SACO — In October 2015 my dad was laid off by the company he worked for. For the first time in 16 years, he had to find a new job, something he never imagined himself having to do again.

As more time passed with seemingly no likelihood of his finding another job, our family began to worry about how we would afford our bills. The loss of my dad’s job motivated me to be successful.

Kaitlyn Watt: How old are you?

Bill Watt: Fifty.

Kaitlyn: How long did you work at your old company for? Did you enjoy working there?

Bill: I worked at Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for 16 years. When I was laid off I was working as the night manager of the manufacturing department. I enjoyed it very much.


When I started there, it was a smaller company, so it felt like you were part of a family. The person who called me to deliver the news was actually the same person that hired me. There was a group of us that were there for over 15 years, and unfortunately out of that group, I think I was the only one let go. But that was one thing that I really enjoyed about working there: The people were great to work with.

Kaitlyn: Did you know ahead of time you were going to be laid off?

Bill: No.

Kaitlyn: How did you feel when you first heard the news?

Bill: I was pretty upset because I had been there so long I didn’t think that they’d ever want to get rid of me.

Kaitlyn: How do you feel about the company today?


Bill: I don’t know. I still get angry about losing my job, but it was a great place to work while I was there.

Kaitlyn: Were you worried about how this would affect the family?

Bill: I was very worried because I didn’t know what I was going to do, or what was going to happen. I knew eventually I would find another job, but we had such high bills at the time that I didn’t know if I would be able to find a job to support that. There was just a constant worry, wondering about things like that.

Kaitlyn: How long did it take you to find another job?

Bill: Seven months.

Kaitlyn: What was that process like?


Bill: At first, I was overconfident because I had a job interview two weeks after I got laid off. However, when I didn’t get the job it kind of started to sink in that I might have trouble finding one. After four or five months I started to become very worried that I may never find a job because of my age.

Kaitlyn: But you found one, a lot closer.

Bill: Yes, I did. Today I am working as the night-shift supervisor in the Poland Spring bottling plant in Hollis.

Kaitlyn: Are you happier that you’re working closer to home?

Bill: Oh my God, yes! It was an hour and 45 minutes to my old job … and now it takes me less than 25 minutes to get to work.

Kaitlyn: How do you feel about your job today?


Bill: I really love my new job. I am a lot happier today.

Kaitlyn: Do you still enjoy working nights?

Bill: I actually do like working nights. Primarily because whenever you work for a company with a night and a day shift, the day shift is full of meetings. It makes it very difficult to get work done.

However, when I work nights I get to work with my employees more closely, and I get to help them achieve their goals. I find it much more satisfying that way rather than being stuck in meetings all day.

Kaitlyn: Do you feel that being laid off was for the best?

Bill: Yeah, I think so. I was beginning to resent my job after all those years because I was driving such a long way, and I didn’t feel like I was being appreciated anymore. I’m much happier with my new job because it’s a new field and a new challenge, so I have a lot to learn.

Although my dad had a stable job for 16 years, he was still unexpectedly laid off. There were many times when he felt discouraged about not getting a job, but he always kept trying. He has inspired me to never give up and to always work hard.

At the time, the job loss seemed like the worst thing in the world, but it really helped our family. My dad is a lot happier today with his new job, and I have become a lot more independent. Not wanting to be a financial burden on my dad, I went out and got a job to support myself. Sometimes we face adversity, but you cannot let it faze you.

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