One year ago today, I was laid off from my job. In the five months that I worked there I witnessed more HR and Recruiting bad behavior than I had at all of my other positions combined. My former supervisor, the Vice President of Human Resources, in what I surmised was another way to try and belittle and degrade me, didn’t even have the decency to lay me off in person. She did it on a conference call…on speaker phone.
It took me less than 10 minutes to gather my things and leave the building. I felt more relief than grief to be cleansed from the dirtiest of Talent Wastelands. With that feeling, I set a plan into action to find another job. By the time I got home, I had an interview set up and a few other irons were in the fire. Two days later, I was offered a position as a contract recruiter, but later it fell through.
I am a recruiter, so I gave myself 90 days to get a new job. In that time, I actively applied to jobs, went on interviews, and made a lot of new connections. I did my best to convince interviewers that I was excited about and committed to each position that reached a certain level. However, I couldn’t convince them because I didn’t believe it myself.
By month six, I decided that maybe working for someone else wasn’t my path. While I loved some aspects of Talent Acquisition like relationship building, process improvement and training, I have always wanted to do those things with the job seeker in mind as opposed to an organization. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know where to start, what assistance I needed or who could offer it to me.
Like many people I was taught to survive not thrive. The comfort and stability associated with a regular paycheck kept me applying for jobs each week and pretending I would be happy using my gifts and talents to support someone else’s dream. Each unsuccessful application and interview compounded the doubt I had in my own abilities.
I got discouraged. I lost a lot of confidence. I stopped trying.
Nine months passed before I accepted the fact that, “I wasn’t depressed because I didn’t I have a job; I didn’t have a job because I was depressed.” The truth is I had been for a number of years. I was unfulfilled by my so-called “career” because I was restricted by a system that prohibited me from being my best self. I discovered that taking on new projects, going above and beyond my duties and responsibilities and even leaving one company for another were all self-imposed distractions.
I didn’t need distractions; I need to heal and refocus. I took the next three months to do just that, and it’s been scary, wonderful and so worth it! This blog is the first of many things to come. This is my first post because I wanted to set the tone for the type of authenticity, transparency and raw honesty that is to come. While most posts won’t be THIS feely, I hope the things that I share, whether wrapped in a joke or straight from the heart, will provide you with useful insight for your own career progression.