A year ago I was giddy with excitement at my new job at a fabulous advertising agency. I was going to be creating brilliant campaigns! Developing strategies! And beating impossible deadlines!
All of which, I did.
In doing so, my friendships tanked, my face got zitty and at one point, 10 days before a huge event, my body broke out in stress-related hives.
Don’t get me wrong, I adored my co-workers and my company did some fantastic work, but my heart and body were screaming at my mind to get with the program and get back to what I do best. So that’s what I’m trying to do now, reconnect with things I’m passionate about and genuinely good at.
The trouble is that all of the things I’m good at are soft skills. If I may compare my talents to food, my signature cuisine would look a lot like a fine French bakery: sweet, savory, delicious and certainly not always necessary to have.
Connecting, storytelling, organizing puzzling projects, analyzing others -- these are the things I’m really good at, but that doesn’t mean I have companies knocking down my door for my services.
Like almost every other 20-something in the US, I’m saddled with loads of student debt and a pathetic excuse for a savings account. The current economic climate for my generation is a distinct and classic mix of glasses half-full and half-empty.
The half-full crew are the brilliant entrepreneurs of the startup movement. Encouraged by new technology and driven by the spirit to change the world, these folks have the brilliant ideas and skills to make our world more engaged and connected than ever.
On the same token, there is this little monster known as the “recession.” The news tells us the job market is toxic and impenetrable, businesses are dreading the impending Fiscal Cliff and consequently nervous to bring on new hires, and the global economic health is feeble and in need of a bowl of chicken soup.
As a result of both perspectives, I feel simultaneously excited for new prospects and silly for walking away from something stable and reliable. It’s as if I called off an engagement to a man I was planning on marrying.
Up until this fall, I had never in my life had to put in a two-week notice. What’s worse is that I didn’t even have a backup job, a “rebound,” if you will. When it’s not right, it’s not right, so I cut my losses and walked away.
Now 20 days in to this strange purgatory of exploration and investigation, I feel more in tune with myself than I have in months. However, being in-tune with oneself doesn’t necessarily pay the bills.
Every single (un)employed person out there has something unique to contribute to the world. I know I have a little something special, too. It’s just a matter of finding a soul mate, err perfect profession, which is mutually compatible.