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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reinventing Yourself

Between unemployment, and outsourcing, the number of jobs available to the American worker has decreased over recent years, leaving the masses to duke it out for the remaining available positions. College graduates, high school dropouts, and senior citizens are often found competing for the same entry level jobs. The average Joe needs to be pretty clever in order to make his resume stand out above the rest, including, but not limited to, reinventing himself.

In the old days you could approach supervisors and managers for an impromptu face-to-face interview, dazzling them with your clever conversation and brand new business suit. These days you face cold kiosks and tedious online applications. Taking your best shot, you tremble as you key in your answers to a series of absurd questions which were generated by a roomful of bored human resource idiots. Oh, and by the way, there are NO right answers to those questions!

Over the years I’ve had to reinvent myself a number of times. It’s not an easy task. Actually, it’s quite unnerving, demanding mountains of chutzpah (which I believe to be a recessive gene inherited from our ancient ancestor Noah, made famous for building an ark in the desert…with no prior experience in that field!) and yards of patience.

My resume is more eclectic than impressive. I’ve sold cars, waited tables, been a bartender, office worker, cook, and started my own businesses. Like a gypsy in a circus I’ve hopped on and off of various pyramid scheme bandwagons, hoping to strike it rich by selling lipstick, algae, vitamins, plastic containers, and environmentally safe household cleaning agents, filling my spare room with product while depleting my bank account…and sometimes my self-esteem.

I’ve taken endless college courses, sat through sappy seminars, and endured countless job orientations, yawning through their monotonous PowerPoint presentations while thinking; I don’t belong here…I’m a writer. Hell, now that I think of it, I’m the fricken queen of reinvention!

I’ve said all that, in order to say this: if you’re in a position where your former work experience adds up zero because of the changing job market… you are not alone. Neither are you too old to make a change or reinvent yourself. It may require you to be open to some things that might seem foreign to you, like new technology; and, you may have to spend a little money on education, or tools, but the investment is really in yourself and your own future.

If fear and worry are threatening to strangle you because your bills have piled up and your faith seems too small, remember… there are still some constants in life. Here’s a little list of some familiar truths:
Accepting your situation short circuits stress and allows your creative energy to flow.
If you believe in yourself, so will others.
Be good to people; they have it rough too.
Do the work and then step out in faith.
Trust God for the outcome and then leave it alone!

If the life you built has become unrecognizable… then it’s probably time to build a new life. Dream big and don’t you dare back down!


Christine said...

I know the feeling of having to reinvent yourself! Very inspirational entry!!

Leah Griffith said...

So many people are having to do just that. It's scary but in the end you're glad you did it. ;)

Jayne said...

Oh Leah- Goosebumps! How is it you know just what to say, at just the right moment? Even having former experience in a specific field adds up to zero for me, because I don't want to do it anymore! I want to move on!
Love Petty backing all this... I won't back down. ;)

Leah Griffith said...

Jayne, you and I seem to ride the same waves. I too want to move on. I'll have to figure something out. Leah <---putting on her mad scientist gear and heading off to the lab ;)

Anonymous said...

Jayne had already said it for me, you've got such a way with words. I think though you were screaming writer during those dreary jobs they all amount to something; Experience! Maybe not in an applicable job but for writing, I think all my experience i've had from childhood to my small (compared to you) work experience has leant to my imagination and to my writing.

Leah Griffith said...

Chris, you are right! I know that every job I've done, from slinging hash to owning my own agency, has made me a richer and more creative writer. I'm still looking for tha pause in life that will allow me to write full time.

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