I'm job hunting and some days are more stressful than others. I'm not worried about finding a job. That will happen. I'm constantly reaching out to three recruiters from different agencies. This morning I called, then emailed a fourth. When I say I'm reaching out, you can read that I'm harassing. I am harassing them with ritualistic consistency every few days. I'm also trolling craigslist, Monster and LinkedIn, applying to at least 10 positions a day, but usually more. It's what I was doing before, and falling back into it is fairly easy. I'm even sharing and liking things on LinkedIn. This is a new step. I'm still a little iffy about it. It's still a lot of unreliable fluff, and irrelevant puffery. But it'll happen.
My main goal is to look for the right position. I spent my entire career (when I wasn't birthing, butt wiping, or going to school) taking whatever job I could get, and selling myself at a discount for way too long. I'm capable of teaching. I was often requested as a substitute. It's not what I was passionate about. I don't want another job where I'm watching the clock so I can make an exit. There was a day in January when I was lying in bed with my son. I woke up and I didn't know if I was more excited to go to work, or be in bed with my child. This was before I even laid eyes on my crush. I loved that feeling. I had days where the work I was doing was interesting enough that I forgot to feed myself. One day my hangry moment was handled with pho, and someone walked in on me saying, "pho fo life," because my food joy was being gangster. I love that feeling. That is what I'm searching for. That is why I'm passing up driving, and call centers, and sales. I can handle front desk responsibilities but I'm happier when I'm not being paid to wait to fix customer problems and people drama. I've done collection calls, but I didn't love it. I've advocated for my kids. I can do it for others. But I don't love it. It's like doing laundry. We don't love it, but it has to get done. I received many scholarships as a student, but I don't see myself being in a development office. There is too much bowing and scraping involved for me to be passionate. I can close a sale, but only if I really believe in what I'm selling, and lately I'm over the commodification of human existence.
The stresses come from well meaning loved ones that ask if I'm doing enough. They tell me what I could do, what I should do. I'd be a great teacher. I should do sales or marketing. I should . . . I could . . . "insert company here" is a great company and you could grow. They mean well, but the weight of their anxiety makes it hard to breathe. I find myself really debating answering certain calls, but I haven't started avoiding people yet. I don't want to be that person. I'd rather be brave and fearless. One day my voice will be louder out of my mouth than the sound of thoughts hitting stony walls inside my head.
I'm looking for growth, but more than that I'm looking for a company I want to grow with. I want culture and values that I can believe in. I want to work for people that make the right choice, even if it's not the easiest choice. The well meaning people in my life don't seem to understand that you tend to get hired to do what you've already been hired to do, and I didn't like what I've done enough to want to go back to it. As much as I like writing, I don't think I want to get paid to listen to Alanis Morrisette and just write all day. I need diversity. I need quantifiable results. Writing for my college newspaper and being an English major taught me the quickest way to diminish your word joy is to add an editor without your passion or vision and make their word the final say in your final product. Reading and writing what you don't care for is equally destructive. I don't really want to give someone that authority over my craft. Not now, and maybe never. I don't mind deadlines. They keep me focused. As far as work/family balance, I want to be able to get my kids off to school in the morning and have dinner with them. When they're with their Dad, I'm okay with long hours.
Once this is posted, I'll be back to job hunting with coffee in hand, on my sunny front porch with pond sounds trickling to my left and two dogs on my right. My cat sits in a cardboard box right next to me, batting at my elbow for attention. Clawzilla loves my reactions. Her name is actually Socks, and it was cute when she would do that with socks while I folded laundry. She's not cute right now. I'm letting go of the weight on my shoulders that doesn't belong to me. All of my music is cycling on shuffle, so there's Depeche Mode and Morrissey followed by TLC and Fiona Apple. Sip with me a while. Feel the sun and soak in the vitamin D. It does good things for us. Watch the bees enjoy little yellow flowers and listen to birdsong from flat recesses and hidden behind points of the yucca trees, while squirrels play tag in the canary palm. It'll be okay. I promise.