Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Persistent Post Mom Life Crisis

It has been 2 years since I re-entered the work force and Tuesday I quit my 3rd job. I knew this job was wrong for me almost from the moment I started.  But, I had just done a job search and wasn't inundated with job offers.  I needed to work and I felt I couldn't just quit without another job.  So, I told myself it would get better after I got to know the job better, learned the routine, found my groove.  But that never happened.  It was just confirmation after confirmation that this was not the right job for me and I was not the right person for them.

I worried about how it would look to have so many short term employments in a row on my resume.  That doesn't look good, who would want to hire someone that is clearly going to quit after a year?  So I kept staying and feeling trapped.  Until one day I reached the end, hit the wall, couldn't take it anymore.  And I quit.  Actually, I spent a day in bed with the covers over my head (literally).  THEN I quit. 

It is terrifying to not know what is next but not nearly as terrifying as having to continue to wake up every morning and feel trapped.

Honestly, I was feeling like a bit of a looser.  When you make 3 bad job choices in a row you have to start to wonder if the problem is the job or you.  Maybe I am not a good employee.  Maybe, and this was my biggest concern, I was just a quitter.  When the going gets tough do I just give up and quit?  I like to think I am a hard worker but maybe I am just a wimp that wants it her way or no way.

Then today I read this great article on persistence.  The author says:

"I see people who give up – just short of what would have likely been success. However, I also see people who are “persistent and determined” but are off track in what they are doing.
If you’re losing money on each watermelon you sell, don’t be persistent and determined to sell more. Stop what you are doing and change direction. If you are miserable in your job, persistence may just get you more of what you are already experiencing."
He goes on to say that successful people "don't just persist.  They quit quickly and often."  Well if that is true then I am on a rocket ship to job success.

 The nice thing about having a series of bad jobs right in a row is that with each experience you learn a little more about what you want, what you don't want and where you are going.  With each bad experience I have a little bit better idea of what I am looking for in a job.  And I take away a few more skills to bring with me on my search for my future career."

I have several friends who have returned to work after years at home.  I am not the first; I will not be the last. As I look back on the path a couple of my friends have taken on the way to their post-homemaker career I can see that I am not alone.  This rapid career jumping is not unique to me. And when I am struggling to figure out what I am doing it is nice to look around and realize I am not alone.

So I am back in the job search.  This time I am trying something totally different.  So far I have had great response to the inquiries I made and have even had a couple interview requests.  I think I might be on the right track this time.  Hopefully this next move will get me through the next few years rather than just the next few months.  But, either way, I will keep moving forward.  My two friends have now been settled on a career path for a few years, they didn't give up but kept trying new things and believing the right path was out there for them.  And I am not going to give up either. I am persistently searching for the answer to my career path and our financial stability.

And so "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:13-14

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