I admit I have been an emotional roller coaster since losing my job, one second I laugh, the next I cry.
I’m at the coffee shop where I’ve been perched on an uncomfortable stool at a counter for the past two hours researching jobs, sending out a resume, checking in on Twitter, Facebook, and Gawker to help pass the time, when I there it was at the top of Monster.com: Communications Manager. The job I was “discharged” from. Of course the description has been tweaked, which I can’t help but take personally.
“Proven superior writing and editing skills requiring little or no peer/manager review.” I’m sorry, but everything that goes to the public should have at least 2 pairs of eyes look at it. Maybe I should have made a bigger deal out of the typos I found in her and others printed materials…but I thought I was being the “bigger person.” I still pat myself on the back for the typos I found including the misspelling of “nonprofit” on a printed piece that was about to go to major foundations.
Hours: 8:30am-6:30 pm. Ironic since the boss only works four days a week in the office about 8 am – 3:30 pm (though she claims she works all the time offline. Sure). Let’s not forget I took a lunch hour maybe 5 times, the rest of the time I sat at my desk, nor did I have that much work to suck up 10 hours a day…oh the description also says “fast paced.” It was truly anything but. Not to mention now it’s a “temp to perm after 3 months position.” Smart, because now it outright says “I reserve the right to fire you.”
“…over-achieving traits in previous roles would be at home in this environment.” Read: snob. Do you think you’re smarter and better than those around you? Do you have an intellectual in notation in your voice? Do you feel the need to make others around you feel stupid (i.e. explain to someone with a Master’s degree in Nonprofit management the meaning of a 501C3?)?
I suppose I was hoping they would decide not to fulfill this role. That they would give serious consideration into looking into the boss’s management and (lack of) communications skills. I suppose I wanted her to get in some sort of trouble. It was a nightmare, and reading this assured me that I’m happy it’s over. I’m not happy I don’t have a job, but happy I don’t have to deal with the bull sh*t.
At this time, 10:17 am, one week ago, I was fired.
I had only been at the job for 10 and a half weeks so I didn’t even think it was possible, but it was tricky from the get go. I was not only navigating a new field, but a volatile personality. I can sit here and write a post about my nightmare experience, but I can’t change the damage that’s been done. My ego will be bruised for a while, I will panic about money and question every penny I spend, my plans of moving are derailed, I have doubts about my abilities, about my professionalism, about what I want to be when I grown up–except for the fact that I’m 31.
I’ve found a temporary office at the corner coffee shop where I’ve joined the ranks of the fellow unemployed, the freelancers, the folks retired, the college students, and the mom’s with stroller’s getting out of the house for a short break. I haven’t fully accepted that this is my life yet, but it’s a day-to-day process. I won’t allow myself to be completely paralyzed however. I have updated my Linkdin, sent out a couple of resumes, and swallowed the humiliation and contacted a few key people within my network. It’s important to me that I process this blip in my life (it doesn’t seem like a blip now, but I have been assured by some very smart folks that it will indeed be a “blip”), but also move forward.
I assure you, the underdog will triumph, again.
Filed under Uncategorized
I don’t usually remember my dreams, but the last two nights the emotions of them have woke me up and stuck with me. The night before last I had a beautifully lucid dream (at the time). I was with my brother and sister at my mom’s house. It was a treasure hunt of things I loved as a child. Everywhere I looked I found a piece of my childhood: a messy staple of papers filled with my little drawings and stories, a toy or book I loved, a photograph, an eye roll at mom. I remember laughing with my siblings with sentences filled with “remember when…” I woke up missing my siblings. I woke up wanting to remember the exact items I found, knowing they were a piece of puzzle to solve my biggest question of late: What do I want to do with my life?
Last night, or really just moments ago, I woke up from an anxiety dream. I don’t remember any details, just the feelings of running around, never getting enough done, my chest still feels tight. My body, my subconscious, my entire being has taken fistfuls of jabs the last couple of weeks. At first I was strong because I felt I had to be for everyone else. Then I got depressed. Then sick. Now I’m angry, scared and not sleeping well. Part of me feels I have the right to grieve, and other part of me feels like I need to get out of bed, get out of my anxious head, and just go full stream ahead. I’ll snap back and feel more like myself soon, I hope. In the meantime, I hope my dreams provide me a little more direction.
I spent yesterday morning job searching and sending out resumes. One friend sent me a job at the hospital she works at for a Content Editor position. The main jest was to write and produce stories for the website. The job sounded great and I spent a couple of hours crafting a cover letter and filling out online forms. Four hours later I received a rejection email. It’s not my first rejection, and won’t be the last, however, it was the first rejection after learning I would be ousted by my current employer at the end of June.
I then went to dinner at my dad’s house and the start of “you should look into this and that” came from my dad and stepmother (who randomly burst out with “You should be an Esthetician! You like doing nails!”). I was pretty calm throughout all of this, but I could feel the panic and self-doubt slowly creeping in. Reality has officially set in.
I have dialogues with myself: I have no transferable skills. Yes you do. What if I don’t find a job by June? You’ll figure it out. How am I suppose to work full-time and look for a job full-time? You’ll find a way to do it.
There are many more doubts than I had a couple of days ago when I actually felt good about knowing I’d be laid off. Now I’m not so sure. I knew it was going to happen and I know I need change, but looming deadline has got me a little freaked. The lack of decent jobs, the knowing there are thousands out there with more experience, knowing while I have skills, employers may see them as skewed. Marketing, proofreading, public relations, copywriter, advertising director, supervisor of web designer and graphic designer–I’ve touched a lot of things but may not seen proficient in one area or another. I also wonder if my educational and cultural organization experience, along with my master’s degree in nonprofit management is seen as suspicious as I am also looking at for-profits, writing jobs, and other organizations that my background isn’t in.
So I just need to keep talking myself down, figure out how to write great cover letters and how to correctly sell myself, and keep on searching. I still have four months to figure it out.
Here is what I bought at the bookstore today:
1. Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
2. I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This by Julie Jansen.
3. Granata Magazine. This issues theme: Work.
4. The Atlantic Monthly. The cover issue headline: The Recession’s Long Shadow
Yes, all of the above share a common theme. A theme I am all too familiar with and find fascinating yet fear. I learned yesterday my position will be eliminated at the end of this fiscal year. I have four months to find a job and get out. I was not surprised. I knew the day was coming. I actually feel a lot more relieved than devastated. Actually, I’m not really devastated at all. I’ve been in a work and pay plateau for two years now. I’ve been slowly looking for work for months, but now I really need to step it up. The problem-my life’s problem-I don’t know what I want to do. Though I’ve become good at marketing and public relations I’m sick of being a bull shitter for a living. But right now I feel it’s the only thing I know.
I’m not always gung-ho for self-help books, but there are valid exercises in both that I’m more than willing to explore. I’ve always said I don’t want my work to be my life, and I still feel that way, but I do want to be happy for the 40 hours I spend away from home. I do want to feel some sort of meaning, and if I don’t, I want to be paid considerably more to feel nothingness.
Life is a at a crossroads, but I’m really, surprisingly, okay. I feel confident that I will figure it out. Will I have crap days? Yes, of course. But I also feel strangely empowered to make even more changes in my life. So for a while, this blog, may become more of a spring-board of ideas about my future.
Welcome to my rollercoaster.
I’m only 31 so I know I’m still young, but sometimes you have those moments when you know you are getting older. Case in points:
1. A few moments ago I was reading my latest park district catalog thinking about taking a new class (currently taking “Adult Potter” and man, do I have a lot crap to pawn off on people), when I read a description for “Woodcarving.” Cool, I always wanted to whittle. After being seduced with words like “learn techniques to make carvings in wood from a 30 year veteran” (what can I say, I’m easy with little adjectives), I was ready to sign up. Then I noticed for ages 55 & older. I went on to be seduced by “Jewelry.” “From glass to ceramics learn how to make bracelets, necklaces, brooches and more!” Then once again noticed the bold for ages 55 & older.
2. I have too many gray hairs to count. Also, speaking of vanity-I went through my teen years and 20’s without wearing makeup on a daily basis. When I turned 31 I started putting on light makeup every weekday morning. Just a little tinted moisturizer, neutral shadow, bronzer, blush, and mascara. Why did I start wearing makeup daily you ask? I got tired of being telling me I looked tired! When you tell someone they look tired, you’re telling them they look like sh*t. We all know it. I make a conscious choice not tell people they look tired because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.
3. I don’t bounce back the way I used too after a few cocktails.
4. I can’t stand teenagers.
5. Music I once loved to listen to loud, is now, a bit too loud.
6. I just don’t care about petty crap anymore.
7. I just don’t really get embarrassed anymore.
8. I use eye cream and wrinkle-fighting eye cream.
9. I’m too tired to finish this list.
Filed under Humor, Musings
I let it all out today. All the pent-up aggression and anger from the last year. I told her she drove me crazy and I can’t stand the pressure anymore. I told her that while I do my job to the best of my abilities I don’t feel the need to go above and beyond anymore because she told me herself my growth at the organization was stunted and that I haven’t had a raise in over two years. I told her I don’t believe in our new president’s b.s. talks because how can have high morale when not five minutes earlier he told us some of us wouldn’t be there next fiscal year. I told her not to save my job because then I’d have to hear her guilt-filled lectures about what she gave up in her life. “Don’t save me. I can’t deal with the pressure. I’ll be fine if I’m let go.” And honestly, though it would be scary and would suck, I’d get that fcuking monkey off my back. And that monkey, is her.
Once I was really good at really leaving my job when I left the office. I never want my job to be life. I can do a rockin’ kick-a$$ job between the hours of 9 to 5, then it’s my time. I hope to find satisfaction and successfulwithin my job, but I don’t want it to be my life. Is there something wrong with that? In my opinion, no. Can’t you kick a$$ when you’re paid to kick a$$ and then lead a normal life? Not her. She’s a martyr. No one can stand it. No one looks up to her and sees her a model employee–she’s a pain in the a$$. She doesn’t earn more respect that way, she gets taken advantage of because she wants to be seen as a model employee and is willing to take crap and be taken advantage of because of it. I, on the other hand, am not. I don’t get paid enough. I make less than half of what she does and have to take her crap on top of it.
I’m a sensitive soul. So much so I cried at my desk after my outburst. I have no problem owning up to my mistakes and usually apologize for the littlest of things. But today, I feel no need to apologize. I feel no need to take any more manipulative crap from her. She needed to know where I stand. That unlike her, I’m not completely terrified. I will be okay if I lose my job. If it’s meant to be, it will be. I’ll figure it out if and when the time comes, and I’ll be a better person for it.