A wonderful five months off
As some of you know I left my job of 16 years back in March of 2017 to explore new opportunities. However, what you may not know is the back story of that time.
My wonderful wife of 17 (18 at the end of December) years is so very supportive. I’m lucky to be loved and married to another professional that makes a living doing what she loves and is very good at. Therefore, the time I took between positions was only possible because of her. Thank you! I love you.
We had actually booked a vacation to Maui back in December of 2016 that was to take place the first week of May in 2017. This was going to be our first vacation in seven years and we wanted it to be special. First class flights were booked, top notch accommodations and a luxury rental car were arranged. It was all set to be the best vacation we ever had for two weeks of heaven in Maui. We had saved our money specifically for this high end vacation to reward ourselves for our hard work over the last seven years. However, by the end of March of 2017, I realized I needed to leave my job as I could no longer work there in the environment it presented. So it was with a heavy heart I submitted my resignation and began my search for new employment. But, since the vacation was only a month away, it was determined I would just take some time off after 16 years to relax. When the vacation was over I would then devote my resources to looking for a new home to work. It was only supposed to be a two month break.
Here we are five months later and only now am I about to embark on a new adventure professionally. As a person that just went through the gauntlet of seeking employment I have a few thoughts to share. My case is a bit special as I wanted to stay in the industry I was in before and that is one which is very limited for opportunities (Trade Show Displays). So, it took some time, and here are my thoughts…
- If your personal finances support it, take as much time as you possibly can allow before getting the new job. Decompression in a sabbatical is the most wonderful experience you can have personally. And, you may find that you don’t need to “get a job”. I almost made that choice as there were multiple options to just gain income working from home. In the end though I chose to move to a job position as I enjoy the team aspect.
- No matter what you read, your advanced age will be held against you in certain situations of employment applications. I’m now 47 (turned from 46 during this process) and that number has certainly come up as a detriment in the past months. Find a way to combat it. Especially if you are like me and work in the creative field.
- Your life is what you make it and your life is not your job. Family, friends, personal projects, exercise, seeing different places and just being there is what is important. Don’t ever confuse professional or financial success with a good life.
- Create your next opportunity. Though I applied for hundreds of positions in the past five months there were only two I was interested in personally. And, those two positions were not advertised jobs. Rather, they were opportunities I saw within companies that were not looking for people. Instead, I contacted those companies and sold my skills to them to create the job offers. Never doubt your skills and always find a way to sell them. Create your future.
Beginning next week I will now be working again. However, I never really did stop working. Each and every day of my five month sabbatical I was on the computer looking for opportunity. Yet, at the same time, I was also finding ways to just relax and appreciate ME. That is important. Always appreciate yourself. You know you are good at what you do. The challenge is to find others that realize the same fact. The world is a place full of people that don’t see what is obvious, especially today with the nagging distraction of social media. It’s up to you to get through that to locate where you fit. I did. And you can too.
I look forward to working with you all again soon!
Oh, and the Maui vacation was killer!