My Layoff Landed Me in Africa


Rob Chilton, 34, suffered a fate that's the stuff of unemployment nightmares. He was laid off not once but twice from his job as a celebrity magazine editor. While he was reinstated two weeks after the first blow in January 2009, he was let go again in April. "It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least," he says.

Not only did the double-layoff mean he had to deal with all of those emotions twice, but since he's British, he had to move from New York City, where he'd been for four years, to his native England. "My visa was attached to my job, so no job meant no visa," he says. "Moving back to England was tough; it felt like I was leaving a really great party way too early." While he worked briefly at a magazine in London, his heart wasn't in it, and he felt lost.

The next thing he knew he was researching volunteer programs online.

Originally published