Jobless – Part 6

“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.” – Richard Branson

So I had another interview last Wednesday. It lasted about an hour and to date it seemed the most comfortable interview I’ve had. Not that I have had any terrible ones yet….but some seem unnecessarily formal. These folks simply asked me to tell them about myself and then asked a few questions and told me about them as an organization. In my estimation this is the sanest kind of interview. How rattled do you need to be by those people you may be working with in the future?

This company stresses they want their work environment to be a family atmosphere, however large they grow (they are currently in acquisition mode and plan to be for some time). It’s a cornerstone of their culture. A lot of family members do happen to work there, but the company is also the result of the combination of more than one agency….so the family they talk about is the collective group of employees who make up the company.

This type of environment is very important to me. I’ve been on the other side…..where people talk differently behind your back than they do to your face. Where adults refuse to confront a co-worker about a problem, but undermine them when they are not around. Where you are discouraged and no one notices. Or particularly cares.

I’ve also had the other. Where “we” win and “we” fail. Where we may drive each other nuts on occasion, or get really loud during “discussions”, but bottom line we stand together. Where we tell truths and work for the success of each other.

So yes…..a true functional family atmosphere…..I need that.

I was headed to meet some friends for an early dinner, when I got a phone call from the head of HR at the company saying “Would it be possible for you to come back on Friday to meet again? They want you to make a presentation, then introduce you to some more people, then take you to lunch.” If I couldn’t do it then, they understood, but because of their travel schedules it would be 2-3 weeks before they could do it again.

My mind went into full out panic mode because of all the reasons this was not a good idea. One being I had volunteered to help at an over-the-counter drug giveaway a group called NC MedAssist (medassist.org) was doing in Statesville that day. I learned about this group from seeing an event invite on Facebook, and always wanting to know about options for the uninsured or others struggling with medical costs, I looked up their website. It seemed like an organization I wanted to know more about, so I decided to volunteer. (One great thing about being a severed employee is that you have salary coming in for a while. I am not someone who has the attention span to “make it my job” to job hunt eight hours a day, as I have seen some experts advise, so I am loving the chance to consciously do some good things with my time.)

I told the HR Director I would talk to the event coordinator for MedAssist the next morning and then let her know if I could do it. The NC MedAssist coordinator was incredibly nice about letting me out of my commitment…. even wished me well. So I decide to go for it. Sooner rather than later usually matters in job hunting.

Now…..the other reasons that it was not the greatest timing for me. First of all, there was the presentation. I didn’t see the email when it first came in (do you know how many emails you get when you are out of work?), so didn’t even get the instructions until the middle of the afternoon. So…..I get it Thursday afternoon and I have to be in Charlotte at their office on Friday morning at 9 to present. OK…..I’ve pulled together a lot of presentations at the last minute and though I had to make up data (they didn’t ask for anything specific except a 6 month plan review), I figured I could do it. But while I am used to doing presentations on PowerPoint, I don’t currently own it. A problem.

Google saved me. They have free apps you use for documents that I had heard about, so I dug up the presentation one. Using a new app isn’t what you want in these circumstances, but I had no other choice. Can I say I love Google even more? It was easy to use and was exactly what I needed. A tiny learning curve, but nowhere close to what I expected.

Then I had guys putting my new kitchen counters in. They talked a lot, and drilled and banged and were just generally noisy. Not their fault….that’s the norm. But it was not the best environment for preparing a presentation. I finally decided I had to wait until they left.

I had other things planned for Thursday. I cancelled everything.

And my printer. It wasn’t working….which I have known since I did my taxes last minute on tax day. I didn’t have time to mess with it. So I ended up having to go to Staples and get my presentations printed. Which meant I needed to work fast. I asked how many would be in the meeting and the HR Director said it would just be the same four who had interviewed me previously. I normally always make an extra copy or two when I make a presentation. This time I didn’t. Copies were $45 making just five. I had no clue it would cost that much. Plus the cost of folders. But not having that extra copy was a mistake. That morning when I arrived the CEO had decided to join us. The HR Director noticed my stress and said he could have hers. (They shared.)

It was fine. Instead of running it like a regular employer meeting, which probably was their intent, I decided to just work my way through the presentation and tell them why I chose the data I did and how I would use it in the meeting. I am one of the world’s worst when it comes to role play…..it was better for all of us that I not do it. I got through it. They continued to ask a lot of questions, even when the presentation was done. But was all fair and pertinent. I asked a few questions of my own. (There is currently no flexibility to work remotely on occasion. Tough where they are located now, though not bad for Charlotte, but a planned company move will make the commute longer.)

About 11:30 they said “Thank you for coming.” I guess the plan to introduce me to others or take me to lunch changed. They told me it would be about three weeks before I heard anything. That executive travel issue again. So I left feeling a bit flat. I called my recruiter and she got me to look at things a bit differently. I knew their schedules were going to be rough, so nothing to do but wait.

But late that afternoon I got a call from another recruiter about another job that sounded interesting to me. The recruiter said at the end of the call “I’ve talked to a lot of people about this job, but you are the first one that I believe is exactly what they want.” (Which sounds great…..but we all know it may or may not be true in that employer’s eyes.) So maybe the waiting time isn’t a bad thing. The search can continue. Options are good.

While I never really felt like I would be out of a job (because caring about what you do and being pretty good at it means you are immune, right?), I did listen to some good teachers in the past regarding personal finance, so I was somewhat prepared. This week I had new kitchen counters installed and also found out my house has termites. Big financial things that most would not want to tackle at this time. The termites are beyond my control…..that needed quick action. The inspector came today and I have the money to pay for treatment. He was a fantastic person, too, and the encouragement he gave was another gift of this season of life. He gets the God thing and laughed with me at some of the stories that have already come from this experience. (That treatment is getting done tomorrow. Goodbye termites.)

I’ve been putting off a kitchen mini-remodel for four years, because I was intimidated by the whole process. Having always lived in apartments or rental houses before moving here, I never had to do anything like it. Since a new job will probably mean a commute and little spare time as I get up to speed on a new job, I decided I wanted to tackle it. You know I like to challenge myself to face hard things. It hasn’t been bad at all….mostly because my family has supported me through the process and my brother and my nephew saved me a lot of money doing some of the work. When the full project gets done (I still need a backsplash) it gives me options….it will make the house more marketable if I have to sell. And I can enjoy it in the time I have left here.

I’m eager to get back to work, but I also see this as an adventure that not everyone gets to experience. I am taking it very seriously, but also my faith allows me to not give in to stress often. You know I love stories….one reason I am blogging about it all…and there are so many that come with something like this. I don’t want to forget the journey.

Plus it’s going to happen to a lot of you, too…..and I’d rather you heed my story and prepare not only financially, but emotionally and spiritually. It really doesn’t have to break your heart or spirit. I promise.

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Jobless – Part 5

So three months of joblessness have passed. It’s a slow process. I’m finding that there aren’t a ton of jobs that I can apply for. I am not yet prepared for backward, but I also know I am at that awkward age with respect to work. I’ve worked hard to get the experience I have, but it’s not necessarily what companies seek. Who knew I was way more marketable when I had more enthusiasm than knowledge?

I used to come out of an interview and know what kind of perception I left them with. Now I struggle with this. Often those who interview me are younger and I’m not quite sure what they believe they need….or what they see in me.

I’ve talked a bit about recruiters in past blogs, but let me tell you a bit about interviewing. With a recent job I’m in consideration for…..I did a phone interview with someone in their HR department. It was about three weeks ago and it seemed to go well. She was encouraging and informative and it was a great time to talk about what I am looking for and see how it matches what they are looking for.

The day after the interview I did two tests for the company. They were incredibly comprehensive and a mish mash of things to tell them both what kind of job for which I am best suited, how I can be expected to fit in with people, and what my learning style will be in the event I am hired. It took over four hours….and I am a quick test taker. I still had not been told whether another interview was in the works and whether the results of these tests impacted it. I assumed they did.

When I say mish mash, some were obviously trying to determine my personality type. It was interesting, because how I answer those questions for a work environment are different than my “real life”. For example, in my “real life” I test as a strong introvert (yeah, I know some of you don’t believe it), but when the same things are applied to my professional life, the answers are different. I don’t act like an introvert at work…. usually. I’m usually in a position that requires I interact and bring people together, and get to know them quickly, Those relationships energize me when I am at work, and drive much of my purpose. I’m still an introvert, for example, but business small talk is easier than “real” small talk.

Then they had some sequencing problems, the first one that gave me a case of major anxiety. Sequencing problems, for those who have gloriously forgotten, are where they give you a set of numbers and you give the next in the sequence. Like 3, -10, 74, 128….you give the next number. Do’t try to work that one out….those are random numbers. But similar to the problem I was working on. Sheer panic hit me…it wasn’t simple. It turned out to be heavy in square roots, I know they said we needed to know this stuff way back in high school, but I didn’t believe them. I especially thought I was safe at age 58. Nope. 58, 116, 232; 464, …. that’s a real sequence. None I got were that easy. But so you can get one right.

Anyway, back to interviews. Most to date have been very rich in requesting examples. “What is an example of a problem you solved well and contrast it with one that you didn’t solve well.” I’m OK with these, but often I feel like my brain has dried up with original answers.

One company sent me stack of their reports to review. So how far in depth do you go with them? Do you totally invest and they get you working for free? I tended to try for giving several points of feedback, but not get too comprehensive. Enough to let them know I can be insightful, but not enough that I felt like unpaid labor. I didn’t get that job, so was glad I didn’t invest more. Would giving them more feedback have helped? I don’t think so.

I went through another interview that I felt went very well. I had to drive to the South Park area of Charlotte and interview with two people. A couple of days later they had decided not to fill the position. Discouraging. Why hadn’t they figured this out before they called me in to interview?

I’ve had situations where I went and interviewed and and didn’t feel the company would necessarily be a good fit for me. Those are difficult. It’s hard to get an offer for a job and turn it down. There just are only so many opportunities out there. I’m still feeling the need to be picky, though. The wrong company can take some of the joy from your days. But…at what point do I need to be less picky? And am I being too hasty saying no based on a feeling? A point will come when I may need to take something I am less than excited about. But so far I haven’t felt like that time is here.

It’s quite frustrating when you know you are qualified, or you know you could do a job well, and you get an early rejection letter. Not even a phone interview. But you have to realize that’s not the right place for you. Even if it is based on the opinion of one person….or a screening app on their computer.

I am still grateful for this time in my life….and spend most of my time taking advantage of having it. While there will always be moments throughout the process where I get frustrated, or scared, or confused, I’m really very happy. And even as I work through those negative emotions I know it’s all going to be OK. If doors keep closing, I will need to open my eyes wider and see if possibly God has other plans for me. Traveling the world sounds good…..

Jobless – Part 4

So it’s been since the middle of January since I had a job. Most days are still great. I know I am blessed to have this time in my life where I can regroup and start again.

Weeks like last week can be discouraging, though. Monday I found out that they had decided to not add the position I interviewed for the week before. It was one that I not only thought I would enjoy, but I thought I could make a positive contribution quickly. But at least for now that door is closed.

The rest of the week felt like I was in a hallway of closed doors. I just couldn’t find jobs to apply for that interested me. These are the discouraging times.

But as life’s roller coaster proves, down comes up. This week has seemed better. I applied for a job over the weekend and the recruiter called me on Monday.

A bit about recruiters, for those who have never worked with them. You have internal and external recruiters. Some large companies have people on staff who are their employees that actively look our for people to fill their internal positions. This seems to have increased in recent years. If I am applying for a job within an insurance company or a large consulting firm, for example, typically my first point of contact is with their internal recruiter.

External recruiters typically recruit for more than one employer and are employees of their search firm. In my world, they are usually the people who are going to be working with smaller insurance consulting firms or local brokers. They may also work with specialty vendors. Some work across industries, but most specialize in one.

Recruiters can be paid by the candidate or the company hiring the candidate. The majority that most of us use are paid by the hiring company, often at a percentage of salary for the person they place.

Anyway, the recruiter for that job called me and the interaction was atypical from those I have had with recruiters in the past. After a phone interview, she asked if I could come into the office to meet with her and possibly some of the other members of their team. Why, of course! I went the next afternoon.

Before I went I had to fill an application out for them (they had my resume, and while this duplicated some of that, it added depth.) I also had to do a personality test. I’m slightly fascinated by these, so was interested in how I would score. The test they asked me to do was the Hartman Color Code personality test. I’m a White. From color code.com, they say “White are the peacekeepers. Peace: the ability to stay calm and balanced even in the midst of conflict, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of clarity and tolerance and are generally kind, adaptable, and good-listeners.”

I was a Blue for a free one I found online. Both descriptions seem to fit. I’m haven’t read enough to decide which one I really think I am. You have secondary colors that can impact. I hope they give me more information on my results. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and other people through these things.

The in-person interview was very comprehensive. The recruiter explained many employers want to know if they have met the candidate. Since I had never met a recruiter in person in my career (from what I recall), I am sure this differentiates them in their marketplace. They only work local.,…they specialize working for insurance related-employers in NC and SC only. The process was quite painless, mostly because everyone I met was so nice. I felt even though they are paid by the employer, they are very invested in helping me find a job. Believe me, that’s a good feeling at this point. Especially since I would prefer not to move (though working in Charlotte is good possibility and I have opened myself up to that probability.)

One interesting dilemma. I was working with another recruiter on a job that sounded to be a good fit, but my initial phone interview was postponed to a later date, yet to be named. I did follow up with that recruiter the next week and he said they would keep me updated on what was going on. It has been a month since I heard from him.

This new firm also has a relationship with that company with the open job, but because of professional courtesy don’t want to step on the toes of the first consultant. I’ve told them if they could get me a meeting, I would appreciate it. A tip to recruiters and those who work with people in this situation. We need progress reports. We need attention. It is a vulnerable time. A month of inattention is interminable. I’m about as loyal as they come, but don’t have the luxury of unlimited time here.

So now I wait to see what these new recruiters can do. I hope they are successful for me, not just because I’m ready to find something (I am) but they are nice people who seem to appreciate that I have a lot of experience to offer. Hopefully they can sell that.

As for me, I continue to apply for jobs I find online and procrastinate on putting the other info recommended by my career counselor online. The rebellious procrastinator. But that will happen soon. I will try anything that can help. Within reason.

Many thanks to my encouragers. You’re helping making this time a good one. And those in my industry who have sent my resume to people hiring in their companies or mentioned my name to people hiring, or who did those darned Linked In recommendations they said I needed…thank you for supporting me during this important time. While I appear to be good at being unemployed, I have have more years of work to put in until retirement. I am praying those years are productive, let me exercise my purpose, and keep me challenged and growing. I also want to work with straight-shooter folks I respect, admire, learn from, and celebrate mutual success. That makes Mondays fun.

Jobless – Part 3

Trajectories aren’t linear. Life’s just a roller coaster. If you’re getting a chance to do cool stuff, and it’s varied stuff, just enjoy it. I guess I’m a believer in the randomness of life rather than it being a linear trajectory or an arc, a consistent smooth arc, towards anything.” – Riz Ahmed

“Happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness. In one of those life-isn’t-fair results, it turns out that the happy outperform the less happy. Happy people work more hours each week – and they work more in their free time, too.” – Gretchen Rubin

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

It’s a rollercoaster. A sometimes scary one. OK…..I admit I am having more fun than many would have in my situation and most of the time I’m enjoying this time in my life. I’ve always liked roller coasters. Well, except for the ones that beat up your body along the way. But while most is fine with me, then there are the moments of sheer panic when I think “What if I can’t find a job?”

We’ve already established I am crazy analytical, skills developed by being anxious by nature but not a fan of that particular state of mind. Equilibrium is important to me, so I have learned to quickly look at worse case scenarios and find the truth in them. And the humor. I know I can get by at my current state of living at least through the year. I also know I can reduce my expenses and get by longer. I could actually never have another job and be OK living a crazy vagabond life. But I want to work. I like the purpose it brings to my life. And I enjoy my current life, so don’t have strong desire for major changes.

One of my severance benefits is the use of executive career counselors for six months. I wasn’t sure how helpful that would be, but I suspect it is as helpful as you make it. I had my first “counseling” session last week (I had already made my way through the sessions with their branding expert), and was pleasantly surprised at how helpful it was. It had been a particularly frustrating week, where I got rejections for jobs fir which I felt highly qualified, without even a phone interview. I got to unload a bit with the career counselor. He handled it well. His calmness calmed me. He reminded me it was not personal….but the result of electronic review. He said “We just have to get your resume past the system and in the hands of people.” Which is a matter of having just the right keywords to put you over their limits. I had paid attention to that with my resume, but he said we just needed to tweak them a bit. So we will tweak. Again.

This morning I got another email about one if the jobs I got a rejection for last week. This one was “Congratulations! You have the skill set we are looking for. Please sign up for a telephone interview for this job.” I actually got two of these emails for that same job. From different people. The job already in the reject pile. I guess in an electronic world anything can happen. I almost signed up for the two phone interviews in case I bombed on one. But I didn’t. I figured that one would have to do.

The career counselor is also looking at my Linked In account. That’s important these days. I had ignored most of the suggestions their branding specialist had already shared with me a few weeks ago and had to confess this to him. Mostly I ignored them because I didn’t want to do them. Especially recommendations. I have a difficult time asking for certain things and one is for people to write recommendations for me. It’s asking “Will you please say nice things about me in a public forum that I’m going to be able to see?” Goes against my grain. Plus I know some people hate to be asked and you never really know who those people are. But I needed them.

I was having a conversation with a friend checking in to see how things were going, who is also an insurance company rep, over the weekend and asked her if she would do one for me. Her enthusiasm helped tremendously. She did it right away (late on a Saturday night). She didn’t mind doing it at all. It gave me that last bit of confidence I needed to ask others. I started with a few people who came to mind because they had offered their help if I needed it. I emailed to make it a bit easier for them to say no or ignore. It was gratifying to get a couple of great responses immediately. And humbling. I will admit their words made me a bit tearful. That task I totally didn’t want to do, resulted in making my day.

I still haven’t put myself on that regular schedule a couple of my friends recommended, though I do agree it would be a good thing. Overall I believe I’m doing what I need to do, however. A lot of time is spent perusing job boards and websites and applying for jobs. Sometimes it seems fruitless….you can comb the same board for an hour and find nothing, then something will pop up from that one more keyword search you do that is one letter different than the previous one. There aren’t a lot of jobs I want to apply for, and yet I don’t want to be too hasty to rule some out. I do know what I like to do and what my strengths are, and also what I don’t want, so I try to match the jobs to those things.

My goal is just one significant thing done a day that may put me closer to finding something (today it was asking for those job recommendations and signing up for that telephone interview. Yes, you do that online these days through a scheduler. You don’t talk to real people for the first part of the process.)

I do not subscribe to the theory that your job when you don’t have a job is to spend all your time job hunting. It would make me nuts. I look for some time each week to spend with friends, especially friends I haven’t seen in a while. I also make time to do something for someone else so I don’t get too self-absorbed. Today I made a last minute decision to go to Winston to give platelets. As with much that I do, it wasn’t much of a sacrifice….it was nice to sit in a comfy chair for a couple of hours and watch a movie and get a snack afterward. Platelets are used for things like cancer treatment, which several folks I know are receiving now. Giving them is a reminder that there are way worse things than being without a job.

While I do try to make my days count, there are days when I don’t get dressed and after a bit of job hunting I read a novel and take a nap. It’s OK. Balance.

I’d love to take a vacation, and go somewhere exotic, but I don’t feel comfortable doing it yet. My barriers are the work ethic engrained in me that won’t relax until I find a job and the fiscally conservative side of me that wants a regular paycheck. I’d like to abandon all and just do it and am trying to talk myself into it. The adventurous side of me is in favor. But the rest of me is not there yet. Maybe later.

So that is where I am, six weeks without a job. The roller coaster ride continues. Thanks to those joining me on the journey.

Jobless Part 2 – Old?

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. – Madeleine L’Engle

My mother always used to say, ‘The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana’. ” – Betty White

“Growing older is not upsetting; being perceived as old is.” – Kenny Rogers

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” – Satchel Paige 

When the heck did I get old? Oh, mind you as far as I’m concerned I’m not….but now that I am job hunting I am constantly asked about the age factor (from friends and family) and warned by the “career counselors” assisting me that I need to make sure I don’t advertise my age.

I’m 58. I’ve never hidden my age. I’ve always been curious about those who do. Exactly why do they do it? I assume they don’t want people to think they’re old. Well, in my case lying about my age has never been something I could even consider. I’m living in my hometown. My siblings and rest of my family members are here. Many of my former classmates are here. Friends of my family are here. So many people who would know my age and know if I would lie about it. Not that I would…,.but truly I couldn’t if I wanted to.

I still don’t feel a whole lot different than I was in high school or college. I have a bit of arthritis in my knees that has stopped me running through life at a break-neck speed, and keeps me from jumping (and since I can’t, I have found I used to jump a lot.) I went through peri-menopause into menopause (it happens), but at this point my body is pretty settled and there are no major adverse effects.

Am I more forgetful? I don’t know. Maybe. But I have always been pretty forgetful. I’m a thinker. I’m often pre-occupied. That’s why I occasionally get called on the carpet from good friends who I pass with a pleasant greeting and they recognize I am greeting them by rote and not because I notice it is them. According to them if there is not a sarcastic comment, I must not noticing they are there. I can’t lie…they may be right some of the time.

When working on my resume, the “branding specialist” discouraged me from including all of my employment history and told me to take the dates off all jobs except the last one. That one lasted almost 13 years. But rebellious me thinks that removing jobs and dates seems weird. I’m proud of my job history. I believe it makes me a better employee. I don’t believe being younger compares to the wisdom and wealth of knowledge I can bring. (But yes….I took their advice and removed the dates and reduced the number of positions I have held.)

When are we going to really wake up to the fact that people are living longer and healthier? When are we going to wake up to the fact that we are all different….that every 58 year old is not the same “age”? I know some people my age that seem like “old people”…..but the vast majority of 58-year olds I know are vibrant and vital and have much to offer….as do the 70, 80, and 90 year olds. (I don’t think I know anyone who is 100 at the moment….but I have heard of some incredible people.)

But take a look at the statistics. The average age for women retiring is 62. (Won’t be happening for me.) The average age for men 64. (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.) It was sooner than I thought, so it makes a bit more sense for there to be caution. But looking at statistics it appears a huge number of my baby boomer people are without any, or sufficient, retirement savings. They may need to work. Many will live into their 100s. Others are in excellent physical and mental condition and want to continue to use their skills in the workplace. And why not? When it gets down to it, I figure my expected tenure is probably going to be longer than today’s 20 or 30 year olds who have learned the value of keeping their options open.

The good news is I probably won’t be hired by a company who has an issue with my age. If asked questions about my birthday or dates or time periods of my employment or college graduation, I will answer honestly. If they have an issue, they simply won’t hire me.

My takeaway from this is that we need to treasure the years and become agents of wisdom, confident as we age. I have seen our culture often be youth-obsessed, but we who are older have the ability to change that. I look around our town. Many of my age may spend their nights huddled in recliners in front of the TV, but not in my circles. They get out and live. And the really great thing? The circles I am a part of are ageless and tend to appreciate each age and time of life and celebrate it. As we should.

I’m not yet old as far as I am concerned. I am seasoned. And experienced. And content with my place in life. Hopefully employers will embrace that in me and others. If not, maybe they should re-evaluate what they may be missing.

Severed


It’s been one of those weeks. They called us in for a meeting Monday morning. We had no clue what it was to be about. To put it simply, they told us they were closing down our department in our office (which is in Winston Salem) and our jobs had been eliminated.

I had the least tenure of those of us who were released….and that was almost 13 years.

I won’t go into details, because those are private. Unlike those at many companies, we were presented with a severance package that I believe was fair. I am grateful.

But it’s time to look to the future. When it gets down to it, every day (not just when forced to change) you get to choose the direction of your next steps and how you take them. One of my ten most favorite words is providence. God’s opportunity and God’s provision and God’s preparation. I believe in it.

I feel at peace. I feel prepared. Being the analytical type I have taken it to the worst case scenario and yes, I can survive even that. I suspect I won’t have to. I’ve analyzed how to avoid that, too.

My next steps will be taking the paths that lead to my next adventure. I like to work. I enjoy challenges and even enjoy change. My goal is to find a place to land where my skills are needed….and where I look forward to Monday mornings. And I won’t be alone on this journey. My tribe will surround me. They’re good ones.

Truly, the timing is good. For a lot of reasons. And I’m at a good place to begin again, change it up, and breathe.

What’s funny is I was feeling overwhelmed before. Now I am not. I think it is “supposed to” work in the reverse, but that doesn’t work for me. I will consider this a gift. And whatever lies ahead, it’s going to be OK. It will be a good divorce.

“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” – Earl Nightingale