Saturday, November 16, 2013

I am a real person

Did you ever read the The Velveteen Rabbit?  In short, a stuffed bunny wants to be Real...he is loved by a little boy, but more than anything Real is what he wants. {SPOILER ALERT} Through the wonders of nursery magic, he eventually does become a Real bunny.

For close to 20 months I was looking for work.  In a pretty short time, I began to feel very much like I wasn't a real person.  More than once I described the job search process as dehumanizing.  117 job applications and, maybe, 7 in-person interviews.  In most of the 117 cases, I never heard anything beyond the initial, generic confirmation.  Nothing.  I really did believe in myself and in my abilities.  For the most part, I applied to positions where I knew I could bring value and had experience.  And that did not seem to matter.  When I was able to interview, I rarely heard back afterward....not even declines.  Decline me...just tell me something.  I wished for my own nursery magic.

On the plus side, for the entire 20 months, I was surrounded by people who did whatever they could to help me.  From the friends & family who made sure I got out and socialized to the friends who put my name in front of hiring managers to my husband who never stopped believing I would triumph.  I will be forever thankful and humbled by the amount of support I received.  I made a deal with myself that I would give that back whenever I could and am looking forward to doing that.

Then, there were some folks who never responded to my requests for help and that was fine -- no one was obligated to help.  There were also a couple of people who weren't overly supportive and felt compelled to be vocal about what they thought, but again, that was fine -- they didn't need to be cheerleaders.  I believed it would happen and that was all that mattered.  And I strongly believe in Karma - the Universe will sort it all out.

Eventually, things would come together.  Job #115 was the magic job.  It was right for many reasons and I started on October 7th.  I have been so happy to go there each day ~ and when I say the commute sucks I'm not kidding ~ but that is manageable.  It's the people and the work.  I think that, in addition to doing work you love, you need to work with people you like and respect.  And I do.  I have been handed so many opportunities to really grow over the last 6 weeks I almost cannot believe it.  I do my best to make sure I am living up to the expectations my team has and those I set for myself.

As a rule, I wake up every day thankful.  I have added my job and my teammates to my list.  They have helped to restore my sense of purpose and value.

My job search time was both wonderful and awful.  I was lucky to have the time home -- I love being home.  I was able to spend the time with family and friends I didn't have before.  I did things out in the yard and in the house I never had time to do.  I adopted an amazing cat with mild special needs - something I would not have done had I been working at that time.  The awful times were how lonely it sometimes could I lost my focus from time to time...and how I wondered if I'd ever be able to continue my career.

I'm glad the nursery magic finally happened for I became Real again.  If you ever doubt your own abilities or feel like giving up - I say to you - keep believing and let the magic happen...I know it will.


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