Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lessons from the breadline, part 4



It's now 2.5 months into the search. Thanks for following along with part 4 of my Lessons from the Breadline series!

LESSON 10: Don't let the pit in your stomach pull you into the pit of despair.

It is really, really, REALLY hard to wait for answers from employers. And watch the phone. And stay productive. And keep your search moving forward. And ignore -- or at least live with -- the awful pit in your stomach.

I found, however, that once I let myself feel the stress and cry/yell/pray/clean/hug it out, I was better able to put the waiting aside and proceed as if nothing was going on. This little mental trick keeps me motivated to continue applying to other jobs, even if I'm praying one particular one comes through.

LESSON 11: "Be strong, and mighty forces will come to your aid." {Goethe}

As career coach Karen Batchelor at Midlife Career Path told me, OWN IT. As in, own my success. Own my vision. Own my future. "Bring that good energy your way," she said. "It's yours and no one can take it away from you." Amen to that, sister!

LESSON 12: Let your friends know you need a hug.

All the networking and stuff is great, but what I've needed in endless quantity during this search is love and understanding from my friends.

Pam Slim expressed this need beautifully over at Escape from Cubicle Nation, so I won't rehash it all here. But just in case you can't make it over, here are her high points of wisdom:
* If you feel the weight of a challenge (financial, personal, health-related), find someone safe and confide in him (or her).
* Look to others who have gone through similar situations and come out thriving.
* Stand by someone else.
* Don't try to do everything yourself.
* Get connected with those outside of your day-to-day circle.
This is why I flat-out told my roommate I needed a hug and some company ... and got an entire afternoon of his time, including lunch out and a baby visit. This is why I told Sus at Color of Happiness I really wanted to do a museum day with her ... and she carved out a morning in her very busy schedule for us to go next week.

Believe me, these generous gestures do NOT go unappreciated or unnoticed. And as a result, my debt of joy will be higher than our national bank debt when this search is through.

Bonus material for you readers who are safely employed and supporting your friends: Penelope Trunk's How to talk to a friend who's been laid off.

Ok, enough about me. What new wisdom have you all picked up since we last chatted?

3 comments:

  1. I'm afraid that I have no advice to give. But what I do have is a very cute baby who loves hugs. So, if you're ever in our area or we're ever in your area, and the need for a hug arises, please let me know and I'm sure Abigail will only be too happy to oblige. I feel it only fair to warn you: Abby is a drooler, so you should expect to get slightly wet after an Abby hug. But, take it from me, it's worth it. :-)

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  2. Anonymous5:24 PM

    I hope my letter has arriven with the best I can do with wordy hugs and hopes for the needed affection.

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  3. Kristen: I would love nothing more than to hold your adorable child ... except for getting the chance to catch up with YOU again! I trust you 100% that Abby drool is worth it. ;)

    Claude: No letter yet, but perhaps tomorrow. Your words are always a welcome treat!!

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