I’ve spent more time on this computer in the last 2 weeks than I did in the entire last month! OK fine, I’m exaggerating. I may be prone to bouts of exaggeration when I’m frustrated, but who isn’t?
I have spent 75% of every waking hour working on this new “job”. This is hard work. And I know I am not the only one doing this. Us unemployed folks are working our little fingers to the bone.
My mind is occupied non-stop with thoughts about how to search, where to search, rewriting my resume, writing cover letters, fixing up my LinkedIn, making the right connections, redefining myself and what job I want to look for, assessing how long I can go without employment, touching base with everyone I know, setting up (and reading through) job searches, researching companies, looking at Master degree programs, reading through certification programs, reading executive coaching materials, and a thousand other related tasks. And catastrophizing.
It’s exhausting, friends. No wonder I can’t sleep at night (Harper the Puppy Artist laying on my legs notwithstanding).
I don’t know about you, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m not sure why i thought I’d have gotten callbacks already – I’ve only applied to 3 jobs and those were panic-driven applications. I shouldn’t be applying to anything until I have my tools in order. But, alas, I feel like I cannot afford to waste missing even one job opportunity.
I want patience and I want it right now! Not hearing from these companies drives me up the wall. I mean, it’s been a whole day and I’ve heard nothing! WTF? <grin>
I hear you all chuckling…I know exactly how ridiculous that statement is. I know it in my logical brain. The part of my brain that operates the Imposter Syndrome part of me is completely unaware of the logical fallacy however. I regularly have to beat that part down with a large emotional stick. And I know there are many of you, dear readers, who are in exactly the same place. I see you. I hear you. I feel you.
I am envious of my friends and ex-co-workers who can “take time off” so they can recharge and rejuvenate themselves. Friends, I do not know how to not work. I don’t know how to not do some kind of forward motion.
I think the most painful questions I get asked are: “what do you do” or “what do you want to do next”? How do you put nearly 30 years of varied tech-business experiences into a succinct, 30-second, answer that muggles will understand? That’s actually a very big, very real dilemma that I will have to work out because most people have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to listening to someone describe their work. Interestingly, I have no problem answering these questions, btw, when I’m talking with people in the tech industry.
Side note: y’know what’s been really bizarre? Nobody assumes I’m executive material. I don’t know why. Is it because I’m a woman? Is it because I’m older and unemployed? Is it because I don’t dress in designer clothing? It makes no sense. I ran a business for 25 years…I have skillz, yo. Do you other out of work executive types experience this too?
That said, I am having an internal battle trying to decide what I want to do next. One of the problems of not having spent the last 2 decades in corporate life is that I lack the language, the corporate-speak that others have. And I haven’t had need for the tools that corporate environments use. So while I do have skills, I will need to train up on the practical tools.
With such varied experiences, I fit into a bunch of management and executive roles: customer success, professional services, managed services, and chief of staff come to mind first. I fit them all very well. I do know that I’m a helper type. That’s my nature. That will have to factor in to whatever I look for. My next task will probably be to augment the job search with some process and leadership certification classes so that I have something “official” to bring to interviews. Anything I can do to stack the deck, right?