After 8 months in transition, I landed at Ritron, a manufacturing company that helps customers solve unique communications problems through their niche radio products. The great news – this is a fantastic company for me, and I’m eternally grateful to be here. I started in May 2018, and I’m approaching the end of my first 3 months here.
During my time in transition (honestly – I was jobless, and really struggling to find value in myself), I learned to re-story my situation to put a less negative spin on how I was feeling every day. My personality type as an Achiever means I have a strong desire to feel valuable and worthwhile. I constantly strive to succeed and be recognized to gain energy. And admittedly, I use my Work Identity to define my overall happiness. You can see how, as an Achiever, being jobless is a big problem.
My fear of being worthless was difficult to control, and I needed to know I was doing something to overcome that fear. Along with setting and holding informational meetings with my network several times per week, I joined two job search networking groups that proved helpful. The first was Dale Hinshaw’s Team Networking Group (TNG). Dale has faithfully led this group’s weekly Wednesday (and now Friday) sessions for several years at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The second group (Career Curve) was led by Chuck Quakenbush and Jim Hubbard, meeting at St. Mark’s in Carmel.
These two accountability groups provided my reason to be. Homework assignments, reading, presenting, networking, and showing up on time for the weekly meetings gave me a reason to feel valuable. My ability to contribute gave me a sense of being worthwhile. I established and nurtured relationships with people who were experiencing similar hurdles.
The ups and downs (mostly downs) during this time were gut wrenching. I did my best to put my prettiest face forward when:
- I was offered what appeared to be a great job two months into my search only to be called by the president of the company and told, “we are rescinding the offer” for no reason. (Later I found the hiring manager was not authorized to make the offer.)
- One month later, I was well into multiple interviews with an opportunity only to finish as the runner-up.
- Later in my job search I was moments away from receiving a written offer when the offshore HR team instituted a company-wide hiring freeze. (This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since the entire department was downsized – that means fired – recently.)
I sought guidance through the Stephen Ministry at St. Luke’s, and my counselor helped me realize that these opportunities were not meant to be, and even though patience is required, a path that is meant for me will be revealed in time. The Stephen Ministry allowed me to explore and express my previously untapped faith in God.
I experienced the effects of Chakra balancing. Well-balanced chakras translate into feelings of well-being, relaxation, centeredness, increased vitality and embodiment of oneself. This was not simply a distraction, but served to open my mind to areas of help I would not have considered.
This led to a morning ritual of meditation, as well as keeping a success journal to keep my mind focused on the positive. The meditation served to relax my mind, and take me out of “panic” mode. The success journal was my outline to present to my loving wife upon her return from work as we recounted the events of our day. This dramatically changed the tone of my daily report, and really did help!
When I started interacting via email, and then interviewing in person with Ritron, I new something was different. It felt right, and it felt good. I know better than to get my hopes up, and treated this opportunity with appropriate caution. I always conduct a good amount of research on any opportunity, and this was no exception. Turns out, my professional and personal network had connections inside Ritron, and were able to provide some kind words prior to my interviews.
And . . . I was offered the job! I enjoyed the interviewing format, presenting a marketing campaign to several Ritron leaders, all based around a real business opportunity. Doing the research, and presenting tangible materials, all led to a feeling of usefulness. I have a high amount of confidence in my marketing abilities, and only had the normal anxieties of fitting in to a new culture the first few weeks on the job.
No doubt, I have been welcomed. My work is appreciated, and people are kind and supportive of what I’m doing to help the company grow. I’m looking forward to growing my career here.
Wisdom for job seekers? I think it really depends on your personality. I took it hard. Others, you may bounce back quickly and the job searching may not be such a big deal for you. Surround yourself with good people – that may be a combination of family, friends, your professional network, mentors, and especially your spouse. Dig in and do the work, and also take some time for yourself. The meditation was important to train my mind to not be so negative. Be open to try something you have not been open to before. Not out of desperation, but out of a keen curiosity and enthusiasm to make yourself a better you.