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The Re-Education of a Job-Seeker

I love a good challenge. It feels good when I have the opportunity to put my brain to work and calculate and plot how to make something better. Over the last few years, although I loved the work that I did tremendously, I found myself, and my brain, getting stagnant in my job. I was working at a place with organizational structure issues, and because of that, there was always something (or, more likely, someone) in front of me to stunt my professional growth. They didn’t do it purposefully (in most cases…except for that one colleague), it was just that they had me in a box and it was comfortable for them for me to be there.

If I’m being really honest, it was pretty comfortable for me, too. There was no real accountability, except for my own internal desire to do things well, and no consequences for poor performance. Because of the nature of the work, I always strived for perfection, but during the rare times that I did decide to slack off, for instance 7 out of the 9 months that I was pregnant, my mediocrity still outperformed the majority of the work that some of my peers were presenting. For folks who lacked ambition, it was a place where you could do really well. Unfortunately.

A couple of years ago, I knew I had to get out of there. I wasn’t sure when, or how, or what else I would do, but I knew that I had reached the end of my line there. There was no where else for me to climb in that organization, I had hit the glass ceiling. I started looking for jobs here in Philly, and to my surprise, I didn’t get one call. That was certainly humbling. When I was just out of school, I was offered jobs left and right! Jobs I’d applied for, ones I didn’t…it was a career smorgasborg! I realize the economy is much different now, but still…no calls at all? That hurt.

Over the last year, things started to shift. The economy shifted a bit, certainly, but more importantly, I had changed. I realized that I had to re-educate myself on how to get a job. I started relearning the job search process like I was 21 again. You know, reading books to discover the color of my parachute, and researching the trends in employment. I revised my resume, not just the information on it, but the format (and the font!). I joined LinkedIn, started purposefully networking in person and virtually with people that I knew, and, get this, I started asking about open positions. I’m talking about pitching myself. And it worked! I received calls, then I was asked to interview, and finally, I was offered positions! First, I was hired to work with the marketing team at Eyeona, and most recently I joined the folks over at Collective Bias as Online Community Support. I’d say my re-education worked.

It’s not easy to admit that I needed to relearn a skill that used to come so easily to me, getting a job. It was either come to grips with it, though, or continue to be stuck in a job that I had outgrown…or worse, be jobless. Now I’m ready to take on learning how to get my own business, Matter More Media off the ground. I’m buckling down, hitting the books and going back to school. This is my life, these are my dreams, so…yeah, I’m aiming for straight A’s.