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Career advice and dust requested

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by merilenda, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. merilenda
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by merilenda » Oct 5, 2011
    Hello, dear PS. I could really use some of your expert advice about now.

    Some of you may remember my story. My DH accepted a position across the country, and I was lucky enough to find a job before we moved out here. It's been a whirlwind since then, with the move, starting new jobs, and getting married. We were just starting to into a routine when I was handed a shocker yesterday.

    The executive director at my office pulled me aside to inform me that the parent company has decided to eliminate my boss's position. That means that she gets bumped back to my job, and I get bumped out. Yesterday was my last day. I actually thought he was about to cry, he was so upset about telling me. He said that he tried to fight corporate on this and he lost.

    At first I was just shocked and numb. And then I was angry. If I had resigned, I would have given them minimum two weeks notice. This is particularly necessary in my field to terminate relationships with clients and transfer them. I didn't get to do any of that.

    And now I think I've quickly reached despair. I was going to try to look at this as positively as possible: I could use a little time to myself. I was going to dive into various projects, such as job searching, deep cleaning our house, and changing my name. But now the new day is here, and I haven't been able to force myself out of bed yet. I've been awake for almost 6 hours now, and I've just been surfing the net, reading a book, and generally wallowing in self-pity.

    I'm feeling very lost and could really use some advice. I know others of you are in similar situations, and it feels really hopeless.

    Part of me is wondering if this is a sign. I'm one of those people who get antsy doing the same thing for too long. I just get overwhelmed with curiosity about what else I could learn how to do. If feasible, I'd probably keep getting degrees and "try on" a lot of different careers to learn as many things as possible. Is this my sign that I should pursue something else? I realize this isn't the best time to make life-altering decisions, but I'm just speculating for now. Honestly I'm feeling very disillusioned with the field I'm in currently. I didn't think this was going to happen, and it already has.

    So advice, tips, dust, etc would be greatly appreciated right now. Should I get myself out of bed and dive into job applications? Should I give myself a couple of days to decompress? We're okay financially for now with DH's income, but without two incomes, it's hard to save much or to have any freedom with "fun" purchases. It's so frustrating because I thought we were past pinching every penny.

    Anyway, thanks for listening. I needed to get that off my chest.
     
  2. MichelleCarmen
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by MichelleCarmen » Oct 5, 2011
    I'm so sorry to hear about your job loss :( For sure take some time to decompress!!! How long has it been since you moved? Maybe take some time to explore your new city/region and read some books and other misc. stuff before taking the dive back into either the job market or begining studies in a new field. Pinching pennies isn't fun, but it may be worth it in the short run! Best of luck!
     
  3. yssie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by yssie » Oct 5, 2011
    I'm so sorry merilenda.


    My first instinct is to say definitely take some time to decompress - at least a couple of weeks. Explore the area, read a book, decorate the house, get your spirits back up.


    Then, though, I thought: if that happened to me, I would feel terrible regardless of whether or not it was my fault. My self esteem would start low and drop a little bit more every day that I sat around "decompressing" and not doing anything to further my career. So if it was *me*, the best things would be to either dive right back in or use the time to figure out what I want to do and jump into planning how to make that career switch.


    A question - I don't know what field you're in, but if you do take some time off - say a month - are you less marketable if you decide to go back to that field?
     
  4. fleur-de-lis
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by fleur-de-lis » Oct 5, 2011
    Wow. Merilenda, no wonder you're in shock.

    If you need a roadmap, take however long you reasonably need to mope (a few hours, 3 days, whatever), and mope. Then go on a job-search-and-application frenzy for either one or two whole weeks and get those resumes out there to give the quick-and-easy-turnaround a good shot. Then, just be mindful that in the current economic situation it might take longer, so after those first two weeks settle down into a good-yet-reasonable pace; a good plan would be to spend Monday and Tuesday as hard-core job search/resume writing/application submission days, and then Wed-to-Fri to do all the other projects you've been wanting to do whether it's name-change paperwork, cleaning the house, or personal development reading/exploring guilt-free.

    Hope reading a neutral person's roadmap helps during this understandably emotional time. Keep your spirits up, we're rooting for you!
     
  5. DivaDiamond007
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by DivaDiamond007 » Oct 5, 2011
    Oh no! I was unexpectedly laid off from my job of 7 years this week. It sucks. I cried, sulked and then walked out with my head held high today (my last day). If you can afford to take a little time off then that's what I would do first. Otherwise start sending out resumes and calling around for opportunities. Good luck and DUST to you!
     
  6. Sunshine017
    Rough_Rock

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    by Sunshine017 » Oct 5, 2011
    Merilenda,

    I'm so sorry about your job loss! I can relate in some ways to your situation so I'm writing to offer what little advice I can. As background: I was in a very abusive and hostile work environment and I decided to quit. I wasn't able to find another job right away and then my fiancé accepted a job across the country. We have been in our new location for about 2 months but my job search is currently in limbo . . . I am an attorney and have to wait until February to take this state's Bar exam. Like you, we are financially able to manage on one income but it isn't always easy. At this point, I've been unemployed for 7 months. Also like you, I initially set out to be positive about my situation and take some time to myself. However, I quickly fell into depression and found myself in bed and surfing the Internet most days.

    Looking back on my experience, I can tell you that I whole-heartedly agree with fleur-de-lis's advice. It's important to allow yourself time to mope and decompress but then take action. Make sure you limit the time you allow yourself to mope though. Otherwise, you'll wake up one day and realize that you have been unemployed for two months and haven't done anything in the mean time, which will only make you feel worse. I would say give yourself about a week to decompress and then jump to action. A week is long enough to allow you to decompress but not so long that you really fall into a state of depression.

    Like fleur-de-lis said, after you give yourself some personal time, try to send out as many resumes as possible to get the job search really jump-started...then pace yourself. I would highly recommend the roadmap that she suggested. It allows you to be balanced about your job search and take time for various projects that you may want to do. First and foremost, make sure to get up and get dressed! Once showered and dressed for the day, I've found myself a lot less likely to go back and lay in bed. The second thing that really helped me was to just commit to getting out of the house every day. Staying cooped up only enhances any despair or sadness that might exist. Finally, I would strongly suggest keeping some sort of schedule . . . I can't stress this enough. No matter how large or small, try to create a schedule for yourself each day, even if there are only a couple things on it. This will give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. For example, when I realized how depressed I was becoming, I set out to cook unique meals for my family and fiancé every day. This was a great way for me to gain new skills, help others, and keep both my body and mind occupied!

    I'm still working my way through the situation as well but the above is what I've learned so far. You have to redefine your value and realize that your innate value isn't dependent on having a job or even the kind of job you have. Hang in there! And if you're disillusioned with the field you're currently in, expand your job search to other areas of interest. There's no harm in applying for different kinds of jobs to see what peaks your interest, and you might find your way to a different field that you really enjoy!! Sometimes it's helpful though to figure out where your disillusionment is coming from. For example, I was disillusioned with being an attorney for a long time and thought I wanted to find a different career. However, I realized this was due to the abusive environment I was previously in. Since not all law firms are like that, I decided that I wouldn't make a decision to switch careers until I had given it another shot. But if you find that you're really just bored with the field you're in then I say go for it!!! It's best to find something that you really love doing!

    Best of luck to you!!
     
  7. missy
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by missy » Oct 5, 2011
    I'm so sorry this happened Merilenda!

    If this happened to me I would start looking but also take time for myself during the process.

    Can you dedicate a certain # of hours per day (for example morning hours) to do what you need to do in terms of seeing what is out there and marketing yourself/networking and then take the afternoons off? I feel much as Yssie does. Even though it is not at all your fault it would make me feel better to know I was doing something constructive re job search.

    On the other hand I would also want time for myself to decompress and put things in perspective. So this way you get the ball rolling so to speak but without making it overwhelming and you can take care of things you want to that you wouldn't have had the time to if you were working full time. Not sure this is something you can even do while looking in your field but just wanted to suggest it as a possibility.

    Good luck and hang in there. This can be a difficult time but it can also be a rewarding one and you can explore all your options. Maybe taking a course you are interested in part time that can also be applied to a new field/new job might be something to consider as well. What's that saying- when one door closes another opens...


    ETA Good luck to you two as well, Diva and Sunshine!
     
  8. zoebartlett
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by zoebartlett » Oct 5, 2011
    Merilenda -- I'm so sorry that happened, especially since you had recently relocated for the position.

    I'd take a few weeks off and take your time seeing what's out there. Is your now former boss willing to help you (writing a recommendation, being a reference, referring you to other contacts, etc.)? Good luck!
     
  9. Octavia
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Octavia » Oct 5, 2011
    Merilenda, it sounds like you've gotten some good advice so far. I can't speak from personal experience yet, but I am about to leave my job to move across the country for my husband's job. Like Sunshine, I'm a lawyer and the prospects of finding work before taking the bar are slim, since my current licenses won't transfer. So, while my situation isn't a sudden shock, the way yours was, it's actually been a long, drawn-out process of preparing and soon moving, knowing that it's a huge career interruption and that it will be quite difficult once I get there. I'm reading this thread with interest because PSers are a smart bunch! Anyway, I think you should take the amount of time you're comfortable with, be it a day or a month. Also, if possible, can you talk to you former boss and ask him to explain the situation to your clients, so they will know you didn't voluntarily leave them without notice? He might be able to smooth things over. Also, if you decide you want to stay in the field, he could be a good resource for you if he has other contacts -- it sounds like you had a good relationship, so don't burn bridges with him, since it wasn't his fault things went wrong at the company. Other than that, I can only wish you the best of luck in figuring things out and getting another job.

    Threadjacking for a moment -- Sunshine, are you currently in Seattle? That's where I'm about to move, and I'll also be taking the bar in February. I'm also not COMPLETELY sure I want to keep being a lawyer, but I think I should at least give it a shot. Anyway, I don't want to get too far off topic, but I just wanted to say hi because I can understand your situation pretty well :wavey:
     
  10. merilenda
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by merilenda » Oct 5, 2011
    Thank you so much, everyone! I've been feeling really down today, and your replies have helped a lot.

    I definitely didn't want to burn any bridges. In fact, my exec director said that I was taking the news better than he was (although I think that was partly because I was in shock and partly because I'm not one for displaying deep emotions in front of others). I finished my work, held my head up high, and then cried later by myself. He said he's absolutely willing to give me great recommendations. He even said he'd make a few calls to see if he could find anything.

    I got a voicemail from one of my coworkers tonight, and she said she wanted to tell me how sorry she was that things turned out this way, and that she's willing to help with networking/opportunities if there's anything she can do. I didn't feel up to responding yet, but I do think I'll call her back before the end of the week. It definitely can't hurt to have some connections in the area.

    Fleur-de-lis, I absolutely love your roadmap. I think I'm going to give myself the rest of the week to mope, but if I feel up to it, I'll start looking tomorrow or Friday. I'm going to fill out an unemployment claim next week, I think. But I just love the idea of taking a couple days a week to aggressively search and a couple days just for me, guilt-free. What a great idea.

    Diva and Sunshine, I'm really sorry about your situations. It seems like a lot of people are in similar situations. I know a couple of people who have been laid off recently in my field, too. Octavia, I'm also feeling for you. It's really hard to relocate. I also work in a field that requires professional licensing (I'm a social worker), but at least I've been able to get licensure without taking a new exam.

    I guess need to take some time and figure out what's disillusioning me. My DH works in a very narrow field, and he pretty much has to take a job where he can find it (he's a college professor). So if I were to consider switching careers, I'd need to keep that in mind. Meaning that it'd probably be a bad idea to choose something that's also narrow. I've thought about maybe switching from medical social work over to nursing, but first I need to figure out if it's the medical field that's disillusioning me. There are so many cuts going on (an upcoming cut to Medicare reimbursement is actually what probably caused this situation). I sort of feel like the biggest factor keeping me in the field right now is that I put time and effort into getting this masters degree, and I hate to waste it (sounds like you have similar feelings, Octavia and Sunshine).

    To those who have thought about switching careers: what have you thought about doing?
     
  11. Sunshine017
    Rough_Rock

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    by Sunshine017 » Oct 6, 2011
    Missy and Merilenda - thank you for your well wishes :twirl:

    Merilenda - I'm glad the exec director and your coworkers are so willing to help! Something good will happen. Just keep your chin up! (you too Diva :) )

    Octavia - Hi! It's so nice to meet someone in my same situation! And yes, I am currently in Seattle. Good luck with your move. Let me know if you need someone to study with lol. Are you taking one of the bar prep classes?
     
  12. Octavia
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Octavia » Oct 6, 2011
    Merilenda, I'm glad you're feeling a little better. I totally sympathize with the "narrow field" problem because, while my DH is not a professor, his field also has very few openings, intensely fierce competition, and really only exists in a few areas. It's one of those careers where, if you're looking for a new position, you can't be very picky about where it's located. It does make it much more difficult for the spouse/partner in that situation.

    As far as an alternate career, I actually think I want to teach at a community college (Haven has my dream job, though I might choose a different subject). Unfortunately, a J.D. doesn't get you far toward that, so I need to go back for at least a Masters. It's definitely in my five-year plan, but I want to get rid of my student loans first and DH and I are hoping to buy a house next year once we're sure we are staying in our new city. And we want kids before too long. I've thought about starting my Masters while working, but I've also thought about doing it after we have a baby so I can stay home part-time. Totally up in the air on this, but I think I'll wait to get settled in and see how things go before making any decisions.

    Sunshine, we should definitely study together, it would be great to have a buddy!! I actually still have to do my application, it's due in a few weeks and I've been resisting it :loopy: I took BarBri for my last exams (I did two states in one sitting) and am inclined to go with them again...it's expensive but I was happy with the course and I get an "alumni discount" now. It's not much, but it is actually cheaper than the other companies mentioned on the WSBA website. I have to do some more research though. How about you? Also, what kind of law were you practicing before?
     
  13. Porridge
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Porridge » Oct 6, 2011
    That's great that your former co-workers are so supportive, you must be a very bright and capable person indeed!

    I'll answer this part because I have a lot of experience with this. I'm posting on the fly, but if you look back through my topics you'll find two lengthy and detailed threads asking for career advice. I am EXACTLY like you in that I would try every career and degree if I could! So, after a lot of searching, the career I am in now is the closest to that ideal that I could find. I now work for a large consulting company, and I love it. You basically get to change careers every few months or so, and have so much support and encouragement to try new areas and expand your skills. Also the money and perks are pretty great.

    Just said I'd throw out my experience in case it helped! I got a huge amount of help from people here, I'm sure you will too.

    Best of luck with your decision. Take your time with it, but also bear in mind that this doesn't have to be a final decision. It's ok to try a few things, see what you like/dislike.
     
  14. merilenda
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by merilenda » Oct 6, 2011
    Good luck on your exams, Octavia and Sunshine! Proof that I'm a degree/career jumper: I went to law school for a while in one lifetime. Hated it and thought I'd be happier in social work. I have been, but I'm feeling the itch again.

    Octavia, it's so limiting when your SO has such a narrowly-focused job. Actually, DH is currently a visiting professor, but he was told when taking it that there was a good chance it would turn tenure track or at the very least be renewed. But since that's still kind of up in the air, he's starting to put in applications for next year as a safety net. I hope your DH gets into a secure position so that you can put down some roots. It's just unsettling knowing that you'll have to move around following jobs.

    Porridge, I'd love to hear more about your job. Sounds like an ideal situation! I'll take a look back through your posts. Glad to hear that you've found a niche.

    As for good news, I got a call from one of the directors at my previous job this morning. She had dinner with a friend last night who works in a similar agency that is looking for a medical social worker. She wanted permission to send over my information. Of course, I gratefully accepted. I'm still giving myself today to mope/read/do nothing, so I haven't even started looking yet. But it sounds like that's one ball I have in the air without starting my search. She gave me their phone number and encouraged me to give them a call as well, so I'm going to try to limit my moping period today and start on that tomorrow.

    I also have a funny story. DH always kisses my forehead or cheek when he's leaving and I'm still sleeping. I usually kind of stir for a second and get back to sleep. This morning, I woke up just as he was kissing me goodbye, and I pretty much screamed and almost fell out of bed. It was just disorienting to have a face right in my face as I woke up. That scared him nearly to death, causing him to almost fall out of bed, too. Needless to say, I wasn't getting back to sleep after that one!
     
  15. Sunshine017
    Rough_Rock

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    by Sunshine017 » Oct 13, 2011
    Octavia - studying together would be awesome. The process is always easier if you have a study buddy. I can't believe this is your third bar exam!! You've definitely got me beat lol. Like you I've been resisting turning in my application. I finally forced myself to sit down and work on it today. I also took Barbri last time and was really happy with it so I'm sticking with them this time around (I was excited about the alumni discount until I realized it wasn't too much of a discount lol). Let me know if you end up signing up for Barbri! I'm a pretty new lawyer so I didn't practice for too long before moving, but I was doing construction law, commercial litigation, and trusts and estates stuff. What areas were you in?
     
  16. Octavia
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Octavia » Oct 13, 2011
    Sunshine, awesome!! Maybe the mods can help put us in touch so we can talk without cluttering up the boards with boring legalese. :)) I'm clerking right now for a judge who primarily does labor and employment work. I've only been licensed for a year, so I'm a newbie, too -- which is why the WA bar won't let me waive in, grrr! At least the application is really easy, it took literally 1/50 the time my NJ application took. I'm just waiting for my certificates of good standing so I can send it in and be done...for now.

    Merilenda, how are you feeling this week? I hope the shock has worn off somewhat and that you've had some promising leads already. Still sending you dust!
     
  17. Sunshine017
    Rough_Rock

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    by Sunshine017 » Dec 21, 2011
    Octavia - that would be great if the moderators put us in touch (although I don't know how to go about having them do that lol).

    Merilenda - I hope you're doing better. We're still rooting for you!
     

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