So the journey continues. Each day I get up and tackle what lies ahead which has recently changed with the kids returning to school. Things really changed this year with our oldest having graduated and our middle son attending K-12 (at home). This leaves only our youngest (Grace) in school (7th grade). Interesting getting in the swing of having Zach at home and being very involved in his education just because we are both here. Along with this, I have painted 1/2 of the rooms in the house as well as painted my parents house about 4 weeks ago. There are also times I will help Lisa at her store and things should start to pick up there with the Country Living Show in Columbus (September).
Now back to the thought that started this post. I have come to realize that one of the main challenges I have in even getting an initial look is that I am a generalist. I have covered almost all functional areas of business in my career as well as worked in at least 5 different industries. Silly me, I thought this would be a competitive advantage in our tough economy as I could do multiple jobs if the situation arose. I would not be specialist who could do only one thing well. It appears the GIANT FLAW in my thought process is that I forgot that HR people do most of the initial screening and since I do not have the “7-10 years of experience in _______”, all of the experience I do have managing $1B clients as well as running a $30MM retail operation does not account for much. I guess the fact that I have been in operations, sales, marketing, general management, finance & budgeting, and distribution/logistics doesn’t make up for the fact that I have done none of these for a stretch of 7-10 years in a row.
If I sound angry, frustrated, and/or bitter…it is because I happen to be at this point in time. Every now and then, the power of positive thinking loses out to my inner “Dennis Leary” and I just want to go on a rant and let the frustration come flowing out in the form of biting & acerbic stand up directed at anyone/everyone who irritates me. I can think of quite a group of people I would like to invite so that I could share my innermost thoughts with them regarding this 9 month stint of not working. Not that is anyone’s fault, but it would certainly feel good to just let it out. It has been challenging to keep a stiff upper lip through all this and ensure that the family is shielded from the genuine terror you feel when the reality of selling the house, filing bankruptcy, and any other of the myriad possible realities begin to settle in as the only logical “next steps.”
Certainly one of the biggest challenges is the roller coaster of emotions that you ride in this situation. The excitement of finding the job you are qualified for and being able to apply minutes after it was posted. The despair and frustration at receiving an email from the HR people 90 minutes later saying “thanks but no thanks”. I can tell you that trying to get up each morning and be useful gets harder and harder as the months wear on. It really becomes a battle with your ego as you try to remember what it is like to work and “be productive”. Your confidence level swings wildly and there are times you cannot figure why someone would hire you. That is when things get really dicey! When you actually start thinking it through and are convinced there is not a good reason for them to look your way. Your mind is a terrible weapon when it begins to turn on you. Luckily these are just blips on the screen but they take their toll when they roll in for a visit.
As I told my wife when she was crying on the porch after the transmission went out on the van, “there are only 2 options and they are quit or move forward.” I chose to keep moving then and still agree with that decision now. I have found solace in reading inspiring quotes each day and I found this one today:
“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Seneca
From where I sit, truer words were never spoken.