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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37 Comments on “An Action Plan

  1. This is an exciting new step you are taking! I wish you all the best! I love how you set up some rules to help you through the process. I am a very similar person… I like lists and deadlines and plans of action.. It helps me exercise control over situations I have little control over. Which, in turn, gives me a little sense of peace.

    Like

    • Thanks so much Jenny! I too love lists, deadlines and plans of action. I can be great at procrastinating, but the second I write everything out, I tend to start caring about the end result. And like you, I start to feel like i have a bit more control.

      Like

  2. Good for you!! I’m proud of you for getting back out there, even though you’re nervous about what will happen. And I’m also proud of you for making yourself a list of requirements…make sure you get things in writing!! I always tell myself “the next job I get, I’m getting things in writing!” yet I never do, and find myself in the same situations over and over. You’d think I would learn! Wishing you the best of luck in finding something you love!!

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  3. I love this plan of action. I especially like the part about the headhunters, I think that could be a key thing for you. Take your time and while you may have to compromise a little bit, don’t compromise too much! Anyone worth their salt will be able to see what an asset you will be to their team!

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    • Thanks so much for your encouragement and for the reminder not to compromise too much. I think finding the right balance is going to be critical to making the right decision which will result in a happy me. 🙂

      Like

  4. I am so excited for you. I think this is a huge step in a long road to healing. I am glad you are going to hold out for the perfect job. Best of luck!

    Like

    • I too think this is a pretty bid step in the road to healing. I’m excited to find the right job, and slightly terrified of putting myself out there again. This excited and terrified thing seems to be my theme for me this week. 🙂

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  5. Your action plan is well thought out and I am glad you are thinking about what you really want. I wish you all the very best in finding the right job for you! ❤

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  6. I love how methodical you’re being about this. It is so smart to be upfront with yourself about what you do (and don’t) want in a job. For better or worse, job hunting is a specialty of mine, and this is THE most important step.

    Headhunters can be really great, if you fall in with the right ones. Some really approach this as a numbers game and try to flood their pipeline. The good ones are focused on helping you and the employer find a good fit. I’m not sure how things are done in Canada or in your field, but in the US I’ve found LinkedIn to be essential for job hunting and recruiters.

    And for my last piece of completely unsolicited advice, remember that your next job will likely not be your last one. This isn’t meant to be a downer, more like a reminder that you are not married to this choice. If you take a job and it doesn’t fit, you can always look for another one.

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    • You are brilliant! That last piece of advice is critical – this wont be my last ever job, it just needs to a good enough for now. And, honestly, I think I need to remember that and hopefully take some of the pressure off myself.
      Also, LinkedIn is huge here too. In fact, I currently have a horrible profile because it says virtually nothing. I’ve been putting off updating it because it makes this job hunt a bit more real, but I know it’s time to do it. I guess that’s another goal – I need to get my profile updated asap.
      And thank you for the headhunters advice. So far I’ve discovered that many do not believe in returning phone calls, which is frustrating beyond belief. But, I guess it just means I’m not really interested in working with them.

      Like

  7. I applaud you for writing out an action plan, that is exactly what I need to do. I stopped working 5 months back and haven’t been able to a job that is flexible with all the maddness that comes along with IVF. I hope you find what you are looking for!

    Like

    • Flexibility had been key in my mind too, and is one of the reasons I wasn’t willing to look for seriously before. It was too hard to balance everything RPL and adoption related, without a regular 9-5 job, so it just wasn’t an option for a long time. But now that we’ve moved out of the medical appointments, I finally feel able to add work back into my life. Now I hope by writing this out, somehow it will actually happen! 🙂

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  8. This is very exciting, but I can see how it can be nerve wracking. It’ll be good to focus on building up your self-esteem again (sadly, RPL and shitty bosses have probably done a number on it). Being a professional with skills that people want to contract, I’m sure you won’t have any problems once you get the ball rolling. I think that having your boundaries laid out as you have will make it easier for you to make those hard decisions. Good luck my friend!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your kind support. You are right, RPL did a number on my confidence, and it’s nice to start getting back to being the confident person I once was. Now, hopefully this back to work plan works quickly and easily, my confidence is still pretty weak compared to where it once was.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am always so inspired by how organized you are! You’ve got a great plan! You have an amazing understanding of what you want, and what you’re willing to do. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that’s a perfect fit!

    Like

    • My organization probably borders on obsessive, but sometimes it’s a pretty good trait to have. 🙂
      I hope I find the perfect fit easily and relatively quickly. Thank you for your positive thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love what you said there, reclaiming your life each day piece by piece. I am on the same boat looking for work and rebuilding myself. Lots of luck to you and look forward to the good news.

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  11. What a great plan! I think it’s great that you can view working as something that is not necessary to sustain your financial obligations but something to do that makes you feel more alive as an individual. Makes “work” more meaningful and more fun I would say… Good luck and I am excited about this new adventure you’re on 🙂 XOX

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  12. Sounds like we are on the same mission these days. I’m in the same position in regards to finding the right job. For the first time, I have the luxury of putting my happiness before the pay. My last boss was the definition of verbally abusive! Also, I’m not sure I can have the same job as I used to but I’m working on being comfortable and confident enough to stay in the same field. I wish you all the luck in the world! The right “fit” is out there waiting for you and your wisdom! xoxo

    Like

    • Wow, it really sounds like you know what I’m talking about! And like you, I’m trying to focus on be in comfortable and confident enough to stay in the same field, but absolutely not the same employer!
      I hope you find your right fit too! Maybe soon we will both be writing about how great our jobs are. 🙂

      Like

  13. Best of luck to you! I love your organized plan of attack! That’s exactly how I approach things like this.

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  14. Much luck on your job search. You are in a great position, knowing what you want and that you don’t NEED any job that doesn’t fit your goals and desires. Hoping you find something wonderful soon.

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  15. Great post. I am a currently a teacher and it has been so incredibly hard having this career in the midsts of IVFs and recurrent miscarriages. I am actually on a leave from it as we speak. I think its great u are finding something that will make u happy.

    Like

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement and understanding! I can only imagine how difficult it is to balance the demands of your students and the demands of IVF and RPL! Wishing you the best as you continue the balancing act.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh my goodness, THIS is huge:

    “But, I am also at a point where I cannot sit by and let fear dictate my actions and decisions.”

    I totally did a little soul dance when I read this.
    Wonderful step.
    Wonderful.

    Blessings as you trudge through (and not around) fear,
    Dani

    Like

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