Letting Go, Birthday Dinners, and the “Crossover Point”

14 Mar

I am sure that you had some type of picture in your head of what your life would be like at this point in your life. Maybe you are a new college grad, and thought that you would have landed your dream job by now. Or maybe you are in your 50s and thinking that you would have been sailing into the later years of your career with much success. Maybe you have a spouse and kids at home who you are worried about disappointing. Whatever your situation, I am guessing that being unemployed or underemployed was not part of that picture. It certainly wasn’t in the picture that I had for myself.

But, don’t let that picture of what you had thought of where you were supposed to be at this point in your life keep you trapped. The toughest days for me are when I try to compare myself to where I am now compared to what I was “supposed” to have in my life. Let go of the expectations of where you thought you would be, or what you would have at this point in your life. Those expectations serve no purpose in your life. Find acceptance within yourself of where you are in life, and figure out your path forward. I can’t remember where I read it, but  someone had suggested rather than asking “why me?”, ask “why not me?”.

I don’t know how to describe it, but at some point in your journey of unemployment or underemployment, you’ll reach what I like to call the “crossover point”. It will happen at different times for different people. It is the point at which you know that you are going to be ok, you start to see the benefits of this time, and you find within yourself the action that you need to take to get yourself on a path forward.

The inkling of my “crossover point” started a couple of months ago when I was having dinner with a close friend. She took me out for my birthday dinner, a tradition we have done for each other for many years. At dinner, I was talking about how much the job market had changed and how many smart and talented people were on the sidelines. I lamented the cumbersome job application process, and the trend toward more contract and temporary work. I was passionate about how many people are hurting right now and the fact that the media and the politicians seem to have moved on. As good friends do, she challenged me, and asked me, “yeah, but what are you going to do about it?”. This is what I am doing about it. I am writing this blog to help others, and to help myself navigate this path. I am hopeful that we can create something for ourselves, out of seemingly nothing.

If you haven’t reached your “crossover point” yet, don’t worry. It will come. You may be moved to start your own business, or maybe you’ll be inspired to move across the country. You may decide to go back to school, or maybe you’ll just get more brave about marketing yourself to potential employers. Maybe you’ll start writing, or pursue a new career path. When you get to the “crossover point”, you’ll be inspired to take action. What is exciting is that it may lead you down a path that you didn’t even know was possible. Be patient. You’ll get there and there are exciting things ahead for you.

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4 Responses to “Letting Go, Birthday Dinners, and the “Crossover Point””

  1. Kerry March 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Thanks for the inspiration, job seeking for months on end can make you feel so down and rejected. It’s difficult to keep up any momentum, so a change of tactic seems like the only way to break it.

    I live in Australia, which is having a mining boom but many other industries are not doing so well, partly because of the strong AU$. So after being made redundant the cost of living is ridiculous and I can’t get a job! Can be very frustrating. Funnily enough it was my birthday two days ago – so what am I going to do about it?! Thinking thinking…

    • Lisa M. March 15, 2013 at 7:52 am #

      Kerry, thank you for you comment. Yes, job seeking for months on end can be very challenging. I really appreciate hearing about what is happening in other countries. Are there many options for getting support and help in your job search in Austrailia? I do think that sometimes a change it tactic is necessary.

      • Kerry March 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

        Yeah there are a few support options – we have certain NGOs and I’ve been to a women’s support group for free job seeking advice. My options at this point are either to volunteer/do an internship or apply for graduate positions in my desired area, or go back to what I was doing before I went to university – which is low wage, low skill.

        I’ve also come up with an idea for my own business, I thought of it the day after commenting on your post! So now I’m stuck at a crossroad not sure which path I should take. I’m leaning towards taking a job in my old industry and testing out my business idea in my spare time.

  2. Lisa M. March 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Kerry, thanks for your response. I’ll be interested in hearing which path you decide to take. There is something comforting (not sure if that is there right word…) that there are people all over the world dealing with the same issues of unemployment and underemployment.

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