Finding Your Ground While Finding a Job
When I wrote my post "Rock Bottom," I was in a dark place. Because of my circumstances, I fear I misrepresented myself. Unable to fully explain why I felt so depressed and enraged, even I felt that I could be perceived as overly dramatic or could cause confusion. To the new reader or even to those who don't know me or my situation well, my emotion seemed unjustified. While I in no way apologize for my words, nor do I owe an explanation, I do feel I can find ways to write about this new journey in a more proactive and helpful way, for both myself and for all of you. What I love about the blogging community is that despite our differences or disagreements, we unite under the everyday (and more serious) human struggles and revel together in our exciting achievements and blissful moments.
Today I find myself with the task that too many people face these days and that is the dreaded job search. I had such high hopes of writing about my second year of teaching--about how I felt so much more confident and prepared, about the new organizational systems I had in place, about all of the killer outfits I planned on wearing--but I suddenly found myself in a very bad state...and I had to make a change. It was traumatizing and disappointing. I haven't given up on my dream of teaching, but I would be lying if I said I was ready to jump back in. So, like some of you out there, I am left with the equally exciting and terrifying scenario of a potential career change.
I feel like I'm back to first grade when I decided to become a teacher--or, at the very least, like my former senior students who had no clue what they wanted to do or which direction they wanted to go. Have you been in this situation--even in your twenties? Thirties? Older? Does it ever end? Perhaps life is the never-ending search to find our purposes professionally and personally.
It's time for me to make some changes, consider new options, and accept the path of what will likely be many entry-level/medium-level jobs long before I find my path. For non-teachers, this is a no brainer; for many educators, however, once you land a solid job, you're usually secure (I know there are many exceptions to this--hello!). Therefore, this is a new process and learning experience for me. I look forward to what I will learn and gain during this time; I know it won't be an easy one.
For some time, I lost my confidence, motivation, and purpose. But now that I've tied up loose ends and am spending some time at home, I am slowly reaching the point where I can move on.
SO, where do you go from here? What can you do to find a new purpose for your life and take the steps to get there? I'm only at the very beginning, but today I took the time to complete a little exercise that helped me find my ground so I can find a new job.
- I made a list of skills/talents that I possess that I enjoy doing. I mentally made sure I had an example to back up each skill. These will eventually be useful in updating a resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn.
- I translated some of these skills into careers and/or job titles.
- I made a list of local businesses/companies I wouldn't mind pursuing, keeping those job titles and skills in mind.
- I made two lists of goals/jobs: "for now" (or short-term) and "long-term." The short-term jobs can pay the bills for now and give me some good experience for those long-term career aspirations.
- I made a list of potential networking venues and/or people I can get in touch with. (Already one of my contacts has been super useful in boosting my confidence and pointing me in the right direction.)
I realize that this is almost too simple of an exercise, but when things get overwhelming, it's best to go back to the basics. I feel like I am better prepared to search for jobs I am qualified for and excited about.
Here's where you can come in. If you have any great job searching tips and strategies, feel free to share! It's a struggle that too many people are faced with these days, but it's important that we stay at it and stay positive.