Tag: Careers

The Life You Don’t Want…Until You Do

Let me get this out of the way first: I am NOT ready to get married yet.

I don’t know if I want kids.

Sometimes I think I’d prefer the ring over the husband.

I’m open to the idea that I might “change my mind about all of this in a bit,” but right now, I’m good!

Previously, when I have drifted away from my normal subject matter of life and freedom towards the rocky road of writing about relationship stuff, my posts have been directed at just the ladies.

But can I just say out loud that I don’t care if you are rocking a set of testes or a pair of ovaries, thinking about all of that “LIFE” stuff is kinda scary?

Guys, today, just for me, can you step up and say that despite your lack of biological clock, this LIFE shit gets scary to you too?

Okay, phew. Thanks. Continuing on…

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The Art Of The Focused Hustle

Back in the day, people kept their side hustle a secret. In fact, the word “hustle”  seemed to be a bad word that was reserved for select groups of people (usually with a negative connotation). Now, everyone has a side gig.

Hustling has become the new black.

No doubt, the effed up economy had something to do with the hustle coming in vogue. Gone are the days when you could kick back and dream about your ultimate job while slaving away at your 9-5. Burning the midnight oil on your side gig has become the norm.

Now it is way more acceptable to:

1. Let people know you have a gig on the side (Everyone is a potential customer!)
2. End convo’s with your friend by saying, “Go on girl! Get your hustle on!”
3. Expect everyone to tell you they are a chef/massue/ writer/martial artist

The last point is what I want to hit on. We live in a slash culture. People are rambling off 5 or more things that they are doing, but unless your name is Diddy (which means you really have a ton of other people doing the heavy lifting for your anyways)  it is impossible for you to give all of your best time and effort to five different things.

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When Do You Let Baby “Bump” Your Career?

When my BFF heard the news about Beyonce’s pregnancy, she instantly got excited.

But not really for Beyonce.  No, she got excited…for ME.

“Ummm….what?”

She explained her logic by saying that this gave her hope that one day I might put a baby on my priority list. Something akin to me seeing the ultimate career chick (Beyonce) breaking out her baby bump might inspire me to think that I, too, can be very focused on my career without ignoring the fact that I’m getting into my prime baby-making years.

Gulp.

Damn, I can’t believe I just wrote “prime baby-making years”

But it’s true. As women we have this freaky, scary knowledge that we have a major deadline in our lives that all of the career advancement and technology can’t change.

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You Are Replaceable. Now, Go Do Cool Shit.

You are replaceable.

I mean this in the very best way possible.

When you realize just how replaceable you really are, it will be liberating.  It will free your mind to think of ways to create epic coolness that makes you happy.  The kind of stuff you can’t create in a relationship (work or otherwise) that should have ended a long, long, time ago.

Curious? Good.

Let’s imagine that you work as a receptionist for a company that stocks furniture in offices.  You arrive every morning at nine, make sure there is plenty of milk in the kitchen, then proceed to waste the rest of your day trying to make it look like you are “busy”.

You hate this job.

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Overcoming the Fear of Unemployment: Step 1 To Designing a New Life.

Last week’s post about why I decided to leave my “cool” job got a tremendous response. Amidst all of the notes of “congratulations” were questions. Many of you all want to know what my thought process was. And that is what today’s post was supposed to be about until I realized that before I could go there, I needed to explain how I overcame the trauma of long-term, unplanned, unemployment.

I spent the majority of 2009 without a steady job. This took a toll on my psyche. For months I was frustrated and depressed. I even got physically sick from the stress.

So, how did I, a person who freaked out about unemployment come to the point where I could willingly walk away from a j.o.b. with a smile?

“It’s the story BEHIND the story.”
I’ve never told anyone just how hard that year was for me. I am one of those people who likes to put up a strong front. I didn’t feel as if I could tell anyone about the terror I felt because my fear of looking like a failure is stronger than my fear of actual failure. Even now it’s hard for me to write, but no one is really talking about how the recession is impacting people beyond the stress of needing money.

The months of being rejected in the job market shook me at my core. Recession be damned, I took all of the unanswered resumes personally and it chipped away at my self-esteem. The feeling lingered even after I started working.  After nearly a year of feeling lost, I felt as if I needed my job to validate me. It was a dangerous state of mind. And it was the reason I held on to my corporate existence long after I realized that I wasn’t happy doing the office thing.

The traumatic unemployed feeling was replaced by something new: the traumatic “um, this is so NOT what I want to do” feeling, which was quickly followed by the ” hot damn what am I going to do feeling?”

Too many bad feelings.
I never wanted to feel that sense of powerlessness that I felt in 2009 ever again.  But I did. All of the times I told myself I wasn’t capable of doing something better, I felt it. All of the times I wanted to sink back into my bed in the mornings, I felt it. And every time I felt frustrated because I didn’t have time to work on what REALLY inspired me, I felt it.

Before I could even began to rationally think about how I could make an escape, I had to get to a place where I could be at peace with defining my role in life for myself. I had to stop caring what people (especially the ones I care about the most) think of it because it is MY decision.

I had to get to a place where I am strong enough to say that I’ll discuss my future plans with you when I am ready because I don’t need to validate myself through the approval of others. I had to get to a place where I could handle failing without thinking it was the end of the world.  I had to get to a place where I could define what “cool” is for me.

Most importantly, I had to get to a place where I could actually SEE all of the options for myself without hearing a bunch of “woe is me and the recession” buzz in my mind anytime I dared myself to think about doing something different.  So many of us have been taught to find a job and then grip it tightly and never let go. This blinds us to seeing when something might be choking your spirit.

Many people never find out just how resilient they really are. They make up al kinds of excuses for never seeing how much they are capable of. It’s way too easy to fall into that category. Honestly, I don’t want that to be me.

So how did I overcome all of my funky feelings?

Mostly by reminding myself that life is short enough not to enjoy all of the good things if you don’t act on them, but long enough that it is possible to rebound and reinvent myself several times over.  It was a process that took months. But I must say, it was darn worth it.