Just over 14 months ago, I wound up having to go on a job search. No, it wasn’t fun not having employment to go to after almost 16 years. But it was enlightening in that it allowed me to understand the strengths I could provide to another employer, as well as some aspects I could improve upon.
Thankfully, that time between jobs was short. Matter of fact, one month to the day that my position was eliminated and I departed my employer of almost 16 years, I took a 7-day temporary assignment with a company on Madison’s east side. It would lead, just a couple of days later, to another temporary assignment. And while it was an assignment that could be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming at times, I stuck with it. And stuck with it. And accepted the challenges it threw at me. I stuck with it so much that I’ve been there for 13 months.
Oh, luck and staffing needs played a part in that longevity as well. Credit the managers I have been working under for sticking with me and recognizing the strengths I could provide them. Even after they reorganized the department I work in, they stuck with me and assigned me to duties that not only revealed my strengths, including guiding and advising the people who took over some of my duties, but also uncover talents I never knew existed within me.
But as George Harrison once said, all things must pass. And so it is with what is about to become my former work assignment. Tuesday afternoon, I spoke with the recruiter whose staffing agency assigned me to this role, and she gave me this news: While the organization I’ve been working for would love to retain my services through at least the end of the year — and for sure, they have truly appreciated my work that much — their projections that they’d find enough work to keep me busy were off. And with that, next week is tentatively set to be my final week in this assignment.
I knew that the end would come. To be frank, I had been planning for an exit already. Let me clarify by saying that I never hated being in my soon-to-end assignment. It’s just that the role didn’t entirely give me a sense of bliss. And with that, I prepared myself for a graceful denouement in the role. In recent weeks, I sent my resume to a couple of companies around town with open positions. And in late July, I had a little talk with another staffing agency (not the same one I had been working with for the past 13 months), where a recruiter hinted at opportunities that I could be a good fit for.
Speaking of which… that same recruiter I spoke with in July called me up from out of the blue late Tuesday. After I gave her the news that my assignment was about to end, she let me know of a role she thought I would be a good fit for. I asked her to forward my name for consideration, and hopefully within the next week or so I will interview with them.
But that doesn’t mean that I will get an interview, let alone ace it. There are no guarantees in life, just as there was never a guarantee that my work assignment would lead to something permanent, or at least go on forever. There’s no assurance, either, that the other jobs I’ve applied for will even get in touch with me. I’ve received one rejection already without even an interview.
If there’s a good thing about looking for new work 14 months after the last time you had to do it, it’s that that earlier job search is still fresh in your mind. And my job search last year reminded me that there’s still a world of opportunities awaiting me. There’s also a world of uncertainty, in that you don’t know where that next opportunity will invite you in, when it will do so, how much it will pay, and how long it
will may last.
But I can’t let that uncertainty make me afraid. Well, let me rephrase that: I can’t let that uncertainty make me afraid too much. For sure, I may worry about having to cut back on clothing purchases (my female wardrobe is large enough already). And I may have to forgo that weekend excursion I had been thinking about taking. It’s all for the want of keeping my bank account at a healthy level, even if there’s enough money in there already.
So, onward I must go. Upward? Well, since I don’t know what that next work adventure will be and how many challenges it will throw at me, I can’t yet say if it will be “upward” just yet. What I do hope is that it will be the perfect opportunity to exercise my skills, build on new ones, and will not leave me terrified.
As well, I hope that the new opportunity will find myself in the company of friendly colleagues who will appreciate and be impressed by my work, or at least appreciate me as a human being. Just as those in my soon-to-conclude assignment have been. Next week, after a department meeting, some of them are planning to have a lunch in my honor in a nice restaurant. I won’t be leaving until next week, but this nice gesture of gratitude has already assured that it will be a graceful denouement.