In two weeks time I will be starting a new job. Yes, that’s right folks, another one. In fact, this will be the fourth job I have had this year. I think when I look back on 2018, the archives will be full of memories of being interviewed.
The last few weeks have been strange and strained. I have felt unable to get into it here, because without knowing what was next, it seemed like self-indulgent whining. Since the summer, I have started, and finished, two new roles. For the record, neither of these positions were supposed to be temporary.
As much as I have tried to reassure myself that these things happen and everyone is allowed to have a run of bad luck sometimes, I couldn’t prevent my confidence from being severely dented. The last job ended after only 8 weeks, when my boss told me he didn’t think I was the right person for the job. I wasn’t being fired, as such, but there was a clear invitation to resign.
As I sat across that board room table, trying to remain composed, all I could think was “he is right.” All these years I have been playing a part and now finally I am exposed as the fraud I always knew I was. At least that is what I thought on that fateful Wednesday.
In the weeks since then, there has been a lot of soul searching and no small amount of tears. I honestly did not know if I had what it would take to dust off the CV and try to sell myself again. My shame and my sadness were so raw, I felt sure that it would be obvious to anyone who met me.
Luckily, there’s no better decision making tool than not having a choice. Although I wasn’t in immediate danger of ending up on the bread line, I knew I needed to get back to work in short order. A month or two of unemployment was realistically all I could afford.
Of course, I fantasized about walking away from corporate life and immersing myself into my writing, Zumba and the Podcast. As appealing as that sounds, it isn’t a viable option right now. I am not ruling it out completely, but it’s more of a long term proposition.
I realised that I needed to build myself back up again. I had to restore my resilience and my energy, and get ready to hear all the nos that inevitably come with job seeking. I had given myself the deadline of the New Year to try to get something in place. As many of you who know me will understand, I am not good as sitting still. I am prone to depression and lounging around in a dressing gown will surely set me on that course. It was important for me to stay busy.
I needed a new project, something to take my mind off my current situation and keep my brain engaged. Just then, something amazing happened. A friend on Facebook (to this day I am still unsure how we are even connected) put up a post looking for someone to help him. He needed a writer for his MMA blog. I answered his call, even though I know very little about MMA or any sport for that matter. For some reason he decided to let me try out.
This project turned out to be exactly what I needed. It is a challenge for sure. I am learning a lot, which I always love and I am getting to meet so many interesting people. Under my editor’s guidance I am producing work that I am incredibly proud of. I am doing things like driving 220km to attend MMA fights on my own, which I never would have imagined myself doing.
All of this started to have an affect on me. My confidence began to return. I started to feel less useless. Furthermore, I figured out that as humans, our capability to reinvent ourselves is infinite. If I can step into the role of MMA reporter, what else can I do? We are only limited by our imagination. It made me feel a lot better about having to sell myself in the job market, that’s for sure.
I know it is a cliché, but I do believe that sometimes when it feels like everything is falling apart, it is actually falling into place. If I had not had such a bad run of employment luck this year, I never would have had these few weeks off to rest and reevaluate. I experienced what was probably my greatest professional fear coming to pass, and I lived to tell the tale. That fear won’t have as great a hold over me in the future.
I also would not have had the opportunity to try something new and the pick up some new skills. I have interviewed some people for the site and it has lead me to think about interviewing people for the Podcast, which I don’t know if I would have felt equipped to do before. I have shown myself that even at the ripe old age of 37, I can still learn. I can still have adventures. I can still surprise myself.
I am proud of myself for walking away from a bad situation. The Arwen of old would have gritted her teeth and tried to make it work. I am no longer prepared to sacrifice my self-worth for a pay cheque and that is huge.
I am going into this new role full of excitement and hopeful that it will be a good fit. If it doesn’t work out I might have to try lion taming! At the risk of sounding ambivalent, if it isn’t a good fit, it won’t be the end of the world. I now know I am capable of dusting myself off and trying again. I will keep you posted. Be well xxx