I was at my first job out of college for about 5 years and towards the end, I really could not stand it. My co-worker at the time told me that I should start looking for a job at least 6 months before I really needed one because sometimes it takes that long. I should’ve listened. Instead I hemmed and hawed and said things like, “Oh but I feel bad doing it that early, like I’m betraying my company looking for a job when I’m not yet ready to leave.” Yeah, well, what ended up happening was I started looking when I finally was ready to leave and like he predicted, it took about 6 months before I got another job. During that 6 months I was depressed, sad, angry, and just overall not in a good place. I felt like I was in a gilded cage, seemingly beautiful, but a cage nonetheless. In fact, I believe those were my exact words.
Looking back, I realize I was unnecessarily dramatic about the whole thing and caused myself so much undue stress and anxiety. I remember setting a goal to apply to at least 1 job a day, spending countless hours searching for jobs, updating my resume over and over again, writing and re-writing cover letters,
stalking following recruiters on LinkedIn, seeking advice from job-jumping friends, then beating myself over the head when I would hear nothing back. Was I not good enough? Are my cover letter writing skills that terrible? Does my resume suck that bad?
My friends would try to comfort me, saying things like,
“Keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll eventually find something.”
“You’re amazing at your job – how could they NOT want you?”
Then when I continued to be dramatic and near tears, I would get,
“I don’t understand why you’re so depressed. It’s not like you’re losing your job.”
“Seriously, though, you’re already so successful. You’ve already got a lot to be proud of – be grateful.”
I wanted to punch everyone in the face, even though they were all just trying to be kind. In truth, I should’ve been the one punched in the face (gently though, because we all go through growing pains, right?). In the end, all the job posting, self-induced stress and anxiety was for naught. My next company found me through LinkedIn and then it was easy from there.
So what does that have to do with the now? Well, ever since I was pulled out of my Binghamton assignment I’ve been in this kind of nomad state in which I wasn’t sure whether I was going to pursue staying in Binghamton or if I should just go back home to southern California. Because I wasn’t sure, I decided to keep my apartment in Binghamton, albeit empty except for my kitties and boxes with some of my belongings, and leave the majority of my belongings in a storage facility in southern California while I hopped between my parents’ house (weekends) and my aunt and uncle’s house (weekdays). I did a little bit of Eat, Pray, Love while I went to the Motherland over the holidays and continued contemplating where I wanted to be until about the end of January. Then I made a decision. One that my friends, both in Binghamton and in California, were hoping I would make. I decided my time to live in the east coast was now and there’s really no reason for me to stay in California anymore.
Shortly after, I talked to my friend out in Binghamton and we started getting the wheels going. There wasn’t much for me to do so I pretty much just hung tight, ate my aunt’s wonderful cooking, and absorbed as much sunshine as I could.
And you know, it was actually fine for a while. How could I complain? My aunt loved to cook, I loved to eat, I got to see family and friends a lot, I was out enjoying the sunshine most weekends…but the thing is…my zodiac sign is Cancer and as much as I don’t really buy too much into that stuff, home is very important to me, especially being able to retreat from the world and hide in my own shell. So last week, ungrateful little brat that I am, I started to feel more like this:
Except it looked more like this…
But fortunately, someone high up there must be looking out for me and I’m sure the timing of all of this will make sense to me someday, because last week the strangest thing happened. I had 3 people reach out to me, asking if I’d be interested in an opportunity within a couple days of each other. Mind you, this is not including the job I was already pursuing since early this year. It’s amazing! It felt like all that time I spent a few years ago job searching is paying off now. Or perhaps it’s an extra sign for me to leave California for New York because I tend to be oblivious to the obvious sometimes.
I don’t really know what it is but I am grateful. I’m also glad that unlike the previous time I was job searching, I didn’t beat myself up too much when I didn’t immediately get responses and I didn’t stress about it. In fact, these opportunities have been through friends that I had made while I was out there. There was actually very minimal effort on my part. I am truly blessed to have met such wonderful and caring people. Also, I think it really pays off to be a hard-worker and kind to those around you. I just am so excited to see what’s in store for me next.
Happy times ahead, I can feel it. 🙂