About ten months ago, I came to the realization that it was time for me to move back into the world of going into an office for my “day job.” In the beginning, I loved the 25 step commute from my bedroom to my downstairs office/den – but over time, the solitude evolved from peace into emptiness.
My four years of self-employment also helped me gain clarity about what matters to me in my professional life. For me, it’s not about climbing a corporate ladder or breaking through the glass ceiling. It’s about working in an environment where people and community matter.
In some ways, it wasn’t easy to think about returning to Corporate America; I’ve had my share of bad bosses and toxic work environments, however I believed that it doesn’t have to be that way. I also knew with certainty that it was time to take a leap and find the right position.
My Prayer Box
I have a prayer box beside my bed. I write my dreams and my worries on slips of paper and put them in the box. It keeps them from rattling around in my brain all day because I know they’re in a safe place and one by one my prayers will be answered. The practice is one of many valuable things I learned from reading “Walking in This World” by Julia Cameron.
This morning, while sifting through my prayers and giving thanks for those that have been answered and asking for help and patience with those that haven’t, I found the words I’d written at the beginning of my job search:
I am praying for, asking for a professional opportunity that offers me the following:
- A positive environment.
- People to work for and with that like to work hard and also like to have fun.
- A successful company with growth potential.
- Financially and/or Geographically enables me to easily visit family and have my kids visit me.
- A work philosophy in which everybody matters.
- Provides me the ability to continue to grow and nurture my creative side.
- A position and experience that is a positive step and offers a learning opportunity to equip me to realize my ultimate dream – abundance through creativity and helping others.
- Offers a good work/life balance.
My Prayer Was Answered
It was really strange, and at times uncomfortable, to approach something as important and a job search without thinking in terms of specifics such as title, salary and location. Somehow I managed to stay the course throughout more interviews than I can count using both my fingers and toes, not to mention the ups and downs associated with the emotional roller coaster that comes with the territory.
Every time I thought the right position and I had found each other, followed by the disappointment when it didn’t pan out, brought me one step closer to landing the perfect job for me. The funniest part of the whole process is where I landed geographically. My initial conversations with recruiters went something like this:
One of the first questions was always, “You’re open to relocation?” To which my reply was always the same, “I’m definitely open to relocating. I just want to stay east of the Rockies, Washington D.C. and NYC are out – they’re too expensive. Other than that I’m open to anywhere but Omaha.”
Omaha is exactly where I landed, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I guess that’ll teach me to try and dictate what’s best for me. 🙂
It Wasn’t Easy, But it Was Worth It
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns – nor did I expect it would be. The company is going through more than a few growing pains, which are a lot less painful than the kind of pain you go through when a company is downsizing.
All in all, the leadership team believes everyone matters and the company has many ways of sharing information and recognizing individual contributions. My peers are smart, caring and dedicated.
My team is young, energetic, hard working and they also love to laugh and have fun. They’re not too old or too stuffy to pose for a picture with Santa Clause.
We all look forward to quarterly pot-luck lunches in the office and team outings in a more relaxed environment.
The walls of my office are covered with expressions of my personality and glimpses into my creative side. It’s fun to be able to hang artwork from a session at a local Paint and Sip as well as a calendar that offers a pretty big clue that I’m an avid fan of “Gone With the Wind.”
What’s really amazing to me, is the amount of creative growth I’ve experienced since re-entering the land of Corporate America. Instead of spending less time pursuing artistic endeavors, my work is evolving and I’m gaining the confidence needed to break out of a reliance on others to teach me and to start exploring on my own.
Experiences from my day job and my personal life have begun inspiring what shows up on my canvas. I’ve read many times that emotions, both positive and negative fuel creativity – I’m beginning to understand how that feels.
My job hunt adventure began in Indianapolis, wound it’s way through Kansas City (a couple of times), Fargo, Boca Raton, and Raleigh.
It took longer and was more difficult than expected, but it was 100% worth every step and every journal entry along the way.