Finding a Career

This journey to find suitable, long sustaining, rewarding employment has been a very bumpy one. Over the past 2 years I’ve had 7 jobs that most had potential to become careers. But due to my lack of foresight and discipline, all of those opportunities fell on the way side and I found myself at the bottom again, unsure where I could go or what I would do with my life.

I am by no means an unqualified individual. I feel that I am an intelligent individual, although I have had an incredible record of doing stupid things. I am highly skilled in many different areas, I am a quick learner, very resourceful and can adapt to pretty much any situation. It is a natural talent I’ve used all my life. This “Jack-of-all-trades” scenario has however, made it quite difficult to stay interested in a single vocation. Many of my jobs over the past years I gave up to pursue other interests or positions, I had little regard for the trail I left, only focusing on the next big challenge ahead of me. This seemed like a foolproof system. Just like a frog jumping across a river, keep focusing on the next landing point rather then the one you are already on and eventually you will get to where you need to go. But this is not a sustainable practice. Careers are built on stability, not constant change, and the wishy washy attitude I took towards my positions and the companies I worked for eventually bit me in the ass.

When everything fell apart, I had nothing to fall back on. I had burnt every bridge I ever had and even past employers with whom were never related in my wrong doings, were still unapproachable because of my attitude about switching jobs on a whim. I had created an environment where it was very difficult to find a new job let alone a career path.

Of course, one can always find jobs when one needs to as long as you lower your standards enough. To get through some of the hardest times, I took jobs at places I never thought I would ever work at, just to make sure I could live. It was a humbling experience. I always felt ashamed, and embarrassed at the place I was at, unable to relax and just do my job, and constantly focused on my failures.

I thought it would take years upon years to pull myself out of that whole and I although I wasn’t happy with it, it was my reality and I had to live with it.

Hard work and determination pay off though. Although I did have a foolish attitude about career building in my past, I was always a hard worker and would do whatever I could above and beyond my job descriptions to make my positions more interesting.

This eventually rewarded me the opportunity to apply for a position with my current company that actually has some respectability and long term potential. Throughout the entire hiring process I figured I would be rejected because of my past and at one point almost withdrew my application for fear of rejection. However I continued to focus forward and gave the hiring process my full attention and determination. Eventually, I was hired and am now thriving in my new position. I am enjoying myself everyday and seeing the long term path I can create with this company. I still feel a little insecure about my past, but each passing day I feel more and more confident in my role and as a result, I am improving my performance each and every day.

This job has the potential to become a worthwhile career, and although my mind does wander to other ventures and potential vocations, if I ever do decide to switch, it will be a long thought out process with a well built plan. For now, I am happy, and this job brings me self respect and worth. It is helping me achieve my goals and ensuring a fruitful future.

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Career Acquired!

This has been an incredibly awesome week and its only Monday! Fresh off the heels of me and my partners publically announcing the launch of our company, I had an interview for a fantastic dream job of mine today. I was excited about it all last week as I prepared myself for this great opportunity. This particular position has everything with it that I could want, and it carries with it a lot of opportunity to grow and meet some amazing people.

I had the interview this morning, and before I could even head out of the city back home, I had a phone call from them offering me the position. They said that my passion overwhelmed them, and I could feel it during the interview. This position feels right. Taking this job and moving forward just feels like the right thing to do. As I move along fixing my mistakes, and start acting true to myself and right to the world, good things keep happening, and this position, this career path, seems like one of those things. I can do well with this new position and there is unlimited direction for me.

I am excited for the future and ready for this next chapter.

At a Cross Roads

I knew that if I just kept my head down and worked hard enough, that eventually my job horizon would improve. I’ve been working a meaningless job for about 6 weeks now and much to my surprise, the parent company has taken notice of my drive and work ethic and has offered me a job! It is a great opportunity, with a pay scale that is actually reflective of my education and work experience and there is a clear career path should I wish to follow it. The only problem is that this job is far away from where I am now, and if I want to take this position, I would need to leave this city. There are a bunch of reasons why this would be the best thing for me, but there are also a few reasons not to that are weighing on my mind. I think taking this job IS the best move, I just need to get over the fear of starting fresh in a new city. The plus side, and once again the surprising sign from the universe that this is the right thing to do, is that my sister just so happens to live in this city. I feel it is a sign. If I take this job though, I am deciding to give up on everything I have worked for here in this city, on all the relationships I built (and subsequently destroyed), but wanted to rebuild again.

I really don’t mind starting fresh. I am not a shy person and I love new challenges. This new city is a great place for me to get involved just like I have been here and this time I have the experience to make my involvement more worthwhile.

If I take this job though, I am essentially giving up on her. I’d be giving up on any chance of repairing my relationship with her. I would be closing the door on that relationship and the potential future we might have had. This is what I am most scared of. This is by definition a cross roads. There are two very distinct lives and futures in front of me right now and I need to decide one or the other.

My next step is a good ol’ fashioned Pro/Con List. Though I already have a good idea of which way its going to go.

Another Step in the Right Direction

Yesterday I received my first pay cheque in 2 months. Almost exactly 2 months.

I had been out of work since the beginning of February and had been struggling looking for employment. The economy may be on its way up, but it is a very tight job market right now and there is fierce competition. And because of everything else that has been going on, I haven’t been in the right head space to truly focus on that career path.

Three weeks ago I ended up settling and taking a low level job that is nothing more than a means to an end and have been slaving away.

The work is unglamorous and difficult, but It feels good to be back contributing to society, even though I don’t truly respect the position or the work.

But getting that pay cheque yesterday has made me feel so much better. I am being recognized for my sacrifices. Even though it is meagre, I am being rewarded for my toiling, and it feels good.

Another step in the right direction.

Entrepreneurship, Engage!

Ever since I was in high school, I’ve wanted to run my own business. I’ve always enjoyed the thought of doing something that I loved as a means for making my way through life. The hardest part though, was trying to find that one thing that I loved, that I could do for the rest of my life.  I have a wide variety of interests, hobbies, and talents that I feel I excel in, however, I’d never seen any of them as career direction. Writing is probably the closest, but I haven’t made that leap to finish my first novel…yet.

So ever since high school, I’ve been milling about, wandering across the career landscape, trying to find that one thing that I was good at that I could dedicate my life to. There were a few paths I went down that seemed to be right at the time, but I would always end up in the same place, listless and curious about what else was out there for me.

About 8 months ago I started to do some freelance work for a few friends. I didn’t receive any payment, and was not particularly skilled in this work, but I knew what I was doing and did a pretty darn good job with it. I enjoyed the learning process and developing myself. Eventually, this free lance work got me referrals with others who were willing to pay for my services. I started to develop my skill set and knowledge in the industry exponentially. I started to become a resident expert in the industry in my own community and beyond. I was really having fun.

About 3 months ago, I made the decision to become official and run this business on the side of my normal day job. Lots of people run a side business, I figured this would be a great direction. I secured a few more small projects and felt this was definitely the right way to go. Because of my notoriety in the industry, I had little difficulty networking, finding support, and building my client list.

But when everything fell apart this year, I figured I was done. I couldn’t build a business with a community turning its back on me. I still had a few potential client meetings, but I figured they would fall through soon enough as soon as word of everything.

But I was surprised to find out that these meetings were still a go. So when they arrived, I went and pitched as if nothing was wrong. And again, to my surprise, I closed these projects! I was flying high off the momentum! And if things couldn’t get better, just this past week, I closed a very big project that I was working on for several months! The small projects were nice to get, but by winning the bid with the large project, I felt I was suddenly a legitimate business!  And another upside is that if I decide that I need to move out of this community, I can carry this business with me.

So things are looking up on the career front. I am still looking for another day job while I continue to build this business, but this is a big victory and makes me feel like anything is possible!

Not Every day is Rainbows and Sunshine

From the positive themes of my recent blog posts, many would think that I must be happy with how things have been going. I’m working to pay off debts, I’m starting to reconcile with my love, I’m learning new things about my self, I’m building new skills, I’m developing my career, and I’m finding a level of normalcy.

But I am not happy, I’m miserable. I am dissatisfied with how things have been moving along. Even with the small victories I have achieved, I don’t feel right. I still feel guilty, and terrible for everything that has happened, and I’m starting to realize that no matter what happens in my life moving forward, I am never going to be able to put this behind me. I am going to carry this weight forever, regardless how much understanding and forgiveness I get from others.

I am also growing impatient with myself. I understand that these things definitely take time, but I am growing restless. the one major victory I need is out of my control for the time being. I have several financial debts that need to be resolved as soon as possible before I can truly move forward. The problem is that I am waiting on others. I had taken a mediocre job at the beginning of the month just so I could start pulling in an income. Despite that I’ve been busting my ass, I still won’t see a paycheque for another 2 weeks. I am also waiting on several cheques from a few of my freelance clients, some that I’ve been waiting on for almost 2 months. I need to make some progress and I just need a bit of money to come my way so I can feel like I’m actually fixing my mistakes. I hate that this is out of my control.

Rant over. I need to try to have a good day. One day at a time.

A Week of Work

I have now been working for a full week again, after a month of unemployment, and it feels good. Although the job is just a means to an end and has absolutely no future, it has been giving me strength and motivation to continue moving forward. The job itself is humiliating. Years ago, when I first left this organization, I swore I would never even step foot in one of these establishments again. Something I had been able to do for over 10 years. After that, I had been very successful in a number of organizations and companies. I was always on a track to be promoted, to lead and accept more responsibility. And now, I just have to make sure I show up on time and not screw up. Every day I go to work, I hope that I won’t see anyone I know. Though the past few days, I fought off that worry, I just don’t care. I need this job to earn an income so I can continue to build and once I’ve achieved enough, I can move forward again and focus on building my career again.

This job gives me purpose though. It gives me a reason to wake up every morning and strive to succeed. The more I work, the closer I get to achieving something on the list. Although I am humiliated that I must go to this workplace every day, the fact is, I put myself in this position, and now I need to do whatever it takes to be a man again. This job is another lesson in humility and when I come out on the other side as a man I can be proud of, I won’t forget these days, like I did before, I’ll remember them and keep these lessons close to me.