What?! You’re unemployed? Again??

I was laid off in September. It’s a relief not to be a square peg in a round hole any longer, but a layoff is not my preferred exit – especially with less than one day’s notice. Something similar happened a couple of years ago when a company I worked for died a painful death.

Over the years I’ve thought that my classic liberal arts education (philosophy and religion) prepared me for practically anything, and I still believe that’s true. But the world of manufacturing was too far removed from the rest of my life. No matter how hard I tried, it wasn’t in me to be fascinated by hydraulic seals or optical tips or pump valves. Just couldn’t do it.

The best part of the job was the interaction with people. Inside sales and purchasing responsibilities allowed me to build relationships in person and over the phone with peeps around the country and in other corners of the world. I liked that and did it well.

There were also abundant opportunities to utilize my love for simplifying, streamlining, and making systems more user-friendly. I reorganized offices, overhauled ways information was stored and retrieved, and improved systems for tracking progress on projects. That was satisfying.

So now what? Man, I hate that question! My personality loves possibilities, and that’s just way too practical. Frankly, I’m enjoying a chance to do some career exploration and think about what I’d like to do/be (doobie doobie doo) when I grow up. Would love to make more room in my life for writing, and see if I can make some money at it, so I’m talking with people who are doing that in various ways. It would be fun to be a round peg in a round hole.

The work thing ties into some big insecurities for me. I didn’t learn very much about work in my family and that always shows up when I have to look for a job. Even though I add value and make significant contributions wherever I’m working, my confidence evaporates when looking for a new situation. That’s a common battle, I know, and is one of the reasons it really helps to get together with people who know me and can remind me of my strengths and abilities. Thank God for friends!

The Hardest Working Therapist West of the Mississippi helped me see that there’s no shame in being out of work – a new concept for me. So I’m mentioning it in this forum, and will probably tell at least some of our non-blog-reading friends and relatives when we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. Perhaps I’ll wait until we’re all settled into a tryptophan stupor after the meal.

So much for true confessions about work – I feel better already. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope it’s a happy one, and that you have just as much to be thankful for as I do.

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