About two weeks ago, my boss came into my office and said, “The US and Global teams have not renewed their contracts with us yet. The drug has not been profitable for Novartis and it would not surprise me if they stopped promoting it. These accounts are who pay your pay check, if I were you I would look for a job in the event that they do not renew their contracts”.
This was pretty shocking news, I’ve never had a negative comment from my boss or client, I’ve always been incredibly dedicated to my job and I’ve taken on a lot more responsibility by managing both the US and Global accounts. I couldn’t believe how vulnerable I was at that moment.
I immediately reached out to friends in the industry, searched Monster, and scheduled a bunch of interviews. Last week I had the chance to interview with 3 different companies and I think they went pretty well.
Yesterday, my boss stopped back into my office and said, “Remember that conversation we had about a week and a half ago?” and I said, “Yeah, does this mean I am getting laid off today?”, he said, “Yes”.
It really shocked me, I mean, I had a warning that this day was coming, but, it shocked the heck out of me. All my focus went to one thing, Jaclyn. I was so nervous that she’d think that I was a loser, that I was not taken my work seriously enough, that I could have done more, etc.
Bill said, “Look, there’s nothing you could have done. You grew the business and the clients have nothing but great things to say about you. It’s just that we don’t have any other brands within our agency that can take you on”.
I had to meet with the HR person and sign a release that made me agree not to sue the company, steal it’s clients, or just do something crazy. If I signed the form, I would receive a small severance package that would buy me about 1 month’s time to comfortably look for a job.
I signed the form and went into my office to pack up my belongings. I grabbed a couple of pictures of Jaclyn and Winston and threw them into a box and walked out of the building into the pouring rain. It was pouring rain! It was like a freaking movie! It just doesn’t get much more depressing than that.
Well, there’s a ray of light. I had a second round of interviews with one of the companies that I met with last week. I think the interviews went really well, but the president of the company really challenged me and asked some really tough questions. I think I have 50/50 odds that I get the job.
I also have an interview with a company in Princeton on Thursday.
Hopefully, one of these opportunities yields a job and then I get paid on top of my severance package and all’s good in the world of Deem.
I’m also going to look for jobs in PA, even if they are lesser paying and outside the pharma industry. It’s my chance to start over, I have a blank canvas and look forward to seeing where I end up.
So, I got home last night and broke the news to Jaclyn. It was really tough, she was nervous and a little scared, but the more we talked about it, the more we realized that we’d be absolutely fine. She trusts me, she knows that I will do whatever it takes to make sure we are safe, happy, and healthy.
She did cry a little, but she cried for me, she knows how hard I work and how seriously I take my responsibility as husband and father. It meant the world to me.
If you scroll down, reread the top of the Backlog entry from February 26, I knew my time was short with TLM, I was running around like crazy to schedule interviews, but I knew that I’d always be able to sleep at night if I knew I was trying my hardest and had family to support me. Yesterday confirmed these thoughts and I look forward to figuring out where to go from here.
I’ll keep you posted on what’s happening, but if anyone has any great ideas, I’d love to hear them.