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7 Powerful Lessons from Unemployment

2 Jul

Taking a break from the job search process has allowed me to re-energize a bit and refocus myself. When I left my  job last year, I never dreamed that it would take this long to find another full-time career position. I have learned a lot along the way about the job search process, about my inner strength, and about life in general. Some of the lessons that I have learned are: Continue reading

On Fear and Blessings

4 Jun

If you are like me, you waiver between days of panic, and days of peacefulness sometimes without rhyme or reason. Some days are more difficult than others, and some weeks will challenge your positive outlook to the core. I had one of those weeks recently where it felt like nothing was going right, no progress was being made, and I had no idea what to do next. The fear and doubt was getting the best of me, and as another month passed by, the uncertainty felt overwhelming. It is no suprise that when you get stuck in these moments, not knowing what do do next, what will work, and what you are doing wrong, fear starts to rear its ugly head. Continue reading

This Journey May be the Most Rewarding of Your Life

23 May

My first (solo) apartment was on the third floor of a creaky old house in a charming and progressive modest neighborhood. After flirting with engagement ring shopping with a long-term beau, I had made the decision that the relationship wasn’t the right one for the long-haul. At that point in my life I had never lived totally alone. I had always had roommates, and I wanted the experience of living on my own. Continue reading

The Difference Between Letting Go and Giving Up

5 May

One of the most difficult things about a job search is how many things are out of your control. You can’t control whether or not you’ll get an interview, or a second interview, how long the hiring process may take, or when your networking contacts are available to get together. And ultimately you can’t control when someone is going to hire you, and what salary you will be offered. All of this requires a lot of patience,a willingness to surrender to the process, and an understanding that rejection is not personal. Continue reading

Start from Where You Are and Believe

18 Apr

I have spent countless hours questioning my decisions that led me to this point in my life. Should I have done a different graduate program or not gone to graduate school at all? Should I have stayed in Minnesota and not moved across the country, only to come back a year later? Should I have moved to Seattle rather than coming back to Minnesota? Should I have taken a completely different direction in my career? Should I have studied computer programming or some other STEM field so that I would be heavily recruited? Continue reading

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?”. Continue reading

The Bigger Picture, Life Lessons, and Transformation

9 Mar

The other day I was at the mall with a friend helping her shop, and it was a surreal experience. I just don’t know really how to describe it, but when you are unemployed, sometimes you feel like life is going on around you, but you aren’t really a part of it. It is like being on the outside of a bubble.  That is sort of the way that it felt at the mall. You see all of these people shopping and spending money, a witness to a life that you are no longer leading.

It can be disheartening at times, but at the mall I actually had this strange moment of awakening. I had the sense that I am getting a front row seat to view the deeper meaning of life. I know it sounds odd, but I actually started to feel sorry for people at the mall.  I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, but I am starting to see the bigger picture of how this experience is actually going to be quite good for me in my life. When you get away from the daily routines and luxuries that you were used to in life, you really start to see things from a different perspective. You start to more fully appreciate the little things in life, and you learn that all of the small, and big things that you used to worry about weren’t worth all of the worrying. You realize that you are stronger than you ever knew, and what you need to live, and be happy is a lot less than you had thought. And, you may even find that this experience is moving you closer to what you are supposed to be doing in life. Continue reading

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