ONE MORNING in the summer of 2017, the general manager of my company called me in and announced my immediate departure. Here I am, like many senior executives, being shown the door, whereas six months earlier I was named among the best and felt recognized. Stunned, I have a week to leave my office and its hectic pace.
This dismissal is so violent that I don’t even think about defending myself. Instead, I try to boost the morale of my teams, who have been demotivated by this announcement. Here I am unemployed after twenty years of professional advancement. Of a strong character, I hope to find work in three months: I have a family to feed. But I have to start from scratch, reinvent my professional project and accept the humble journey of the job seeker, with its hopes and disappointments. It will take me six months of intensive procedures to find a job that suits me.
Today I thank the Lord. This period of unemployment gave me a profound spiritual experience. I put work back in its rightful place, after my sacrament of marriage, the happiness of my children, my relationship with God and others. I had the joy of seeing myself unwaveringly supported by my wife. My community of Christian life* supported me through this difficult passage through its listening, its prayer, its friendly gestures.
To build a new professional network, I requested a number of meetings, feeling like a poor person begging for something to live on. Thanks to the sharing experienced in these meetings, I discovered the generosity of known and unknown people who also confided in me their wounds. Today, I in turn support people looking for work.
From now on, I let go of “control” to act with confidence and live in the present. Closer to those who suffer, I rediscovered the Good News, in particular the beatitude “Blessed are the poor in heart”. In winter, I regularly go to a night shelter to share a meal with men living on the street. Since the experience of dismissal, this commitment has taken on more importance for me and I am discovering a path of life in our different forms of poverty.
* CLC (Community of Christian Life) groups are a lay movement of Ignatian spirituality.