The Emotional Roller Coaster
Stories all have a beginning. Mine began on August 19th, 2016 when my supervisor called me into the Boardroom and informed me that the company I worked for was “making changes”, that did not include me.
To lose a job can affect our well-being, both emotionally and physically. I remember a sense of relief and panic wash over me. I loved my job but was unsure of the company I was working for and my future with it. That was the relief part, the decision to look for other employment opportunities was made for me. I had been thinking about making a change in my career for several months, but the comfort in the day-to-day routine was the excuse I used to keep me from seriously hunting for another opportunity.
The second part, panic was the emotion that quickly pushed relief out of my mind. The reality that you would not be receiving a paycheck on the next payday quickly made me think of all the horrible fates that awaited me. How would I pay my mortgage? Make the payment on the brand new car I recently purchased. Would I lose everything and have to resort to living in my new car?
Dusting off the Resume
The next day I reviewed my resume. I was told by a career counselor that it was important to keep your resume current. The resume I am referring to was last updated December 2007. I had nine years to catch up. Not knowing where to start I searched YouTube for video tutorials on “How to Revise and update your resume to get a job in today’s competitive job market”. Three days later I had a revised resume ready for distribution.
At this time my confidence level had improved. I had a great looking resume, plenty of work experience, so I began searching the endless job sites and postings and applied to several positions on CareerBuilder, Monster, and Glassdoor. Now I just had to sit back and wait. I did for weeks and nothing happened. Not one phone call. I did receive plenty of emails saying “Thank you for your interest in __________ if you are a match we will contact you”. Which if you read between the lines means “don’t call us we will call you”.
Fortunately, I have not had to search for a job in over ten years. It has definitely changed. The internet has made the process more difficult. Starting out, fresh out of college one would contact the hiring manager at a company, send via snail mail an actual typed cover letter and resume. Looking through an old file folder from graduate school, I found several cover letters and a copy of a resume typed on my old electric typewriter. Paper clipped to each was an addressed envelope from the company I applied to with a nice letter stating that they would review my qualifications and let me know if I was a candidate for the job. Each signed by the HR Manager. Now we apply to the resume wasteland that now resides on CareerBuilder, Monster, and even LinkedIn.
The Learning Curve
Networking was the next step in my job search. I filled my afternoons watching videos on LinkedIn by signing up for a 30-day free trial of their Premium subscription, which included unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning formerly known as Lynda.com. This was the turning point for me. I brushed up on certain skills like interviewing, how much I was worth in the workforce, and how to connect with influencers on LinkedIn. I have over 16+ years in the hospitality industry and have been on the fence deciding if this was the career course I wanted to continue to follow.
Writing has always been a secret passion for me so I reached out to members in my network and asked them what their opinion was of changing course. I was overwhelmed by the support I received from perfect strangers. I connected with a community of freelance writers, bloggers, Social Media managers, etc. The one thing that they all agreed on was I had to write and be able to share my work with others. I needed a platform.
Intrigued by blogging, I signed up for an account on WordPress.org, downloaded the software to my computer and began the long and confusing process of creating a WordPress site. Downloading ebooks on the subject to my Kindle and reading articles on WordPress.com I completed my site and launched my blog.
One month and four posts later, I have started an email list and currently have 15 subscribers, received comments from other bloggers who discovered my site through a Facebook group I joined, and have touched base with other bloggers through Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Path Less Traveled
Panic still keeps me up at night and the fear of what the future will bring. The bills continue to come and there is no paycheck being deposited to the bank. The relief I mentioned, in the beginning, has led to optimism. I believe 2017 is going to be the year that I pursue my passion for writing. I still go to bed worried about the mortgage and the car payment. It has been an emotional rollercoaster but the journey has made me stronger and more confident. Losing my job might not be the best thing that happened to me in 2016 but it set me on this path.