Tag: career change

Mama* Needs a New Job, Like, Yesterday.

Mama* Needs a New Job, Like, Yesterday.

One of my big goals — nay, one of my primary goals — in renovating my life is to somehow, by the grace of God/Oprah/the Flying Spaghetti Monster, transition from my career in government to a career that’s more my style.

I may or may not be willing to sacrifice a goat and/or make a burnt offering in an effort to help make this happen.

I’ve been trying to investigate possible avenues for this aspiring career change, since a lukewarm, limp, and — ok, I admit — really whiny “I dooooon’t knoooooow?” isn’t a great answer to questions about what, if not government and public policy, I want to do with my life. All I know for sure is that I want my work to involve writing, autonomy, creativity, and being able to serve as a catalyst for good in the world. Beyond that, though? The details elude me.

dafuq
An actual photo of me when people ask what I want to be when I grow up. Except that I have dark hair. And I’m 36. But that’s not the point.

Well, ok, that’s not entirely true. The full truth is that I want to be a writer. I’ve been in love with words since I was a child; I remember desperately  wanting to learn how to read because I knew my whole world would change once I did, and I used to beg my teachers for extra creative writing assignments when I was in grade school. There have only been two things that I’ve consistently always known I want to be when I grow up: a writer and a mom.

Hooooowever, I’m also a realist, and we all know that unless one is an extremely successful novelist like, say, J.K. Rowling (whom I admire and adore), that writing generally doesn’t pay the bills. So, while I’d love to just…be a writer, the reality is that freelance writing isn’t exactly reliable or lucrative. And, since I have enough student loan debt to sink a fleet of aircraft carriers, and since I also enjoy things such as having food and a nice place to live, a gal’s got to make money somehow.

With that in mind, I’m investigating a handful of ideas for jobs that a) I might enjoy, and b) can pretty reliably pay the bills: content marketing, social media marketing, grant writing, college essay tutoring, and copyediting. That list might expand  — or contract — as I learn more, but for now, information gathering is my primary game plan. My hope is that I can build multiple streams of income so that I will, to use finance speak, diversify my portfolio. You know, balance risk and reward, remain agile, all that jazz.

(Although really, I ran far and fast from any sort of math class once I was done with high school, and I never once looked back — so maybe I should give the finance metaphors a rest?)

Anyways, aaaallllll that being said, yesterday’s Act of Renovation was to visit my friendly local career center to review my resume with people who are Legit Authorities (TM) on this sort of career voodoo. Mercifully, these people are incredibly helpful. They’ve been helping me though each painful, bewildering step of editing my resume from a Lumbering, Bland, and Bureaucratic Government Resume, which is loaded with arcane D.C.- and government-centric terms, into a Nimble, Witty, and Modern Private Sector Resume (also TM…but not really, I just like making proper nouns out of things that don’t warrant capitalization in real life). You know, one that can actually be read and understood by normal people outside the Beltway.

The woman I met with not only really liked my first round of changes (yay!), she also had some insightful suggestions for my next iteration revisions (double yay!). So, I have myself an Act of Renovation for later in the week, too.

We on the rise, y’all.

* Oh yeah, and I’m not actually a mom, despite weirdly referring to myself as Mama. That whole cancer thing kind of deep-sixed my grand maternal plans, but that’s a topic for another post.

The Great Un-F*cking of 2017

This is a story all about how
My life got flip-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute and sit right there
And tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air

No, wait. Hold on. That’s not my situation. My life definitely got flip-turned upside down, but the last time I checked, I was neither royalty nor in Bel Air. (Alas. Le sigh.)

Let me try this again. You know how sometimes people have a so-called “annus horibilis” (year of disaster/horrors/misfortune)? I had four of those. In a row. It was exceedingly lame.

To make a loooooong story super short, endometrial cancer, the realization that I got myself into the totally wrong line of work, student loans, fibromyalgia, major depression, a hysterectomy – and the resulting infertility and premature menopause – all pulled a Captain Planet and combined their powers to turn me into a hot mess.

I’ve been pretty fercockt for a while – but now, with my health under control and things calming down a bit, it’s time for me to rebuild and recreate my life not as something to slog through, but rather as something to enjoy. Hence the renovation: much like HGTV – but without Chip and Joanna Gaines or the Scott brothers, alas – I hope to tear out the old, dilapidated parts of my life that don’t work anymore while rebuilding a much nicer, more livable structure in its place.

It’s not what I had originally planned or wanted for my life, but a mantra that has gotten me through the last few years has been a quote borrowed from Sheryl Sandberg’s incredible Facebook essay about life after losing her husband: “Option A isn’t available. So let’s kick the sh*t out of Option B.” The things I had planned, hoped for, and wanted – fertility, a job and career that I love, perfect health, full repayment of my student loans, a life free of debt (the aforementioned loans) and chronic pain (fibromyalgia) – aren’t available right now, so I have to move forward and rebuild with what I’ve got.

So, this is my effort to start kicking the shit out of Option B. My goal is to do one thing each day that helps me renovate my life. Whether it’s something that helps me improve my physical or mental health, un-fuck my professional situation and move towards a new career, improve my finances, pay off my loans, or just something that brings me happiness, I’m a big believer that small steps can eventually lead to big changes.

And so, to use the already heinously overused cliche,* if a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, this is that first bit of forward movement. I don’t anticipate being able to write a long and involved post about each daily activity, but as long as I’m doing something, I’ll consider it a win. So, feel free to come along on this ride, and welcome to the party.**

* May the writing gods forgive me this sin. I shall provide a burnt offering in hopes of absolution.

** And by “party,” I mean an introvert party wherein things are tame af and we all go home by 9.