Monday, November 18, 2013

Purpose & Clarity in the Journey

Almost a year ago, I began the process of going after something bigger in my life.  I thought I'd put up with complacency too long.

I knew that if I wanted to be authentic in coaching clients to expand potentials, reach epic goals and dream, I needed to break through some of my own limitations.

I decided to do this in the career sector where dissatisfaction with a long history in accepting regular temp jobs that didn't quite meet any needs for fulfillment, leadership or even self-development had left me feeling stuck. 

I had achieved that elusive "permanent" job only to discover that somewhere along the line I hadn't quite defined anything like a job title I could enjoy, I'd simply taken whatever was given me.  Eighteen months into a contract turned permanent Office Manager position, I realized I had nowhere to go but down.

Still, I was at a loss....what do I do now? 

I knew I enjoyed project management - but I'd only PM'd small office projects, facilities moves and film projects back when I got my Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production.  While my organizational systems were outstanding, I didn't have any experience doing budgets, had never supervised anyone other than my film crew and my titles were weak.

Nothing short of epic re-visualization and re-invention were going to cut it here. 

And then the process began.  I started with getting feedback from many mentors on my resume content.  Re-designing my resume to remove the film of grayness I'd carried so long, add color and design features and make it shine as "me."  I developed a cover letter template with all the main particulars that could be adjusted for the jobs I applied to and just started looking and sending out resumes.  Everywhere. 

I did all the regular things you are told in blogs and by people who find it easy to job-hop and move around in their career (I am still amazed at these folks).

I went to any and all networking events, continued to blog, joined a co-working space in Minneapolis as a one-day a week member, told everyone I knew and some that I didn't that I was looking and re-designed my resume (again) after I read a blog on the subject. 

Apparently it's been proven that people only read the first 1/3 of your resume.  Put your hand at the 1/3 position on the first page - is what you want clearly obvious above your hand? No?  Redo it - this tip, unlike a lot of them I got over the course of the summer actually worked.

I went through a few starter interviews, I tried to go back to office work and found myself having changed by proxy of my decision.  No, I simply wouldn't take my old pay rate and and entry level job just because I'd done it before...yea, some recruiters went there, and it was very hard not to capitulate.  After all, fear abounds constantly in this process of transformation.

Sleepless nights, gnashing of teeth during the day.  Frantic texts to friends wondering if I was an epic failure rather than an epic dreamer!  All my support networks were a constant feedback loop of 'don't give up' and I really couldn't have done it without all the friends that supported me through.

As the summer wound down I had my last "epic fail" - maybe there is always one of these defining things in a life lived BIG.  Up until now I had felt that each job interview or experience talking with a recruiter (even if it went nowhere) added something to my expansion and gave me a tidbit or tweak to the process.

Then I was wined & dined (literally) by a CEO of a small corporation - our first conversation was over 2-hours long and our second wasn't much shorter.  He told me everything I wanted to hear like a dry sponge soaking in water.  He loved my resume, my background and what I could do to change his organization.  He even read this blog and thought it amazing.

One last hurdle was an interview with his Creative Director....and a reschedule on the morning of the interview led to weeks of hearing nothing only to follow-up myself and find the job had gone to the "perfect candidate."

Nothing can quite prepare you for the balloon bursting on all the energy you have built around something you really care about.  I'd put everything into the mix and got spit out by the process. 

A few weeks of bitterness and crying ensued.  Dark thoughts.  Dark moments.  I tell you this not to complain but to say that no matter what happens - you can survive and and move forward. 

As of this writing, I am back temping  - granted it is a more expansive job with some amazing mentors.  I may not be there forever but I can learn while I am there.  I am back applying but this time with more money, more zeal and an ability to not feel like if something doesn't work out, I'll be left destitute.

It's a strange story for a coach to tell, perhaps.  So many marketeers would love to give the sales pitch that going after big dreams is always easy, works on the first try and is a smooth curve. You just need to make that leap and try, try, try...

We judge ourselves based on these perceived results and often choose not to go after the big thing. After all we may just be disappointed. We aren't Tony Robbins right?

We each have a unique path. I feel like I still have some work to do to land that project manager role I went after. I will persevere.  In the meantime, my coaching and healing has picked up - maybe because I hold that energy of going after the bigger game?  People feel it.

If I hadn't gone down this path with all it's twists and turns, I think I'd be missing some of my strength and character honed in the crucible of the long journey.

I may not have "made it big" yet but I feel much brighter and I know what I want more than I ever did in the past.  I am directed and potent.

Don't forget to dream big and GO AFTER IT!

- Blessings on the journey -