I have been dipping my toes in the waters of a job search for a few months now and scouring the listings of LinkedIn and Indeed have left me feeling a bit empty. At this point in my life, I know more about what I don’t want than what I do which is something, I guess. On Thursdays I go to a job club which is an amalgamation of mid to late career adults who have also lost their jobs, and we are swimming the seas of unemployment together. Some are barely bobbing their heads above water and how longer tenured job seekers are describing their journey doesn’t fill the heart with hope.
It was nearly three years ago things started to go downhill at work. I hadn’t been paying attention and while a woman in the office had been out on an extended medical leave the winds in the office had begun to change. I was someone who kept very much to myself at work so when she brought it to my attention when she returned it was as if someone had shaken me awake. She left the company not long after and I was left behind to figure out my next move. I felt like I just needed to keep my head down and shuffle through the days. At nearly fifty, I thought, how much better can I do than this?
At the time I was receiving a magazine called Live Happy, and it was while I was flipping through it, an article caught my eye about finding what I should do with my life, to find work to make me HAPPY. I don’t have the original article but I remember there were prompts to do some stream of consciousness writing to dig in. I found the writing recently and was reading through my lists.
Under current job, I must have listed what I liked about it and if there was something about it that sparked what I would like to come from it. I was working for a financial institution and I had written: A world where no one worries about money. Wouldn’t that be awesome?! How can I help make a world where no one has to worry about money?
On the other side of the page I had written:
If time, money, reputation and failure are of no concern…
I wrote down all the things I enjoy and thought of ways to dovetail them into a job/career. My third act. Maybe it’s time to revisit the list and tweak it a bit. Maybe my next gig is somehow hidden in my furious scrawl of three years ago. Traditional job seeking has changed tremendously. For the unemployed, job searching is all about furiously throwing out darts hoping one will land squarely on the bullseye before the sand in the hourglass runs out. It’s not necessarily about finding a job that checks all your boxes.
What would you do if time, money, reputation and failure were of no concern?