Working: At Life

Just another personal weblog.

Turning The Ship Of My Life Around

This past September, I started working again, after almost two years of being unemployed.

At the beginning of my period of unemployment, I saw it as an opportunity to have more of a home life for a while, so I took the easy option of doing the bare minimum job searching to receive Unemployment Insurance, as I figured I was “owed it”, having worked since I was first authorized to, in April 2001.

This was the wrong kind of thinking and I fell into the trap…

The UI I was receiving was just enough to cover our costs, so I coasted along, dipping into our savings, if I needed to.

Sometime in the Spring of 2011, though, I realized I was living in a manner I felt was dishonest, so came off the UI and started living off the rest of our savings and the paltry amount I had in my 401(k). I really should have done that earlier, as it meant that I was now facing an even bigger struggle in obtaining even an interview for a job.

What this meant was, that as well as, almost frantically, firing off numerous job applications a week, I started to toy with ideas for starting a business. Some may never work, and those that do might not make me a millionaire, but I feel much better about my lot in life and certainly believe that America is still the land of opportunity, you just need to put some effort in to your version of the “American Dream” and not sit back, expecting others to give it to you.

The job I have now is temporary, but looks like it will last well in to 2012, with a reasonable wage. As soon as our debts are back down and our savings start to build, I feel that my renewed confidence in myself means that, one way or another, things will just get better and better for me and my family, as time goes on.

2012 is the year that I will finally start making a difference. Grow up, if you like.

You can do it, too. Just think about all the things you want in life and start working towards them. Baby steps are all you need, too.

For example. I want my family and I to have our own place in the country, where we can live as self-sufficiently as possible. This will mean moving from our city dwelling, which in turn means “doing it up” for an eventual sale. So my first step? Dressing up for work! Hey… fixing this place ready for sale will take a lot of money, so I’m taking on that old adage: “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have”. Sure, I’m getting some resistance from my colleagues, (my current assignment is in a place where “business casual” is the mode of dress), but donning a shirt, tie and dress pants has boosted my confidence.

Here’s an honest to God, truthful story about how just that small decision to “dress up” for work

I spent one lunchtime, last week, out looking for a winter jacket that went with my attire better then the cheap, faux fur-lined WalMart hoodie! As I was perusing the display at the local J C Penney’s, an older lady approached me.

“Excuse me!”

“Yes?” I replied.

“Could you tell me where I can find the ‘Nobo’ stuff?”

I was taken aback, a little, as I’m sure most any of us are, when mistaken for a store employee.

“Er… no, I’m sorry. I don’t work here, I’m just shopping.”

Her response, really floored me.

“Oh! I am sorry,” she said, looking apologetic. “I thought you were the Manager!”

The Manager! Not a Sales Assistant… but the Manager!

I was literally speechless for a moment.

I don’t know if she heard me, but I responded, with a big smile “Oh! That’s quite alright!”

Yes… 2012 is going to be a good year…

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