I am thankful that I was laid off. No, not from HIStalk, but from the last job I had before I begged Mr. H to hire me.
I spent several years in the HIT vendor world. Most of the time I was in sales, spending many hours a week in physician offices trying to convince providers and their staff that my offering would help them achieve the doctor’s office version of nirvana.
I loved sales. My co-workers were my closest friends. I generally enjoyed office managers and administrators, most of whom I found to be smart and dedicated. I loved most of the physicians (particularly those in primary care), though I thought some of them were … well, jerks.
Despite all the good stuff over the years, towards the end, I was more than done, kind of like the Thanksgiving turkey I once cooked about two hours too long. I had known for weeks that my position might be eliminated during company-wide efforts to trim costs. In the end, I was just another crossed-through line item on a bloated spreadsheet.
Happily, my parting gift included a healthy severance package, It gave me time to figure out what I did and did not want to do with the rest of my life.
Rather than immediately securing a job, I had the freedom to tell headhunters that I wasn’t interested in interviewing for another high-stress job with 70% travel. Instead, I invested time and a few dollars with a career coach, who encouraged me to think beyond the world of HIT vendors. All the while, I had a chance to work out daily, go to the grocery store in the middle of the day, read a pile of books, and catch up on lost sleep.
Of course I kept up with the HIT world, reading various online publications. HIStalk really was my favorite since it kept me up to speed with all the highs and lows over at my former company. One day Mr. H made a tiny mention that he needed “some help” and wanted to hire someone “who might work a few hours a week to handle routine stuff.”
It took me about 10 seconds to ponder the comment. I sent over an e-mail … and the rest is HIStalk history.
Of course, I am leaving out a lot of details, like the fact that I never meant for this to be a long-term gig. However, I got lucky: HIStalk has grown tremendously, we’ve added HIStalk Practice and HIStalk Mobile, companies keep sponsoring, and readers keep stopping by. And you couldn’t ask for a better boss than Mr. H, who has become a combination coach, mentor, and friend. He’s the only one I can always count on to laugh at my one-liner e-mails.
So, I’m thankful that I’ve been lucky. What if I had missed Mr. H’s tiny mention that day? What if Mr. H had been a jerk? What if, what if, what if …
In addition, I’m thankful that some companies write stupid press releases so Mr. H and I can make fun of them.
I’m thankful that I have over 1,000 Twitter followers, because it makes me feel important in a most pathetic sort of way.
I’m thankful that readers send me links to good online shopping sites. And, how can any real shoe lover not be thankful for Zappos.com?
For these things and so much more, I am thankful.
HIStalk is far more than the original “few hours a week” that Mr. H and I thought it would be. I’m thankful that I was freed from my previous career, because it allowed me to toss that overcooked turkey part of life and replace it with a big ole slice of homemade pecan pie.