The Game-Changing Incident That Launched Glitter Guide

Today, our founder, Taylor Sterling, gets candid about the game-changing incident that most directly impacted the outlook she has on her role as business owner and boss. Get the inside scoop below, and be sure to share your own stories in the comments below!

You often hear business people say, “You have to fail to really succeed,” and while it’s reassuring to know that failure can lead to growth, it certainly doesn’t make it any easier when you do fail. Getting fired is never something you want in your career, it can be a major blow to your ego and also leave you with a lot of financial stress. However, it can lead to bigger and brighter things if you have the right attitude. Luckily, that was the case for me seven years ago when I was kindly let go from my recruiting job. At the time, I was already looking for ways to exit my position smoothly, but getting laid-off before I had time to do that was definitely tough on me.

I was working as the Director of Recruiting for a boutique financial services company. I loved many aspects of my job. I was allowed a flexible schedule, I got to be independent for most of my day and tasks, and I was encouraged to treat my job like I was running my own business (which proved to be very helpful in starting Glitter Guide). However, working in a more conservative industry was not the right fit for me—I was missing the excitement I felt from the creative industry.

So in 2009 I started my fashion blog Sterling Style as my creative outlet. For a couple years I juggled my personal blog on the side while I worked full-time in recruiting. After two years of blogging, I got the idea for Glitter Guide. The biggest issue was I didn’t know how to juggle all three. I knew I didn’t have enough time or resources to pull them all off at once. Having all of that on my brain was undoubtedly effecting my performance at work, and in late 2010 they laid me off.

Despite the fact that I had been racking my brain on how I could quit my day job and still make enough money to launch Glitter Guide, it still was a shock to be let go. I was holding back tears in the office when my boss gave me the news. I remember quickly jetting out to the parking lot to call my mom. The second she answered I turned into a total sobbing mess.

Initially I was super hurt. I had never been let go from any job before, and even though the entire management team was super kind and helpful in how they let me go, I still felt scared and nervous for my future.

How was I going to have enough money to get by? Would I have to get a new job before I launched Glitter Guide? Would I even be able to create Glitter Guide now?

After a few days, and many conversations with my family, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This was actually a blessing in disguise. Why was I so wrecked about being let go from a job I was desperate to leave? They had been kind enough to lay me off rather than firing me, which meant I was offered severance pay and unemployment. This was key for me at the time. I had been agonizing over needing time and income to launch Glitter Guide and now (if I worked smartly) I would have a window of free time and still be able to pay my bills while I got my feet off the ground.

In those months leading up to the launch of Glitter Guide I did look into a few jobs and talked to some people about new careers. I used LinkedIn often to search out career opportunities and to connect with people. I would message people in my industry that may be looking to help me with things for my new site idea, too. However, my long term goal was always to make Glitter Guide my full-time career. Luckily, Sterling Style was making enough to allow me to launch Glitter Guide. Plus, working in the industry for a couple years meant I had made a lot of amazing connections (networking can really pay off!). 

I would never been able to start it so successfully without all these pieces coming together!

Glitter Guide just celebrated its 6-year anniversary. Looking back, its amazing to me how much being laid off was a game-changer for me and my career. It not only acted as a catalyst to starting my own business, but showed me how strong and resilient I can be. I truly believe that hard work and a positive attitude are key factors in achieving success. Being laid off could have been a very negative thing in my career, but I now look at it as one of the best things that happened to me. Without it, I am not sure how I would have had the guts to quit and really go for my dreams.

Now we want to hear from you. If you’re well on your way to reaching your career dreams, what was the game-changing event that forever altered your path to success? And if you’re still hunting for that lightbulb moment, let us know how we can help in the comments below!

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Author: Taylor Sterling

Taylor Sterling is the founder and creative director of Glitter Guide. When she's not working on all things GG, she can be found reading and sometimes art directing photoshoots for @LolaJayne. She enjoys spending time with her family and eating french fries (not necessarily at the same time, although that's definitely the best combination). Follow her at @TaylorSterling

  • I was let go from a job in 2008. It was the first and only time I’ve had that experience. After college, I languished in sales roles for several years knowing all the while that public relations was my true calling. Being laid off came as a stunning blow but it was the motivation I needed to finally change careers and I never looked back. I travelled more the year I got laid off than at any other time of my life, visiting Rome, Turkey, Cairo, Barcelona and Jamaica. Not everyone has the resources to travel after losing a job but if your circumstances allow, some time abroad can help you re-enter the work force with renewed energy and creativity. I’m currently working as a Marketing & PR Strategist at a university and I love working in higher-ed. Thanks for sharing your story Taylor! Failure can provide needed perspective and be a catalyst for success!

  • After having worked in the field for 6 years, I was laid off from my job in publishing at the end of 2015. It was a shocking, humbling experience. I too can remember calling my mom in tears, so unsure of what this meant for my future. Once the initial shock wore off, I warmed to the idea that I could make this a positive change. Many friends and family heard the news and offered a sympathetic pat-on-the-back and the age-old advice that “when one door closes, another opens.” While it was challenging to maintain that perspective, I fought the negative thoughts that I could sense consistently trying to creep their way to the front of my mind. I had loved my specific job, but had also considered that publishing may not be for me in the long run. But when it came down to it, that was where my experience and network were, and I ended up quickly receiving another job offer in the same industry. I hesitantly accepted, fearful of how I would pay my rent and not sure when another opportunity may cross my desk. I ended up hating the new job – long hours, disrespectful colleagues, and a lot of stress. Looking back, I had a gut feeling that this job wasn’t for me, but ignored that and let fear guide my decision.

    A year and a half out from my layoff, I hate to admit that I still feel very lost. I have many interests and ideas of what direction I may want to take in my career, but struggle to formulate those ideas into a workable action plan. Fear (of financial instability) was what led me to make the decision to take this job, and now fear (of making yet another decision that isn’t right for me) has me feeling paralyzed and directionless.

    I would love to hear more on people’s experiences with choosing a new career direction and steps taken to make a change. I know there are no guarantees that I will be happy with whatever my next move is, but how do I at least know that I am moving in the right direction?
    Thank you so much for sharing this story! It is a comfort to know that someone so successful has endured similar challenges and come out stronger & happier for it!

  • This comes at an intersting time.
    I’m working on building a commercial photography business in Denver. I left my job 3 months ago to work part time for a startup as their marketing manager. But Funding isn’t going as well and my hours have been cut which means either plowing down and landing the paying photo gigs or finding another marketing job, either part time or (God forbid) going back to the full time life. Not sure where things will land.

  • Reading this post couldn’t have come at a better time! I was working in a corporate setting at my previous job, bound to a desk and quickly became uninspired. This not only affected my work ethic but my sense of purpose, which inevitably affected my personal life. I still remember saying to my boyfriend that I needed to either quit or get let go ASAP because I could barely get out of bed in the morning to make it to work. Low and behold I was let go the next day. Just like Taylor, this was the first time I was let go and even though it was secretly what I wanted, it was still a tough pill to swallow. But this also came as a blessing in disguise and it gave me the free time to get back into blogging and creating content for myself, and I’ve also been able to spend time pursuing a career that I am actually passionate about. Now I have time to write for companies that I believe in and care about and can write for myself. What I’ve learned is that you should always stay positive and focused on finding what your passion is and everything will be okay. Thanks again for the post!

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