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The Entry I’ve Been Dreading Writing

photo(30)Let’s rewind a bit to about 3 weeks ago. It was the beginning “tech week” for “West Side Story” which means tons of late rehearsals and last minute chaos. As the producer/wrangler I had some super-late nights and crazy-early mornings trying to do everything I needed to do while also training for my 12-hour run, working, and taking care of my family. I survived tech week, and then it was Show Week! More late nights and early mornings. Two weeks of chaos and exhaustion. It was the Friday of show week, the day before my 12-hour run, and I got the bad news: I was out of a job.

I’ll be honest, after I sobbed a bit (Yes, I cried) I went into survival mode. I knew I was less than 12 hours away from the biggest running event of my life. I also still had one week of “West Side Story” shows to get through. I had barely survived the two weeks prior, I knew I could not emotionally process being jobless on top of everything else.

I ran my race, I produced a musical, and I tried my best to just get caught up on my life from the insane two weeks prior. I did mountains of laundry, I went to bed at a reasonable time, I cooked, and I just tried to get through the week. The kids and I were part of a St. Patrick’s day parade, and made some hella-awesome corned beef and cabbage. Yesterday was our last show, I cooked for the family, and woke up today – Went to boot camp, ran for 20 minutes, and did a body pump class. I have a few more post-show things to do today, but after that? It’s time to face the music.

I am – once again – jobless. And I find this so embarrassing, but also so terrifying since – you know – we have a kid going off to college in the fall. I have had a very unique work history over the last 8+ years working an assortment of web jobs and doing freelance work and volunteer work. I am not sure how to organize my resume since chronologically doesn’t work when you are doing several different jobs at once, and when you want your volunteer work to also be represented. I have dreams and hopes and I’m terrified to pursue them for feel of failure. We have bills that need to be paid and things that need to be repaired. I’m constantly going back and forth between shame and fear.

And that’s where I’m at. I’m a web developer for hire. I also do marketing, publicity, and even management. I’m terrified of failure but have the potential for greatness.

Let me know if you’re looking for someone like that.

24 thoughts on “The Entry I’ve Been Dreading Writing”

  1. I am so sorry! I have been there and it sucks so bad. I have lost my job twice due to downsizing/outsourcing and once due to a bat crap crazy boss who just up and decided she wanted to fire me. It sucked every time and absolutely affected my self esteem like I can’t even say. But you are more than a job and I know you will come out on top of this. I hope you find something amazing!

  2. Oh goodness. We have so been there. My husband lost his job TWICE in the past year due to layoffs. But, he only found a MUCH BETTER job after that, so it really opened up the door for a better opportunity. Hopefully things work out!

  3. Huge hugs to you. I think you should write some about those hopes and dreams. Writing about them is a way to start organizing your thoughts – should you really be afraid to fail? Do you have a dream of starting a business? Even if you don’t want to publish your thoughts, don’t dismiss your dreams so out of hand.

    I could see you lending a lot of help to groups like the Broadway Theater League, or Fantasy Playhouse. You could help with marketing and web development, along with knowing how to run a show. Can’t hurt to at least contact them, right?

    Since I’m local, I will keep my ears out for anything that may interest you and send it along.

  4. My husband loses his job about every 18 months. This has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the industry he works in, which is really more project based. But every time, the layoff produces fear, even though he always finds a new job. The unknown is stressful and scary. Here is how we handle it: He immediately files for unemployment, he reaches out to all the contacts in his network to see if they can steer him toward anything (someone, thankfully, always does eventually), and then, while he keeps actively looking for a job, he takes a break because who knows when he’s going to get another one. He goes running, he helps get things done for the family so we have more time together not focused on errands and chores, he works on the projects he’s been putting off, he recharges. He tries to enjoy having some time to himself, and we enjoy having him around more. Eventually, he finds another job and our life gets hectic again, but I’ve come to appreciate his “breaks.” The good news is that you’re in the prime of your career; you’ve got lots of valuable experience for someone. I hope that you’re able to find a new, kickass job really soon. But, in the meantime, try to enjoy a little of your “break.” I think you could use one!

  5. I rarely comment, but I thought, today you could probably use another voice telling you it would be ok. We may not be loud enough to drown out the ones in your head, but one more can’t hurt.

    I am thinking of you and your family and hoping this storm passes quickly.

  6. hoping you find a new kick-behind job soon… I’ve been home for 8 years and since my “baby” goes to all day kindergarten in the fall the search is on for me as well…and I am more than a little embarrassed at how my resume looks, though I am hoping my volunteer work will help my cause! *hugs*

  7. Good luck with everything!! We are all sending out good juju into the world for you.

  8. I’m really sorry – you are trying to be superwoman and you just can’t possibly do it all. I don’t know how you do what you do!!! But – and please don’t take this personally, I’m just asking – do you feel you spread yourself so thin that that is what caused you to lose your job? Do you think your outside activities (extra family stuff plus boot camp, etc) was noticed at work and you were obviously exhausted and that reflected in your work performance. I know it’s a hard thing to balance – family vs work. But in the end, if you have bills to pay, some things may need to go. Not permanently, but until you have your child through college and you’ll have a break between child 1 and children 2 and 3 and their college years. Please don’t take offence at this question – it’s really just a question. You don’t own ANY of us in blogging land the reason for you being out of a job! I’m really sorry……..it’s just hard no matter what the reason.

  9. Gah, that sucks. I am so sorry. I have to believe that someone with a wealth of experience and variety of talents like you have will find something awesome, and soon. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  10. I’ve been thinking about that since BC the other day. =( It stinks no matter what. I may shoot you a private message in a bit…

  11. Ugh. That stinks. No advice, just internet hugs & a wish for you to find the next great thing for you soon!

  12. Well, that’s super chaotic, and I’m sorry about your job. I hope another one finds you right away.

  13. Aw man… I totally wish I owned a business so I could hire you. Not only would I be getting a fabulous employee, I’d be getting someone cool to hang out with! Please know I am sending good thoughts/praying for something wonderful for you. I am confident it will happen, but it’s no fun in the interim.

  14. Oh jeez! How rotten, and what perfectly awful timing! I’ve been there, and I know it’s practically impossible to believe at the time, but something better really could be out there, just waiting for you to be ready. Hang in there!

  15. Having been laid off in January, I promise it will get better. Others are right. start really exploring those dreams and hopes. Aim for what you love. Be genuine and spontaneous. You WILL find something, and it will work well for you. Just breathe.

  16. Ugh! I HATE this!!! I know that you will find your way, but the right now REALLY sucks. 🙁

  17. I thought I would provide some completely unsolicited advice around organizing/updating your resume, easily one of my least-favorite projects OF ALL TIME. I have changed jobs a lot, so I’ve tried a lot of different formats. Like you, I’ve got a pretty varied background, and it’s hard to make sure I get across all the skills I bring to the table, whether I attained those skills in a paid capacity or in a volunteer/hobby capacity.

    A new trend in resume design is to start with either a ‘summary’ or personal mission statement. Sometimes this is how you are approaching your work, or type of job you want. Other times, like in my case, you can take the space to kick off your resume with literally a list of what you bring to the table:

    12 yrs Consumer/Retail Marketing • 3 yrs Sports/Event/Attraction Marketing
    Strategic Planning & Business Management • Brand Building • New Product Launches
    Program Management • Budget Management & Forecasting • Agency Coordination • Media Planning
    Cross-Promotions • Consumer Research • Account Management • Consumer Research
    Public/Media Relations • Collateral Design • Event Production

    Then, I take a few lines and chat through what I think are my experience highlights – essentially, my whole resume in just a few lines of text. This way, if they never get past the first 1/3 of the first page, they at least know what I have going for me.

    EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS
    • Passion for building and marketing powerful brands that deliver results and value to Consumers and Company
    • Brand and Field Marketing in several consumer package categories, focused on new product launches, identifying and leveraging relevant promotional opportunities and retail execution and activation.
    • Cross-functional team participation & leadership
    • Success presenting new ideas and solutions to and influencing the decisions of executive management.
    • Agency management, including media buying and planning, creative development and customer engagement
    • Seen as thought leader within my organizations, and among customer and vendor peers and executives.
    • Bottom-up budget and forecast building and business management
    • Key Account Management, dedicated to maximizing profit and success for both Company and Partners

    After this, I start getting into the specific duties, goals and results of each job. I only go into detail for the last 2-3, the rest get bulleted lists in two columns of just the skills I either adopted, grew or used in each.

    Anyway, this method keeps you from getting weighed down in the chronological order of each job you did, and allows you to add ‘event production’ and ‘team leadership’ to your resume based on your theatre stuff without it having to show up in your ‘paid’ work experience.

    I totally hear you on being overwhelmed with so much change – I just thought maybe some help in the resume dept would help it feel like you had somewhere to start? I’m going to assume you’re already on LinkedIn?

    If you’re at all open to having a total stranger help scrub your resume, feel free to reach out! Good luck – no doubt you’ll land firmly on your feet!

  18. I am sorry for this extra stress in your life! I’m sending good thoughts your way.

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