Ch-ch-cha- changes! #34 Apply for a job out of my league.

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It was time to start a brave new chapter. New beginning. Change was afoot.

start of something

Some may have noticed that I’ve totally neglected this blog and went AWOL. Life threw a couple of curve balls, and it was all hands on deck to keep everything together for a while there, but it all worked out and I’m happy to say that now I’m back and all things have worked out wonderfully.

In January of 2015 my boss called a meeting and told me that I was on one months’ notice. To be honest, I think I already knew in my heart that my time there was through after 8 years – 8 years where I’d been happy, worked hard and had the chance to work with and meet some truly inspiring people.

The problem? My partner had simultaneously given up his business and was looking to start his own new exciting chapter. Only Fate would make what should have been an exciting journey for us both to find ourselves happen so inexplicably at the same time. We could have made it if we took turns – one looking for a new career, while the other kept working and paying bills.

But here was the reality that hit us like a ton a of bricks: We were both unemployed. At the SAME TIME. NO INCOME, AND NO SAVINGS, with no clue of when either of us would find a new job or how we would make ends meet. It was the scariest thing you could ever imagine.

I’ll save the dramatic re-telling of the trials and tribulations for another time because this post is about how this led to my new job and new career. I found out through this that there’s always a silver lining, you just have to wait for it.

Those out there who have lost their jobs unexpectedly will know that no matter how healthy your self-esteem is, this is a blow difficult to deal with. I doubted everything about myself and my abilities. I applied for job after job after job after job. No one came back asking for a follow up or an interview. I was applying for jobs way below my qualification and experience level and still nothing. I was praying for SOMETHING. ANYTHING.

And then I did something different. I applied for a job that was  just right. The job that would’ve been the next step in my career trajectory if I HADN’T lost my job and self confidence. AND I GOT IT!champagne

It was a smaller salary than in my previous position, but hey, after 5 months of being unemployed I was happy to a) have a job b) know that it was a small start to a big career. What a relief!

My career moved from having a job at a small company, fundraising and consulting for small-medium NGO’s to a position at a large international development fund administering grants that would put my skills, studies and passion to use for the Greater Good. Result!

I’m by no means an expert in this, but if you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, here’s my advice to you:

  • Don’t panic
  • Take a breath and try figure out what you can do
  • Do SOMETHING. I turned a hobby into a small business (The Dogtails), and we managed to put food on the table and in the pet bowls for those few skint months
  • Use your support system. Family and friends are the only thing that stopped me from falling into a well of depression. Have people talk with, escape reality with and face reality with. Make an army of supporters to prop you up when you’re feeling down.
  • Evaluate the reality of where you are. But don’t lose sight of where you want to be. Keep trying to stay on your career path and keep in touch with developments in your field or industry.
  • Use this time to find yourself emotionally and spiritually.
  • Trust that IT WILL GET BETTER. Because it does.

So did I apply for a job out of my league? Not really. But it led me to finding, and believing, in a career path that I thought was out of my league. An even better aspiration.

(For those wondering, my partner – now husband, Yay! – also found a new job in a totally different industry and has never been happier. I’ve also received a promotion recently so things really have worked out for us!)