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1) How's the new career hunt going?
I'll keep you posted.
2) So, just what do you do with all this free time you have?
The ironic part is that I don't necessarily have that much more "free time". I just simply like to be occupied and engaged at all times, so lounging around and watching sports is just not my bag. That noted, here's what a typical day looks like:
- Wake up at about the same time as usual (before this whole change occurred)
- Shower and get dressed. Take my youngest stepson to school, while forcing him to listen to obscure music (for the record, he actually enjoys the Ramones "The KKK Took My Baby Away").
- Come home, eat breakfast and spend about an hour reading through the half dozen or so job feeds I get. Decide which I want to follow-up on, which is typically best described by the following two words: Not Many.
- Go to the gym and try to injure myself* while working out to the Steve Wilkos Show.
- Grab a bite to eat.
- Head home and either work on job search tasks and/or projects around the home. The job search tasks include following up on previous opportunities, telephone calls with some real angels who are actually helping me, sending emails, researching organizations, etc.
- Greet my lovely wife when she comes home from work.
- Help (and or just make) dinner, eat and clean-up afterwards.
- Work on graduate school stuff in evening until I get too tired to read and/or comprehend.
3) What are you looking for in a new career?
I have a short attention span, and my mind, admittedly, can move pretty quickly when I am working on things I find interesting. Oh, and I'm 90% of the way towards a graduate degree in Human Resources. All this means that I'm looking for an HR position that provides plenty of challenges, working for an organization where I can make a difference. I know, that sounds so campy, but I'm being honest. You can find more out about the professional me on LinkedIn.
4) You keep saying "career" instead of "job". Why?
When you are in high school you have a "job". By the time you become an adult, hopefully you have figured out what you like to do, and how you can maybe get paid to do just that sort of thing. That's the difference between a "job" and a "career". Admittedly, we all sometimes just have to take a "job" in order to pay the bills, but that shouldn't stop anyone from finding a career.
5) Any advice for others looking for a new career?
Since I'm not across the job search finish line, I'm probably not the best person to be giving advice. However, since I've broached the subject:
- It's not just you - This kind of thing (leaving an employer) happens all the time. You'll be shocked just how many people have been down this path...and who will be willing to help you out because they know what it's like to walk in your shoes.
- Stay positive - This is very, very hard, but you can't let this change become an all-consuming negative cloud over your head. Make time to still do things that you find enjoyable.
- Don't blame - Never, ever allow yourself to become overcome with anger and bitterness towards your former employer, boss, co-workers, etc. With very few exceptions, the vast majority of folks are good people, just trying to do their job in the best way they know how. We are all equally flawed and fragile and we all fail from time to time. If you feel injured in some way, forgive. If you can't forgive, well work on forgetting.
- Gut-check - Use this as an opportunity to gut-check what you do for a living. You may never get another chance like this, so take advantage of it.
- Ask for help - See the first bullet. As a very smart person told me early on in this process, people want to help you, but they will wait for you to ask for that help. Whether you are an executive or a front-line soldier in corporate America, all of us will need help once in a while.
- Remember the feelings - As you go through this process, remember the feelings, both good and not so good. For the "not so good" feelings, well, learn from them and commit to helping someone else in the future who may be similarly struggling; this way you can take that "not so good" and turn it into something positive.
- It gets better - I'm still telling myself this one, but this process will end, and it will get better. It's not a question of "what", but rather of "when".
(*) Lesson learned the hard way recently.
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