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Turning Job Loss Into New Passion Found

August 12, 2010

When I first came across Carole Wegner’s blog, which serves as an insiders’ guide for people experiencing infertility, I was struck by the uniqueness of her site’s mission. When I read further and discovered that the site was born of loss — she had recently been “downsized” from her position as a lab director at a fertility clinic — I knew I had to ask her to write a guest post for Grief, Interrupted.

The way she has seen her loss as an opportunity for creating an incredible resource for people who are going through their own kind of grief is such an inspiration.


Lost Job, Found Opportunity

by Carole Wegner

Severed, but still here.

Carole Wegner

Sometimes you are lucky enough to have all your interests, aptitude, passions and secret dreams collide in the daily work you do. If you are this lucky, you wake up every morning, excited and ready to take care of, feed and continually improve your favorite project. For me, it was leading and working alongside dedicated techs who loved making embryos in the in vitro fertilization lab and achieving pregnancies for patients tortured by infertility. My secret dream was to get every patient pregnant and every year, we got closer to that dream.

One day, without warning and without cause, I was severed from this work because of budget cuts. My work was outsourced to someone in another state who would sign off on the necessary paperwork for 20 cents on the dollar, significantly improving the profit margin and keeping the lab legal. “Nothing personal,” management said, “it’s just financial.” Unfortunately, to me, it felt excruciatingly personal. At the time, I told someone it would have been kinder to simply shoot me in the head. I realized who I am and what I do was irretrievable linked, woven together over years, one strand at a time. So after the shock came the grief and the anger and the fear. Who and what am I now?

Today, seven months later, I am still a work in progress, having both good and bad days. Sorting through decades of old dreams and paths not taken, trying to see what still fits and what doesn’t as I decide what to do next. As part of this mental closet cleaning, I started blogging about navigating infertility treatments. Wanting to feel useful, I starting downloading everything from my brain into my blog that I could think of that might be helpful for someone starting down the IVF treatment path. I could blog about all the things I always wanted to say to patients but couldn’t say as an employee.

In reaching out, I was amazed to find people out there in the blogosphere who were reaching back and saying, “Hey thanks, your post helped me!” Then I realized something surprising. I am still the person I was before being “severed,” still working on my dream of a healthy baby for every nurturing person who wanted to parent, just doing it in a different way. I feel hopeful that this loss and grief may have its uses too, forcing me down new paths, new opportunities that I would never have found or followed otherwise.

. . . . . . . . . .

Coach’s Query

What opportunities do you see in the losses in your life?

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One Comment
  1. What an honest post. I love the idea of mental closet cleaning! In my experience (which has been admittedly different), it was so hard to see the light in the middle of the crisis. It was so hard to let go and trust. But when I have been able to do that, it’s been unbelievably freeing. Good luck to you!

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