Jobs, Insecurity, and the Extraordinary
I like my Facebook page. I'm confident with my ruminations on Twitter. I'm in my element on Pinterest. But if you want to see me insecure and fumbling, please connect to me on LinkedIn. Actually, don’t. Spare yourself. The dreaded comparison of my work experience to my contemporaries has me feeling most judged and inadequate.
Let it be said, I didn't want to be on that site. My career counselor made me. Apparently, society's advanced a bit since the last time I was "out there" pre-grad school, and one needs a digital resume with volunteer history, skillset, endorsements, and witty, informative posts about your industry. I'm doing my best to play along.
Looking for a job has the ability to fragment you. I have a terrible habit of thinking I can do anything, including things I really don’t want to. My job search has been all over the place. If I had even the slightest bit of experience, I applied. It was part desperation, part delusion. I may multi-task like a beast (or rather, like a wife and mother), but I do a handful of things really well. It dawned on me the other night that those things are what I should focus on.
It was 3 a.m. the other night, and I was fretting over finding work (by the way, never entertain worry after midnight; nothing good will come of it). I couldn't sleep. Not to mention that I was further discouraging myself by reading articles that about how bleak the job market is. I was feeling hopeless.
But God is in the midnight hours... as is wisdom.
One word came to mind: focus.
I had to think about it. What am I good at? I mean, really good at? Author Elizabeth Gilbert believes you should follow your curiosity. Fellow inspiration writer Danielle LaPorte says the key to your future is in what makes you feel your best. However, you get there, you have to focus on that singular grouping of skills where you shine.
For me, it's writing. I've been a writer since the second grade and grew up mostly wanting to be an author like Ann M. Martin or Judy Blume. Also, as I read my friends' short stories, I had an early hankering for editing. My favorite jobs through my work history were highly editorial and creative.
Of course, I’m an asset to a marketing team and I’ve certainly earned a mug that says “World’s Okay-est Professor.” However, if you want to see me be extraordinary, let me be a writer/editor.
That sort of clarity helped me sleep that night and, the next day, fueled the fire to get this website up and running. I’m still out there, applying, wishing, and hoping. Yet, in the meantime, I will try my extraordinary in the places where I’m still most comfortable.