky, following each other in a wide circle before disappearing beyond the trees.
The beauty and peace of this day invaded my soul. I don’t know where fate will lead me in my search for a continuance of my working career, but I do know I will be happy here amongst the pines regardless of what job I hold or in what business sector or field I work.