Thursday, November 29, 2007


Wow! First off, thank you to everyone who took the time to click over from Penelope Trunk's article on Yahoo Finance. Especially thanks to people who took the time to click over to my monthly poll. I can't tell you what a shot in the arm it's been to see so many readers and participants.

Secondly, to the many commentators on the original column, in my own defense, I do a lot of job searching, I just don't chronicle it here. I'm willing to bet you wouldn't detail all the jobs you'd applied to or been interviewed for either.

Thirdly, thank you for the kind suggestions and comments you've left for me. This is indeed a period of personal growth for me. I took a risk this week and wrote a completely different kind of cover letter for a job I know I would be great at. It sounded so much more like my own voice speaking, rather than the "cover letter voice," we all fall back on. I'm glad I did it, even if I don't get an interview.

I did get a proper rejection today (via email), which wasn't a surprise since they had blown me off for three weeks.

I read in Lola, Boston's new best friend, a tidbit that caught my eye. According to writer Roni F. Noland, there's apparently a trend of job posting reading "only employed individuals need apply." This was shocking to me, and smacks amazingly of discrimination. It was a little depressing to read that.

Then I encountered a post by Polly Pearson on the Women's DISH about her morning spent at a networking/mentoring session with MBA candidates and their mentors. She shared this advice from the day:

  • “If a job doesn’t feel right in your gut, leave.”
  • “A bad work climate/job can be likened to an abusive domestic relationship. People on the outside often ask, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’”
  • “You will need help at some point, ask for it."
That advice really resonated with me. The first one describes part of what went on at my last job, and why I'm where I am. The last one is something I'm really coming to terms with. I've finally put aside enough to hire a little career coaching. I've been consulting plenty of online and print career development sources for outside voices. I filed for unemployment, so I can at least bring something home in this transition period, and my severance has run out.

This time in my life is both terrifying and empowering. For the first time in ages, I don't know how I'm going to afford this apartment and put food and the table. It's scary to be in free fall. And at the same time, I'm writing more than I have in years. It's cathartic, putting it all down in words. Cathartic comes from the Greek word "katharos"--pure. It's the same root for my name, Kate. I think it's about finding what's pure, what's the truth in me. And I've got to face down the terror of the unknown, and forge ahead to something better.

4 responses:

Unknown said...

I clicked over from Yahoo and have not read your other posts except for today's. But if you don't mind, I'd like to give you a little bit of unemployment advice.

In the near future, you will find that being unemployed (I don't know if it was voluntary or not) but whichever- that crossroads in a person's life are the most important time, as you said, cathartic; it may be the scariest time, but it brings about change and usually for the better if you take advantage.

I was in the same place about 4 years ago, after working for the same place for about 17 years, being unemployed was the scariest thing ever. Recruiters were interviewing differently, and the job search game had become a totally different animal for me. I felt like a total dinasaur.

Fortunately, I went to an outplacement service, which adviced that I take time to figure out what I wanted. To take time to think about what is most important to me, what makes me happy, what kind of company, what kind of position, visualize the office the atmosphere, everything. Imagine walking in everyday, what do you want to see? How do you want to feel?

The power of the mind is incredible, because when you do visualization, your mind will find what you are looking for. So what did I want? I wanted to do someting that mattered, like teaching, I wanted to help people, maybe work for a non-profit company. I had started looking into non-profit prior to this outplacement session and found that it was impossible to get in to most non-profits, so I threw in OR work for the entertainment field. I visualized working with progressive people, and being influential, I also wanted the corner office! I knew it was too much to ask. But thought I'd be cute about it. One thing I knew is that I loved making money and a non-profit was probably not going to satisfy that part.

At one point, I was so desperate, that I was considering taking a job that required me to drive 60 miles on the Ventura FWY, which is one of the heaviest freeways on earth to take a job that offered me almost nothing. While I waited for them to make up their mind, (to see if they wanted to hire me for almost nothing), I took a temporary job with a non-profit company that serviced the entertainment industry. The company had been in legal trouble and had recently been raided by the D.A.; the place was in turmoil and the employees that were still there had very low morale. After a couple of months there, I received an official offer from the far away place (Guitar Center if you must know) for even less money than the original amount we disucssed. At the non-profit, I had an HR position offered to me and it became the most rewarding experience of my life. I now make the most money that I ever have, I have the best benefits, and absolutely love my job. I work with many young people that need lots of life guidence and I get to teach and help. I was also able to influence change and bring about stability to a very wounded operation.

I am sorry I babbled a bit much about my story, but it is only to illustrate the power of getting in touch with what you really want, go after your passion and the rest falls into place!

K. Stone said...

Congrats on the link. Good luck and I look forward to reading your blog! My blog is (not the blogger blog...that's my old one)

Kay the Encourager said...

Your Boston address caught my eye as I just returned from a visit this past weekend. I love Boston-it is a beautiful historic city full of the most delightful neighborhoods I have ever seen! I want to go back and leisurely meander through all of them...

I also believe in the power of encouragement and taking time off of life for the realization of your own life. You can do it. It will come to you!
For more on encouragement see How to encourage

Unknown said...

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