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 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.
The nonprofit that I work at has decided to not to operate on Fridays. The building will be closed. However, that means we have to cram a full week of work into 4 days. Yes, our salary’s stay the same, though we are currently in pay freeze and our employers no longer contribute to our 401k, and the word “bonus” is a joke in the nonprofit industry. Our institution has been going though lots of changes, and for the most part I’ve accepted them. I feel like “free Fridays” should make me happy but it doesn’t. I worry about the longer hours, the pressure of work not getting done, where this closing one day a week will eventually lead. I worry my staff won’t make the next round of budget cuts, I may not either. I worry about having an extra day to the weekend. Though it helps having a weekday when it comes to making doctor’s appointments, picking up dry cleaning, calling tech help lines, or hopefully job interviews.
I guess I’m worried about the extra day because I’ve been feeling so bored lately. I’ve been thinking about taking a class, finding volunteer work, and looking for a new job after the new year. I’m just worried I’ll spend Fridays staying in bed all day watching Netflix or daytime TV court shows. I do spend time on the weekends with friends or family, but there are plenty of nights when I hang out alone when my friends are out with their spouses or significant others. I’m wondering if I could get a part time job. Maybe make some extra money–I curse myself that I never learned how to waitress. I’d love to find a freelance editing or writing job or maybe take a web design class. Maybe I’ve been looking at this glass half empty, maybe this is just what I need to begin something new.