I remain fascinated with the wonders of Time; its rhythm, cadence, silence and power.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
We travel through life, meeting people, working, giving of ourselves, contributing as best we can ~ often getting caught up in Time’s measure in terms of months, years maybe; often not thinking about the relevance of all that has past, or the future potential we’re creating by who we are, and what we’re doing, today.
17 years ago, give or take 2 months, I willingly walked away from a career I enjoyed and took with me memories of the 16 years of Time invested into the creation of several meaningful roles in varying departments for the Company that I remained loyal to through the duration.
Being a Stay-At-Home Mom was always my desire. I allowed myself time to build and enjoy a successful career ~ and then willingly transitioned into a role that came with no financial compensation of any kind, but was rich and rewarding in so many other ways.
Introverted as I am, the social isolation wasn’t as difficult for me as it can be for others – and in the time devoted to raising my daughters, I grew and developed into a version of myself that I feel proud of.
I developed new friendships and relationships with people who better reflected this new aspect of my life: other mothers, teachers, neighbours, etc. And while I remembered those I used to see and work with day in and day out for more than half my life – I drifted away, as did they, all of us navigating life’s waters as best we knew how.
Fast forward to now – and the challenges present to those in search of employment. In addition to appearing as a 17 year Employment Gap on my resume (in spite of 12 years of Freelancing) – the competition for jobs available is quite fierce, so many are out of work, many of them from jobs that are on their way to extinction, if they’re not already extinct. To say it’s hard ‘out there’ right now is an understatement.
Networks are powerful …
This year, I made a dedicated effort to get back into the work-force. After spending considerable time online seeking a niche and market I could create for myself that would allow me to remain at home while drawing an income ~ I accepted the fact that I was one of MANY fish in this pond ~ and we’re all competing for similar audiences. It was time to mitigate my losses and face the fact that, for me, traditional employment may be best.
Through LinkedIn ~ I re-established contact with many people I had worked with in my ‘life before children’. Thankfully, they all remembered me – and gratefully, they all remembered me as a stellar and significant member of any team – and, with fondness. I applied for Job Opportunities that aligned well with my skill set and values – and the resounding Silence that followed was unnerving.
The time had come to both hear and accept the advice that had been shared with me by those whose opinion I value: someone ‘like me’ (away for so long) will never find a job through published Job Postings. I needed to reach out to my network, make direct requests for employment and also ask for recommendations from them to others in THEIR networks. Word of mouth and recommendations from a trusted source was the strategy I needed to pursue.
Courage, don’t fail me now …
I couldn’t do it. I don’t ask for help. I don’t give voice to what I need. It’s not the healthiest way to get through life, but it is my modus operandi and working against that proved extremely difficult. So ~ I opted to latch onto the second bit of advice that had been passed on to me.
I decided to start over – enter a new field altogether, go back to school, participate in the practicums offered and graduate ready to start my new career. Looking ahead to what jobs will be in demand in the near to long future – I decided to throw myself into Pharmacy, and began what would turn out to be an arduous two and a half month process that ultimately saw me meet with Failure at the hands of bureaucratic process while discovering a capacity and respect for Biology and Chemistry that I did not know was possible. (There’s ALWAYS a bright side – sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.)
This disappointment was shattering to me – on two levels. First, I have ALWAYS been an excellent student – scholastic success was always a given for me and I always came out top of class. To be denied entry was devastating – even if that denial had little to do with my academic abilities. And second, my only Plan B was to face the task that sent me down the college road in the first place ~ I needed to ask my network for help.
You often don’t know the significance another may play in your life …
I received an offer of employment yesterday. Seems someone I worked with all those years ago is running a not-for-profit start-up now, and it seems that this company is growing faster than the few on board can keep up with, and it seems that at the time of my Help Me, Hire Me request ~ he was seeking someone he could trust to manage home base and provide the support necessary to allow everyone to better focus on their respective priories ~ and this person needed to have, well – my skill set and capacities.
Based on actions and behaviour in a Time when I had no idea how very much I would need this person today ~ he provided me an opportunity. As a result of all I’ve become in the space between then and now ~ he made me an offer.
They say take the leap, cross the edge, feel the fear and do it anyway. Phrases like that, while rich with truth, sometimes feel empty because the leaps and edges of others often bare no resemblance to our own. This is one of those bits of wisdom that makes best sense when you’re on the other side – having taken your leap, having crossed your edge … and having been blessed with the grace of Time. Because one statement I’m sure we’ve ALL experienced to be true, is this: Timing is Everything.
I’ll sign off with this final bit of wisdom – because I have also experienced it to be true: You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat others when they think no one is looking.
Always do your best, strive to be your best and, if job searching is not going well for you – please be willing to consider the potential and power of your network …