Surprise!! I am in Iowa this weekend. My room mate, by some God-like-universe planning, is from Sioux City and was driving here for a family reunion. She asked me to ride along and my daughter lives just an hour away, so here I am in my daughter’s living room for the Labor Day weekend.I lived in Iowa until last March, when I made the decision to move back to my hometown, in Colorado via Oregon, (but that’s another story) and live near my son. My daughter and I are very close, so our separation has seemed long.
I brought along my lap top because I have been on a roll with my job search. I designed two new resumes last week, so I have three now that cover just about everything I’ve ever tried. It was excruciating making them. I feel like I birthed a baby! I am proud however, that I have a lot more skills than I thought. In fact, I am pretty versatile, if I don’t say so myself, even if it is on paper.
Flexible? Check. Innovative? Check. Reliable? Check. Computer skills? Check.Thinner? Check. Employed? Nope.
Still networking. But, I have learned SO much in the past five months. I am not the same person that left Iowa. I am losing the old me and gaining a whole new perspective. It’s a cliche I know. Lose everything that is familiar, and watch it happen! I’ve faced down the biggest fears I had, and it really does change you. And I haven’t even found a job yet.
Now, I didn’t WANT it to happen this way, I’m not THAT stupid, and I certainly wouldn’t repeat it. But it happened none the less and I am glad that I have gained something from the experience. I feel a lot lighter, like something has been lifted from my shoulders. I am experiencing more joy and serenity. I like that. And I am laughing more, I am grateful for every little thing. No matter how small. For instance…
My room mate is a long distance truck driver. She has been doing this for twenty years. I admire her because I can’t back up a compact, let alone a sixteen wheeler. In winter no less! She told me hilarious stories on the drive to Iowa that had my sides aching. I heard about “Too Tired Tammy” who likes to take long naps (and is always late) after a sugar binge, and there was “Scary Sherry” who’s removed more than her fair share of side mirrors from cars. Truck drivers have their own culture and she has seen it all. I was let into her world and it was really nice. We owe a lot to truckers, things that we take for granted. Like pumpkins!
I went to a couple workshops in the past week and hooked up with a labor-coach from the labor department and I’m feeling energetic again. Job searches have changed dramatically in the past five years. It is astounding how much work is involved in finding a new employee. That is why employers would rather find their workers through recommendations made by people they know. It cuts a lot of corners and saves a lot of time and money. I was relieved to find out that I have an advantage, if I put myself out there, make the rounds, and shake peoples hands. A job search on your lap top can be very tedious and solitary. I don’t want to be sized up just on paper.
I applied for two positions I am excited about this week. Follow up is crucial (and a strong skill of mine), so I’m not too daunted. I’ve had some time to grow my skills, which grows your confidence . I am so grateful for the time I’ve had to do that. I’ve held myself back, done things differently this time, and it has paid off big. I couldn’t have done that if I wasn’t willing to walk through a lot of self-doubt and indecision. It is difficult to not feel pressure from well meaning friends, who’s expectations blossom from their own fears. Everyone in this situation react differently. I have learned a lot from them, and being in this situation. Say…maybe I’ll take that with me in to the next job?
I am grateful for the time I spent in Iowa, so much kindness and good friendships. I had the opportunity to stop by Pumpkin Land today, owned by Dave and Helen. I am crazy about pumpkins and gleefully started a tradition of going there every Labor Day weekend and buying the first of many pumpkins. Today I had an unexpected pleasure when my daughter insisted we stop by, so she could get me one to take back to Fort Collins. A little bit of Iowa on my door step.
I know I am meant to be in Colorado now, I didn’t know that when I moved here. Funny, how moving can sometimes tell you where you are supposed to stop?