It’s not us, it’s you!
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. When I look back on 2018, I am sure 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 on the blog. 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.
I have tried to reassure myself that these things happen. Everyone is allowed to have a run of bad luck sometimes. However, I couldn’t prevent my confidence from being severely dented. The last job ended after only 8 week. My boss told me he didn’t think I was the right person for the job. He wasn’t firing me, as such, but there was a clear invitation to resign.
As I sat across from him at that board room table, I tried to remain composed. All I could think was “he is right.” All these years I have been playing a part. Now, finally, I am being 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. To 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. I wasn’t in immediate danger of ending up on the bread line. However, 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. Immersing myself instead in 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. It’s just more of a long term proposition.
Getting back on the horse
I realised that I needed to build myself back up again. Hearing “no” is an inevitable part of job seeking. I needed to restore my resilience and my energy to be able to withstand it. 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. 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 exciting to take my mind off my current situation and keep my brain engaged. Just then, something amazing happened. A Facebook friend (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. I admitted knowing very little about MMA or any sport for that matter. In spite of my lack of expertise, 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 getting to meet so many interesting people. Under my editor’s guidance I am producing work that I am incredibly proud of. 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.
It is a cliché, but I do believe that sometimes when it feels like everything is falling apart, it is actually falling into place. Had I 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. This has lead me to consider interviewing people for the Podcast. I don’t know if I would have felt equipped to do before. It has shown me that even at the ripe old age of 37, I can still learn. Adventure is still out there for me. I am still able to 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. 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