We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Life Lessons lately but we have a sister strand on the site called Second Acts, devoted to those who’ve either made the leap or been pushed into a new career, life or whatever (you can read mine here). Today, I want to introduce you to Tiffany Jones. Now, we know each other from our days as traditional journalists. Recently Tiffany was laid off from her job, a move brought about by the tremendous shift in media over the last several years. The lay-off, though not surprising, was still a gut-punch that left her reeling. She has since jumped back into the driver’s seat and is in full-on reinvention mode. Read more about Tiffany’s journey and see what you can learn from her Second Act.
What is your Second Act?
My second act is working in the public relations department of my Alma Mater, North Carolina A&T State University.
When did you realize you needed a change of career or lifestyle? What was your breaking point?
I realized a couple of years ago that I did not like the direction in which journalism was going. Once gossip blogs became credible news sources and I lost my passion, I decided it was time I try something different.
How did you make the change?
I was laid off from my job in October. It is funny how we recognize that change needs to happen, yet, we don’t make the necessary changes until we are forced.
Was it scary?
My layoff was one of the scariest things I have ever gone through but it was necessary. So much of who I am is tied up in my ability to take care of myself. Once I was laid off, I couldn’t do that as effectively as I could before. Thankfully I had a lot of family and friends in my corner who were constantly encouraging me and praying for and with me. When the fear started to subside is when I found out I was moving into my new job.
What was the toughest part of your Second Act?
The 8 a.m. start time! For the past eight years of my life, I have been reporting to work at 10 and 11 a.m. My new job is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. I’m adjusting but I’ve found that my peak time for work and creativity is 3 p.m.-3 a.m. I hope I can learn to wake it up.
Where are you in your transition?
I’m not sure. I think that the layoff was the beginning of the rest of my life. The layoff for me was God’s way of forcing me out of my comfort zone and into what He has for me.
What did you learn in the process?
My job is what I do not who I am. I am so much more than what I do for a living. I’m a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a friend – none of that changed because I was out of work.
Are you happier now than you were in your previous life?
I think I am. I’ve been on a journey to joy for a little more than a year. I am a believer of the notion that something has to happen to cause happiness while joy is our natural state. So to that question, yes, I am happier but I’m going natural. J
What’s the best part about your Second Act?
The best part is the peace I have now. Before I was very on edge and constantly worried or upset about things I couldn’t control. I can still get worried and edgy about some things but I’m not nearly as high strung as I was a year ago.
What would be your advice to anyone looking to make a major life change?
Trust yourself. Your gut never lies, if your gut is telling you it’s time for change then it is. The only constant in life is change and the sooner you embrace it the better off you’ll be.
What are your dreams and hopes for the future?
I have SO many! I wouldn’t know where to begin to list them all. I definitely have hopes for a family of my own, starting a non-profit to help at-risk kids, having one of my scripts turned into a film and continued growth outside the confines of my comfort zone.
After eight years as a newspaper reporter, Tiffany S. Jones was laid off. She was out of work for three-and-a-half months until she got the call to be the first staff writer in the public relations department of her Alma Mater. The North Carolina native is single and spends most of her time hanging out with family and friends, watching too much TV and spending way too much time online. You can follow her on Twitter at @SmartysWorld and learn more about her unique take on the world and its foolishness on her website SmartysWorld.com.