Opening up the Candidness Can in 3…2…1…
In advertising, you have to know you’re stepping into a volatile industry. Sometimes, partings of ways have to happen.
I’m currently unemployed and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. It wasn’t a reflection of my work quality or my previous employer. It’s just an unfortunate truth of the advertising industry that these things happen.
(This would explain why I’ve been off the radar for over a week, as well.)
I mean, in the long run, I understand that this was a risk I signed myself up for. Advertising is a wonderful, awful, fickle, high-stress, volatile, and dynamic industry. And I still hold my previous employer in the utmost regards. It’s like a breakup — even if you end on truly good terms, it’s still a pretty major life change that brings on a lot of feelings, adjusting, and recovery.
I’ll be fine, I know I will. But my ego’s pretty shattered. A lot of my identity was rooted in my professional life; a big chunk of my sense of purpose was there.
My friends get up and go to work on Monday morning. I stay at home, drafting the next stage of “Operation: Get Job.” (There are Google Spreadsheets, I’m intense like that.) I also fill in some gaps with random freelance jobs. (Also, I’ve baked, done yoga, gone running, and trimmed my hair.)
And even if I knew I was facing this risk, you never fully expect it. And there are a million and one things no one warns you about:
- For a job you love, you go through the stages of grief. Denial, anger, acceptance, all of it. And you may cycle through them a few times.
- Job applications don’t yield instantaneous results, and that is hard for me to handle.
- Your résumé will never feel “perfect.” Neither will any cover letter, ever.
- Filing for unemployment can make the most stoic person feel tears come on.
- Even if it’s not your fault you’re unemployed, you may still be horribly inadequate.
- It’s okay to spend a few days wallowing in self-pity. In fact, you may set yourself back if you don’t take time to recover and process the feelings. (As a doer, I made this mistake and I think it made it harder to move on.)
- Not having a job is actually exhausting. Job hunting, wondering about the future, and trying to find the “new normal” has left me feeling drained.
- People committed to their career might feel a lack of purpose when they’re between jobs. I know I have. However, I’m blessed with several amazing loved ones who remind me how valuable I am for reasons OTHER than my job.
- Knowing that it’s not your fault that you’re unemployed may not always be a comfort — it may just make you feel helpless, since you couldn’t prevent it.
- When you’re bad at accepting other people’s support (I suck at feelings), letting your friends know about bad news is REALLY, REALLY hard.
- And 70 bajillion other things.
So, here we are.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. This is all part of God’s greater plan on where I’m meant to be in life. I have faith that whatever comes next will lead me to a bigger, better chapter of my life. I’ve handled a lot of disappointment really well thus far in life, and 9 times out of 10, what comes afterward is way better than what I thought was fantastic before.
And to be fair, where I am now is still better than where I was two years ago. I’m still healthy, I’m still capable, I’m still surrounded by love and support and kind hearts seeking to lift me up during this time of uncertainty. I still have the friends I made during my stint at that agency. I still have Nightwolf (who is WONDERFUL), and I still have all the progress I’ve made as a person and professional. Most importantly, I still have my faith.
Am I scared right now? Yes. At times, that’s a gross understatement. But, this will all work out. And until I start the next chapter, the one that comes after unemployment, I’m going to allow myself to feel what I need to, and then pull myself back up. I’m going to work my ass off proving what a damn amazing communicator I can be, send out some top-notch résumés, and spend some time thinking about what really, truly, actually matters.
I’ll do what Kelly Rivard always does: I’ll find the lesson in this hardship, I’ll turn it into an effort to be a better person, and I’ll come out with a stronger faith, a bit more confidence, and a lot more perspective on life.
Wish me luck, friends. I’m on the hunt for the next chapter.
If you’re interested in my résumé, a digital version is available here. My background is in social media marketing with topical emphasis on agriculture, food, and natural resources. I’m a fast learner and an amazingly-enthusiastic brand advocate. And I make awesome homemade baked goods.