|Monday, February 2nd, 2009
||Author: Libby Ingrassia
|Telling the Story
||Time: 02:25:22 PM
|Comments? Add / Read (5)
||Location: Coffee Groundz
Well, I'm only on day 3 of being unemployed after being laid off and I've already learned a few things.
- To be able to do anything to change my status and life, I have to get beyond the sad. That's not to say that I'm not allowed to be sad about what is, after all, a horrendously stressful and painful experience. I do, however, have to find ways to put that sadness in a place that lets me function around it. It's not the easiest thing - despite the timely opportunity to hear Maestro Zander speak a few weeks ago. Still, I'm working on it.
- I did that "functioning around the sad" much better the last time I got laid off. I'm pretty sure that it was easier for two (or maybe three) main reasons. First, I had just sold my house and therefore had both a large amount of cash in savings, something I do not have now, and no worries that I was going to lose my house, a huge fear for me at the moment. Second, it happened right in the middle of my divorce. I was so in my own head right then with grief and working so hard on dealing with all the issues that caused my divorce that it was just part of the depression and got dealt with along with the rest of the depression. I was already going to a therapist - I just added one more topic of conversation. Now, on the other hand, I'm in the process of what should be one of the happiest things in a person's life - getting married - and so the dichotomy in my emotions makes the sadness and fear more shocking and troubling. Finally, I didn't feel that so many people were competing with me for the jobs (and there were more jobs) because we weren't quite in as deep a recession as we are now.
- That brings me to my next thought: my greatest strengths are also great weaknesses in some ways. I have had some amazing experiences in my varied career, but if a hiring manager is looking for a single, specific set of characteristics or skills, my CV looks a little scattered. I've been a writer, an editor, a teacher, a trainer, a consultant, a marketer, a manager, a project and product manager.... All of those jobs can be summed up by saying that my best skills are in writing, editing, teaching, and technology. I am at my best when working with, and helping to support, a team, group, or community. Now the challenge is to help employers (and myself) see how those skills fit in their narrowly construed job descriptions in a way that makes me feel successful and makes them feel they're getting more than their money's worth.
- Finally, I know how important it is to look at the things for which we're grateful. I'm incredibly grateful for all of my family, friends, and acquaintances. So many people have had words of sympathy, strength, or help for me over the past few days and it's truly life-affirming to look around and see how many people CARE. There are a lot of things wrong with the world, and plenty of hard things in my life, but it's inspiring to see how many amazing people there are in my circle. Thank you. I will think of you in my daily meditations and wish positive things for you.
Since I know I'm not alone in being laid off and looking for the next path for the career (and the way to pay the mortgage and expenses), I've decided that one tool for me to use for my own benefit that might also help others is to blog about the process here. It doesn't mean that I've necessarily got words of wisdom to help other folks through - I'm struggling plenty. It's more that by talking about what I'm feeling and doing, perhaps I'll continue to find ways to cope, and perhaps by talking together, we can all learn some things about our careers and the world in which we work.
I wasn't able to get much done on Friday or over the weekend. I decided to give myself a break, let myself have some grieving time and some time to wallow in the panic (including eating an entire box of Peeps and a bag of Milano cookies covered in Nutella, thank you very much). My friend Julie got me out of the house today with her kind offer to buy me lunch, which then got me recognizing that being in the house all the time an be counterproductive. So, I've taken myself off to a coffeeshop where, for the $4 investment, I've got Wifi and noise and have to sit up and focus.
With my focus, I'm making lists. I've started cancelling things I don't need, from maid service, to the BlackBerry enterprise service from Sprint, to my landline at the house. I'm making lists of place I want to try to apply or people to whom I want to send email. I'm brainstorming job options that aren't in my primary path that might bring in some income while I'm waiting for the right full-time opportunity. Who knows, maybe these brainstorming lists will be the right thing!
In any case, if you're in the same boat and are worried about finding a job or your finances, I'm wishing you the best of luck and if you think there's a way I can help you, I'm happy to do so. I'm a great editor (she said modestly), and while I'm planning to have someone look at my CV (because only a fool uses herself as her only editor), I'm happy to look over yours (I have low hourly rates and am willing to work on trades). Or maybe you'd like to talk about whether an online presence will help or hinder your job search (or maybe you've got advice for my online presence). Truly though, I'm interested in making contact and doing what I can to help.
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