Job security. Or maybe job insecurity. We’ve all been there.

I feel like I’ve been experiencing this same situation consistently for the past few years. And did I mention I’ve been employed with the same organization for more than 19 years?

Another round of voluntary buyouts offered — maybe leading to layoffs — have brought this situation forward once more. It doesn’t matter how much time, effort, experience, knowledge or skill I have contributed to my current role, it could all be taken away at a moment’s notice.

This is nothing new. I’ve been laid off before; made to train people with more seniority to do my job. But I’m certainly not looking forward to this happening again. There is so much more to my role than my actual position states. So much I’ve created or been a part of and it truly saddens me to think someone else could decide to just step in and take it over. But it could happen. And soon.

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to consider a voluntary buyout. I am a single mother of two boys living at home. I have a mortgage and bills needing to be paid, just in order to keep my family living there. I have no savings; nothing to fall back on if I wasn’t working. Not everyone understands how difficult it is to raise children on a single income, while trying to own your own home. But that was my decision.

I’ve heard other coworkers talking about not being 65 years old yet, having children in university to support, paying for a child’s wedding, not being able to continue those annual vacations to Cuba, to explain their reasoning behind not considering a buyout. I realize everyone has their reasons. Mine is only to continue supporting my family today — making sure there is food in the fridge and a roof over their heads.

While I try not to think about an impending layoff, I’ve continued applying for other positions in the city. Over the past year, I have applied to more than 50 job postings. I have attended a few interviews. And I have been denied jobs that I am more than qualified for. But I won’t give up. I need to keep looking, in case the layoff happens. For my family.

All through these uncertain times, I have had the most incredible source of support behind me. I’m lucky to have someone who doesn’t let me forget what I’m capable of; someone who encourages me to be confident about the work I’ve accomplished; someone who is proud of me and what I’ve done, and knows I can be successful elsewhere. At times, I have really needed this. When you feel your work is not being appreciated, having someone point out all you have accomplished in the past really encourages you to look to the future.

Now if only I could find that one organization who could acknowledge my experience and see how I could benefit them for years to come . . .