Patience is a virtue I do not possess, but I may need to learn it if I’m to overcome my current state of joblessness.
Like most Americans in this new information age, my mind races. I’ve developed a weird form of ADD where if I’m not in touch with a smart phone or tablet, I feel I’m missing something.
Most of this stemmed from my job, where I felt I had to know all of the latest news, and trends, or I would be out of touch. And when that job evaporated, the constant humming of my brain began pushing out a new mantra: “you got to be aggressive, you got to get your name out there, you got to network and get a job now before they forget about you”.
I felt I had to dig in and work endlessly at either getting a job or creating a job.
But all that hustle and striving seemed pointless. Did I want a job, or was I just trying to validate some vague sense of self worth? What was the goal? To just have a job because I could hustle one up?
The Buddhists have a saying “the path is the goal”. I take that to mean to be in the moment, and not be preoccupied of what you may think you need or have to have to be valid. I needed to step back, take a breath, and let things play out more. I need to think about what it is that a truly want to do.
This is a scary place for me, because I’ve realized I’ve defined myself by my career, and I’ve also realized that may not be healthy.
So where do I go from here?
I don’t know.
I’ll continue to look for employment in the radio industry, but I’m going to slow down the speed of it, so it’s not just getting a job for the sake of having one. I think I’m going to have some luck to stumble across an employer who can see I have more to contribute than just being a morning show host.
I have started this blog and the accompanying podcast as an outlook for my creative talents, and they have been serving that purpose well. And they give me room to experiment and find a voice I may not have known I had. They may even generate a small income one day, but I’m not counting on that.
I’m very fortunate that my debt load is small, my wife has a pretty good job, and I live like a Spartan. That being said, I’m not cavalier enough to think I can shake off rolling the sleeves up and starting back at the bottom. I can do that, and rest assured, whoever gets me in that role, will get a damn good employee.
SIDELIGHT: When searching stock photos for this essay, I put in “unemployment” as the search term. I get why Barack Obama’s photo popped up, but why did Oprah Winfrey’s? And I also got photos of cricket matches (is that where unemployed people go in Britain?), Nicole Kidman kissing Keith Urban and tigers.