I’ve had a job for a year. What an amazing thing.
Many people might think that is no big deal, but for me that I huge. Since I graduated college most of my jobs have lasted at best a year. Plenty lasted less. But hey, that was engineering. Lots of contract jobs and moving around. When times were good they were really good, but they never lasted. Then everything fell apart and it didn’t get better.
Sending out resumes wasn’t so bad, but there was never any feedback. I knew all I really needed to do was talk to a manager with hiring authority and I would have a shot but there was no way to get to any anymore. My network was devastated, I could have survived if it was only decimated but that was far from reality. It was terrible, one became a beekeeper, another an electrician, another a tax preparer, and those had work. Two in my network died.
I took professional development classes and resume workshops, and no one could figure out why I was having such trouble getting work. The worst part was when they gave up on me and how quickly it happened. They would move on after only six months. The awful part was being “too rich” to get food stamps and other welfare. That didn’t last too long and it was far too long.
But there is only so much banging on doors you can do before it becomes too much. Why bother pressing the lever if you don’t get any food pellets. Those were some very dark times. We are trained so much to think of ourselves as what we do, what our job title is. When that job goes away that is a terrible blow to who you are.
I had a spreadsheet I kept of where I applied. I scoped out companies and tailored resumes for them and eventually I saw the number and realized I was insane and needed to do something else, so I deleted the spreadsheet and my resumes. It was abundantly clear. I wasn’t an engineer any more. So what was I? For a time I was nothing. I was alive but I didn’t know how to live. I wandered into the dark place. My wife believed in me a little but that wasn’t enough to pay the bills. But we were poor enough to get food stamps and medicaid and after a couple of hip replacements, disability.
From the fires of adversity I forged a new work, a new identity. I defined myself and not some insignificant job title for some company that would not last.
Eventually miracles happened. I found friends, good dear friends who saw the worst of me and stayed near. I found places to be that matched me. We still had no job but we had somethings worth far more.
We lived with my sister and eventually they were looking at selling their house so they could move on. All we knew was that our horizon of the future was shrinking fast. But then more miracles happened as my wife’s sister found us a free place to style pet/house sitting. Then I got word of a job thought the husband of my wife’s college friend, I had to dig up a resume, but I left most of the fun stuff off. It didn’t matter. I had no emotional attachment to the effort since it had failed so many times before. My good pants even split that morning and we went to my wife’s mother’s house to fix them quickly. Yet the manager found me smart and compelling enough to offer a my job. At the 90 day review, he said he wasn’t sure what he was getting in me but what he got was fantastic. So now at a year, the company hasn’t folded, I haven’t been let go and there is still work to be done.
I need to thank you my online friends for being here. And most of all I need to thank, my Heavenly Father for so many wonderful blessing. I hope to do him proud.
edit a day later: My boss pulled me aside today, I've been promoted to Level 2 and a 17% raise.