You know what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately?
Recently, I was part of a divisional layoff with a company that I spent the last three years working at. The best thing about this layoff is, we received a decent severance package that has allowed me a bit of breathing room to reassess my wants, needs and passions without the panic attack of grabbing the first job that comes my way.
I get the night sweats when I think about settling for a job where I’m chained to a desk for 8.5hrs/day, my bum stuck to a chair (not even the swanky ergonomic kind), eating stale Cheetos out of my drawer, squinting at meaningless words and numbers on a monitor the size of Nebraska and only being allowed to leave my cubicle cell to get a cup of muddy coffee or take a quick bathroom break. All the while the fluorescent lights suck my very soul from within me one mercury vapor at a time.
I’ve been busy vamping up my resume with creative verbiage and nudging my passions forward to spotlight what I really would like to do, while keeping the tried and true experience standing tall for moral support and to maintain some semblance of propriety. They’re my resume chaperons, if you will, keeping my zany creativity in check.
I sound amazing on paper. Seriously, I would hire me. But then I look at it with one eye closed and both eyebrows raised (try it, you know you want to) and then I wonder if it’s good enough, if it says what I want it to say. Then I ask myself…what DO I want it to say? What kind of job do I want? Where do I want to spend a big ole chunk o’ munk of my day everyday and what do I want to spend that time doing?
That matters to me. I don’t want just a paycheck. I want a purposeful paycheck. I want to know that I’m doing something I not only enjoy, but that will make a difference in my community or the world in some small way. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I can make any old job purposeful because I’ve done that with almost every job I’ve ever had. But at this stage in my life, I want this new transition to be different than anything else that I’ve done or even attempted.
So, you know what I’ve been doing? I’ve been talking to people who are working doing things that they love and that I would love to do and soaking up their insight and wisdom like a sponge. I started training for a 5K (I never thought I could run but, Forrest, it turns out I can!), I applied to ride a bike 3,000 miles across the country next year with an amazing non-profit group, Ride:Well and have started to dust off my writing fingers again.
What do those things have to do with me getting a job? Everything.
I’m learning that I can do things I never thought I could or wanted to. I’m learning that our passions and goals just don’t fall in our laps but they need to be pursued and obtained. I’m taking risks and stretching my way out of the comfort zone that I’ve been unhappily resigned to for far too long. Life is too short and too amazing to just give up on trying something new and I don’t want to miss it.
If you don’t believe me…You have to believe the almighty Ferris…
What about you? Has change been tapping on your shoulder? What steps have you taken to get to where you want to be?