An Action Plan
It’s been a while since I’ve written about my whole work situation. The topic of leaving my my professional career about 10 months ago and now trying to figure out what to do next tends to stress me out more then most things in my life right now (which I actually view as a good thing, because it means I’m not spending the bulk of my time worrying about miscarriages, adoption, trying again, scheduling sex, etc). Being able to think about work without having a near panic attack probably means that I am starting to become a little more like my old self.
For the 4-5 months I have been doing some consulting on my own. It is pretty random and the hours are not frequent, which means the paycheck is not reliable. My focus in the last 4 months has been on getting through the adoption home study and paperwork, so I really didn’t want to commit to more work. But, now we are pretty much through the time intensive adoption stuff, and my volunteer activities have slowly wound down. So, now the timing of everything means I am not busy, which means I am getting antsy.
Getting antsy means it’s time for me to do something more. Further, it’s time for me to get serious about the work stuff as I really want to be able to afford our upcoming massive adoption bills without having the stress cause Mr. MPB a nervous breakdown. And, I really want the little extra’s in life like the trip to Iceland that I’m currently planning (but am yet to spend any money beyond the purchase of two travel books).
So, I have developed an action plan:
- I’ve started talking to my network of professionals and am hoping something will miraculously fall into my lap.
- I’ve touched base with all my references and let them know that I will be searching out more work, which could mean expending my consulting business or returning to a regular 9-5 job. My ultimate decision will depend on what arises.
- I have written out my future job rules. What I will do and what I will not do. This includes:
- I will not travel extensively. Once a month is fine, but 3-4 nights a week in a hotel is not an option.
- I prefer to work 4 days a week (32 hours), but for the right job I will compromise on this as now is the time in my life when I can work full-time as we do not have children yet. (It’s surprisingly hard to find part-time positions in my industry, so I will likely have to compromise on this).
- I will not work 70+ hours a week on a regular basis.
- Wage matters, but it is not the critical deciding factor. We know any income I make is not needed for us to live. Rather it will go to our adoption, the trip to Iceland and our mortgage. Basically, this means that my happiness matters more then the actual paycheck, which is an enlightening realization as I have never had this luxury in the past.
- The most important criteria for my next move is that I want to work with an amazing team. My focus is looking for the right fit and surrounding myself with great people.
- I will not work for a verbally abusive jerk. Sorry, I’m so over that personality type and I simply do not need it in my life.
- I will be looking slightly outside of my traditional background. Not necessarily a complete career change, just not the exact same thing I was doing before.
- I am going to talk to headhunters. I have never done this before, but after recently being contacted by one, I suspect a headhunter might be able to match me with a job that isn’t open to the entire market. Adding this strategy to my approach might help and it definitely wont hurt.
- I will apply to jobs the traditional way as there are no guarantees that a headhunter will have the perfect job for me.
- My goal is to have something figured out by the end of May. I hope it doesn’t take that long, but I want to be realistic about it and keep myself grounded in reality.
I have to admit, I am afraid to do this. I am afraid to put myself out there and afraid to admit in an interview why I stopped working. I’m afraid I wont be able to get another decent job. I’m afraid that my career is going to be yet another failure. But, I am also at a point where I cannot sit by and let fear dictate my actions and decisions. So I’m determined to put myself out there and see what happens. So, while not an official part of my action plan, I do have one simple request of the world – please don’t make me face countless rejections in my pursuit to find my dream job. I know, the world owes me nothing, but I would really prefer if this could be somewhat of an enjoyable experience.
I feel as though this action plan is just one more way in which I am reclaiming my life. While I do not believe I will ever go back to who I was before our recurrent pregnancy loss adventure started, I do believe that I am at a point where I can start to function in a more normal way again. I can and will reclaim small pieces of me, one day at a time. And, ultimately, with each step I will start living again!
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