My third goal going into 2011 was to launch a writing career. With the move at the end of last December and the layoff in July, I’m two-thirds of the way there.
It’s interesting how people who were encouraging me to leave my job to pursue the writing are now encouraging me to get a job now that I’m technically and for all intentive purposes unemployed.
A lot of people ask me if I’ve been looking for a job, which I find to be a strange question because the answer is obviously yes. The difference is that this job search is different than any other. So it’s more pitching and submitting my work than just applying.
During my last bout with unemployment in 2009, I applied to Target just to get some money coming in even though the income from it would barely cover my utility bills let alone rent and food. I applied at the store and they called me ten minutes later for an interview. I was so turned off by their interview process that I didn’t even want to work there, but I needed the money so I went back for the training. But after that first training session, I just told them that I was called onto a project and wouldn’t be available to work.
I told God and the Universe that they’d have to do better than Target – not that there’s anything wrong with working at Target. I just didn’t want to. I’ve worked at Walgreens and Barnes & Noble before. And my first job ever was washing dishes at a seafood restaurant when I was in high school. So it’s not that I’m too good for it. I just don’t want to go back to it.
People tell me that “it’s income” but be that as it may, it’s not the income I wanted. So I held out. I got a call from a previous employer. I got call from another media company where a friend of mine worked. And I got a call from a headhunter. Because I needed “the income”, I wound up back at an ad agency. This time, though, it was ONLY for the money.
I was weary of taking that ad job because I didn’t want it to take away from my writing. I didn’t want to spend so much time working that I wouldn’t have the energy to do what I came back to LA to do. I was pleased with myself that the first thing I did when I came home from work was turn on that computer and start writing. I was pleased with myself that I’d wake up in the middle of the night without an alarm to write until it was time to get up and go to work.
So now that I’m laid off, I don’t want just another job. I’ve been there, done that and I don’t want to do it again. At some point that cycle has to end. I’m pursuing work that is meaningful to me. I’m 32 years old. I have work experience, life experience, talent and a helluva lot to say. This is the time. And once again, I’m challenging the God and Universe to make it so. I’m doing my part.