ST. LOUIS–It’s a strange thing to be unemployed. Or partially employed. Even if by your own choice. There is both freedom and fear. A sense of excitement and moments of panic. There is time for naps. There is too much time to think.
I had to stop. I had to figure out what I was doing and, more important, what should I be doing. So, I did.
Scary, to say the least. I just knew that I could not continue doing the same thing and expect different results, to paraphrase a famous quote.
I applied for at least one job every day, even long shots. Even things I really didn’t want to do. I told people I trust about what I wanted. I had lots of coffee with people, made lots of phone calls and sent lots of emails in the name of networking. (It would pay off).
I wrote a ton of cover letters. I received a number of “Thank you, but…” responses. I came very close to accepting a job in an outrageously expensive city that someone I respect and I care about is preparing to leave (in part because it’s outrageously expensive). There was a close call with a job outside of journalism: The horror!
Then, I saw a job posting that really resonated; I mean from head to toe.
It promised a completely different direction, but one I was qualified for. I wrote the heck out of the cover letter. I applied. I heard nothing. I chalked it up to another one of those, “It would’ve been nice, but….”
Here I should say that this whole time (July to present), I’ve been encouraged, buoyed up by, given reality checks by, and received cheerleading from, my family. Not everyone has the kind of support system that allows them to keep their sanity while in transition. Also, there are friends who continued to think highly of me, even when I did not think highly of myself.
And then, after about two months, it came: A phone call about that job posting that really resonated. I could hardly believe it. Stars aligned. Things started to move. Interviews. Reference checks. More interviews. The offer.
So, I start on Dec. 11. Ain’t life Grand? (That’s a hint).
THANK YOU! Mom, Dad, Randy, Emily, Geraldine C., Kurt G., Allison H., Brian J., Jim S., Neil R., Eric K., and (for reals) LinkedIn