July 15, 2013

Now What.

Posted in Life Lessons, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 11:42 am by openendedcomment

Today marks the two month anniversary of my “official” unemployment.   This is not a post of how poor the economy is, how hard it is to find a job, blah, blah, blah…because honestly, it isn’t all that hard to find a job.  At least it isn’t for me.  I’m lucky in that I have some really great professional contacts and have a few skill sets that seem to be in demand regardless of the economy.   Which begs the question: Why am I still unemployed after two whole months?  Well, it’s simple, really.  I have no idea what I want to do.

I know what I have done.  I have worked my ever-loving ass off since I was thirteen.   Seriously.  In high-school I held a full-time job and babysat regularly and was in debate and theater and speech and a cheerleader.  This tendency to be highly over-scheduled has continued for the eighteen years that have followed.   I don’t do relaxed.   I can’t handle monotony.  I need to dive into something and allow myself to be immersed in a challenge.  I love the thrill of the deal.  For sixty days I have been trying to replace my need to be productive in my career with being productive in my home.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve applied to numerous positions, have had a few good interviews and have had untold conversations with former colleagues, contacts and friends.  I’ve networked like a champ.  But a job search can only use up so many hours in a week and I’ve been filling the remaining sixty hours or so of my weekly time on a treadmill, organizing my home, making my children nuts, dealing with them making me nuts,  cooking, baking, cleaning, crafting, submitting prose to greeting card groups, writing marketing slogans,  taking online courses, gardening, making everything from “Scratch” (including cleaning supplies, baking mixes and breads), volunteering, fund-raising for various political organizations and in general doing whatever possible to make myself feel like a contributing member of my household and society.

It sucks.

As I peruse yet another batch of positions to apply to I am beginning to feel I am too close to the issue to have clarity.  I want the “perfect” job.  No, scratch that, I don’t want a  job.  I want the perfect career.  I do not want a job at which I will do well but spend the majority of my time plotting to leave.  I am too old for that crap.  I am not interested in anything that I can’t see myself doing for the next decade at the very least.  I want the ability to be challenged and creative.  I want to utilize my speaking and training skills.  I want to develop, design and flex my word-smithing ways.  In writing these slogans and marketing content I’ve been submitting online (many which have been purchased thank-you very much) I’ve found I sort of love doing it.  I did write content in my former position, too, but it wasn’t the focus of my position.   I like to and am willing to travel, but not too terribly much.  One offer I had was lovely in all ways aside from requiring 70-80% travel.  I mean, 30% is reasonable but 80%?!?  I think not.   I’d prefer to home-office, or at the very least have a flexible schedule.  I need it, I’m better with it and it makes sense for me to work where I am most productive.   I also want to interact.  I want to sell.  I love to sell…like love, love, love to sell.   Selling is in my blood.  It is a part of who I am.   I have always been in sales of some sort and I’m damn good on the phone and over a webinar.  Really, it’s sort of my thing.  I’m fast, I multi-task like mad, I can read people and manage relationships and I always figure out a solution that works for all involved.   So…now that you know all of that, I put it to you.  What on earth should I do?  If you were me, what would be your path?  Often “fresh” eyes are the best eyes and really,  what could be more fresh than this?

May 1, 2013

A defining moment. On repeat.

Posted in Life Lessons tagged , , , , at 11:35 am by openendedcomment

On April 15th, the company I have poured myself into for the past three years was sold.  The career I had loved and the company I helped create is still in existence, but it is no longer a part of my life.  And that, dear reader, sucks.

I’m not going to go into how this happened or what the details were/are but suffice to say I was blindsided and am still reeling.   If you had asked me where I’d be in five, ten or even fifteen years just thirty days ago I would have answered with total confidence that I’d be working for company X.  I knew it.  I had no doubts.  I suppose this is how it happens, it is never easy.  If anyone should know that by now it should be me, but still, I didn’t see it coming.  Not like this.  In the past two weeks I’ve tried to conduct myself professionally, to ensure that the work I did will continue with or without me. I’m odd like that.  Even if I’m no longer a part of it and even if it is if no real benefit to me, I still want to see it succeed.   In this process I have also lost eight pounds and have been living on two to three hours of sleep a night.   It happens.

That being said, I’m not one to wallow in what-ifs or if-only’s…I’m much more of a what’s next kind of woman.  It’s not like I’ve never been through this before.  Nine years ago my then-career was pulled out from under me and nine years ago I did what I do, which was to figure it the eff out and move forward.  Intellectually, I am aware that I need to repeat this process.  Emotionally, as I review my resume and see in black and white the accomplishments and challenges I’ve achieved and overcome in the past fifteen years, I have an over-whelming need to change things up.

In the twenty-two years I have been working, I’ve never given any thought as to what I want.  I mean, I haven’t just taken any job, I’ve considered if it is the right fit and I’ve really enjoyed and succeeded at the majority of what I’ve done, but it has always come down to doing what I’ve had to do.  To support my family, to provide for life’s necessities like mortgage, gas, food and my children’s care.  I’ve done whatever it takes to make my life and more importantly their lives good…and every time I’ve also found myself deeply involved and personally invested in the company for which I have worked.  Maybe this time it’s time I’m invested more in myself.  In what I want to do as opposed to what I need to do.  Maybe, just maybe there is a chance that I can have both.

I’m not exactly sure where this will lead.  I don’t have forever to figure it out, the mortgage, gas and food aren’t free and are still looming.  I still have to move forward and move fast.  But here’s what I do know:  No matter how quickly decisions must be made I will make them differently.  I’m all done tying my future to someone else’s success.  This time, it’s on my terms.