Around this time last year I found out I was losing my job. No, I haven’t found one yet, but it’s OK. I still trust that something good is coming. God is as much in control as when I had a paycheck coming in and knows my needs. It’s me concerned with my wants!
December was surprisingly productive early on. I found a few jobs that could be good fits for me. More of the type of jobs I want. The early interviews were positive and made me more excited about the opportunities. That doesn’t always happen.
All interviewing activity stopped in the weeks around Christmas, so I am waiting patiently as the new year gets up and going. I hope they become energetic in their pursuit! I figure I’ll give one more week for them to get their ducks in a row, then my follow ups will begin. I hope one of these jobs works out, because I haven’t seen anything I want to apply to in the new year. Have I said how tiresome it is to fill out applications and read job descriptions? Ugh!
I’m trying not to fall into the “tell them what they want to hear” trap. Many would tell me that’s what I need to do, but I’ve decided that doesn’t work for me. I need a certain kind of environment, a certain kind of company culture, and I have been very open about that.
Salary also is important. I can always live on less, but I feel if I accept that then I am reinforcing the belief that after a certain age we are worth less. I don’t believe that and my stance is not just about me. If I accept less, others get pressured to accept less. We need to value ourselves, our knowledge, and our wisdom.
One well-meaning friend said “Can’t you just take anything and if you don’t like the environment look for a job while you have a job?”
I can see the sense in that advice, but it doesn’t work for me. I am not one for job-hopping and want to make sure that any job I take appears to be a win-win for both parties. If not it is a waste of our time. I may need to settle in some way at some point, but I am not feeling it is time yet.
I talked with a career counselor with whom my college alumni association works. I decided to do my annual free call with her in December. It was helpful. She encouraged me by telling me that I had done a lot of the right things, but sent me yet another resume template (yuck) and reminded me that I needed to do a better job of working my contacts (ugh.)
Calling people is a struggle for me. I believe it’s worse since I am an introvert, but perhaps we always just think it’s worse for us regardless of what we believe stands in our way.
“So hey person I haven’t talked to in a year or so – know of any jobs?”
I have done this and people have said they would keep their eyes open. Others have said they would champion me if jobs came open in their companies. Some have asked for my resume, but have never given any feedback, if they ever did pass it along.
But the reality of the working world is that people forget and that I am not at the forefront of their minds. There is just so much for people to do during a workday, that there is seldom time for anything else. It sounds easy. It seldom is. But as a job hunter, it is disheartening sometimes. And with every fiber of my being, I don’t want to make those calls. But I do need a job, so….
On the positive side, I am writing almost every day. For those who support or write for Medium.com, look me up. And read my stories and clap for each 50 times (the max allowed). I’ll do the same for you. Though really, clapping 50 times is tiresome so just reading is fine!
The ability to write consistently has been a wonderful experience. I am interacting with some amazing writers, both on Medium and through my blog. There is such generosity among writers and I am enjoying myself immensely. Not only are they encouraging, but some give me such great ideas.
Just tonight one of the other writers, who couldn’t be much more different than me on the surface, offered to provide a new topic area in his publication if I’d like to write more regularly on Christianity. My first response was “No! I don’t want to argue with people!” But this editor is someone who does not particularly like Christians and he wants to hear more of what people like me think…and wants to offer that voice to others. So maybe. I definitely don’t fit the typical Christian stereotype that most people have at the moment and I do know there is a need for more people like me to speak up. But so much of me doesn’t want to do it. (And God laughs. And reminds me of Moses and Jeremiah and a slew of others.)
Which reminds me. I’ve also seen censorship is alive and well as I’ve been involved with this group of writers, but in different ways than the past due to social media. I try to read everything, especially if it is controversial. If you are confident in your ability to reason and think, why would you be scared of ideas? I know some folks are more sensitive than me about what they read and what they see, so I’m not going to recommend that you do it, but for some of you others – read more stuff that you wouldn’t typically pick up. Expand your mind and have fun with ideas. If you only read and listen to those who agree with you or who speak with your voice, you’ll never change your mind or the mind of anyone else. Plus your world will be very small. What fun is that? And really, is that why you’re on this big thing called earth?
So I got off track a bit. I probably should have written a separate post for the last stuff. But it was on my mind and since being out of work means I have gotten to both read and write more, it fits.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me with kind words, thoughts, and prayers. I am blessed. Job or not. Keep it up. Maybe January will bring good news and we’ll call it my gap year.