On an average afternoon at work a little over five years ago, I was catching up on emails when I received an invite to a conference call. Within a few hours, managers across the country were being told that our roles no longer existed and that today would be our last day.

I was crushed and confused. This had been my first real job out of college and I had started to build the foundation of a promising career in fashion retail. And now that felt devastatingly over. “Who was I now without my job? Why had this happened to me? What were the the past seven years of pouring my heart and soul into this company for?” These were the questions I asked myself as I packed my entire career into a cardboard box and headed for the door.

The weeks and months that followed were difficult to say the least. Being out of work, I had taken the opportunity to spend some time in Washington D.C. with my then long-distance boyfriend. My days were spent watching television while my boyfriend was at work, looking for jobs but failing miserably, and growing increasingly frustrated and depressed. Being away from friends and family, I felt lonely and lost, and my self-confidence hit an all-time low.

At some point in the middle of the mess, I had an epiphany: I needed to RESET.  Reset my attitude and get back to being happy, healthy, successful, purposeful ME. After all, I was in the driver’s seat of my own life. Who and what was I waiting for?

Within a few months of taking the power back, I landed an incredible new role for a top luxury fashion retail company – more responsibility and a higher salary. I was growing as a leader in new ways, taking on more exciting challenges and receiving praise and recognition from executive leaders for my performance along the way. I was back on top of the world and I felt stronger and more invincible than ever!

That is until on an average afternoon at work, a little over a year ago, I was catching up on emails when I received an invite to a conference call. And I think you know how the story goes from here…

The long and short of it is I lost my job (corporate layoffs). And I would again a year later at my next company (more corporate layoffs; I am currently between roles). Ironically enough, with every round of layoffs, while I took a momentary step back, I was moving into more elevated, higher-paying, better-fit jobs each time and pushing my career forward in tandem.

Or was it ironic? I had learned something during that very first reset that was allowing me to conquer the layoff wave: you may not always be in control of the change that comes your way, but the person responsible for hitting the reset button on your life is always YOU.

This time I am actually taking a more methodical approach to “funemployment” before making my next move. I want to ensure I choose the most fulfilling option for me long term. It feels like the authentic choice. And while there are still low moments, the difference between me then and me now is that I am owning the process, and the process is not owning me. And I finally have that extra time to learn how to play the guitar.