As told by It Factor Job Club Member… Scott Furlough
A year ago, I was working as a tenured Art Director for a national publishing company. I had been with the same company for 11 years, which is rare these days, and had worked my way up. I had a great boss, a flexible schedule, and was making a great salary. Then, I went to work one day and found out my department was being eliminated.
To some people, losing their job might seem like the worst thing that can happen. I saw coworkers get upset, and some got angry. I understood that it wasn’t personal; it was a business decision made in an increasingly tough economy. When I was laid off last year, I knew my family would get through this. After all, my wife and I had been through much worse.
Ironically, just three and a half years earlier, I felt like I had it all. I was happily married, my wife was pregnant with twins after we struggled with infertility, we had finished fixing up our house, and I had a job I loved, working with great people. Then the bottom fell out.
My wife went into preterm labor on Christmas Eve 2005, at just 25 weeks pregnant. Later that evening, our son Logan was born weighing in at 1.12 pounds. Five days later, our second son Cooper was born weighing 2.3 pounds. We very nearly lost them both early on, and watched them struggle for their lives. Some days, it seemed like all hope was lost. After two and a half long months, we were able to bring Cooper home. We were looking forward to bringing Logan home as well, but after a long and courageous fight, he passed away on May 31, 2006. We were then facing what I now know is the worst thing that can ever happen to our family.
In the grand scheme of things, losing my job seems relatively minor. That is not to say that the last year has not been without stress and frustration. We are still paying medical bills, as Cooper has some lasting effects of his prematurity. In addition to that, we added our daughter Libbie to our family last year. She was born just 2 months after I found out I was losing my job. We now have 2 kids to support, and my wife is working part-time in sales. Things have been very lean in our house, to say the least. Thankfully, my wife carries the health insurance through her work. That is one concern that we haven’t had, which is important when you have a child who has health issues.
After several months of being unemployed, going on countless interviews, and nearing the end of my severance, I had a conversation with my friend and former coworker, Michelle Forbes. She spoke highly of Laurie Baggett and the It Factor Job Club. I figured it was worth attending a meeting, because nothing else I was doing to find a job seemed to be working.
That turned out to be a great decision. I’ve learned a lot, and gained a lot of confidence as well. The main thing I’ve learned is to stay in ACTION! You can’t just sit at home and send resumes online and wait for a response. You have to get out and network; think outside the box. After not having much response to my resume, I created 3-D resumes, unique to each job I was applying for. It was the best way to show a sample of my creativity, as well as a way to stand out in a sea of other resumes. Laurie has been instrumental in funneling freelance work my way. Working with her and the It Factor Job Club has been a great experience for me. I’m so grateful to be a part of such a great group of people.
In April, I landed a fantastic opportunity as Art Director with an upstart company. It offered flexible hours and the ability to work from home. After only 2 months, I had to take a significant pay cut due to the economic climate. I still work on a part-time basis for this company.
I am confident that out of a difficult situation, I will discover a blessing. I truly believe that my faith, and a positive attitude have kept me focused in the last year. When I get discouraged, I remind myself that though I may have plans, God has greater plans than I can imagine. I also remind myself of the words of one of my personal heroes, Coach Tony Dungy, “Things will go wrong at times. You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach, and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better.” I’m fortunate that I live in a great country, where hard work is rewarded. My bank balance may have plummeted, full-time work may have dried up, but I still have my family, my education and my talent.
Financially, various freelance freelance opportunities have kept me afloat. My goal is to build my freelance client base, in order to continue working for myself. In our new economy, companies cannot afford full-time graphic designers, but there is still work that needs to be done. So, going “out on my own” seems like the most logical option. Working from home not only offers great flexibility, it also affords me more time with my wife and children.
I have a very diverse background in all forms of graphic design and multimedia with a commitment to “hitting the mark” for each of my clients. With an extensive portfolio in web design, print and electronic media. I have a passion for design. I love working with clients to conceptualize and design campaigns to best market their products and services.