It has been nearly four years since the event. It feels like an eternity. I can remember the details of that day like it happened yesterday. I remember what I was wearing. I remember the time, and I remember the sinking feeling as it all began to happen. That was the day I was fired from a position I had held for nearly a decade, with a company I had worked for nearly twice that.
I know many people have been through this event. It is unpleasant, and it is a life altering event. For me, it began a journey that has been both enlightening, and frustrating to no end. Let’s start with the enlightening. My wife comments to this day how different my temperament is. I am more attentive to my family, and I am a lot less grouchy. Towards the end of my time in my prior job, I was constantly stressed to the point of exhaustion. I am a perfectionist, and will push myself so hard to be the best. In the end it burnt me out, and caused the events leading to my dismissal. I never realized how harsh I was on everyone around me, until it was too late. I am thankful each and every day that I have a person in my life that is so understanding as my wife. As we progressed to today, the life pressures from that one event could have fractured us. Instead it has galvanized our family unit.
The event also brought out my creativity. I had always enjoyed writing, but in the last couple of years, I have discovered a new “gift”. I am a pretty good photographer. That has actually taken a front seat over the writing in the last year or so. For someone that has felt throughout his life that he had no artistic talent, or was told that anyway, this has been quite a revelation. It has opened up so many things inside me, and allowed me to express myself in ways I had never dreamed of before. Of course with any good, there must be something to balance it out right?
Shortly after losing my position, we decided that it would be our chance to strike out on our own. We were going to start our own business. It was going to be a spectacular success, and anyone that saw our business plan thought it was a wonderful idea. Of course this was 2008, and the beginning of the financial meltdown in the U.S. We would work very hard to secure funding, but our hopes would finally ebb away completely by 2010. There would be no business started, and the only result of our effort was more debt, and less income. It is a situation that weighs heavily on me, even now.
We reluctantly admitted defeat, and decided it would be best for me to seek a traditional job. I began my job search in earnest. I have been searching now for about two years (I am now employed with the company I was fired from in a much lessor position, and making about a third of my former salary). I have turned in hundreds of resumes and applications and have only garnered a few interviews over that span of time. Our financial situation at home is quite tight, and my wife is a financial wizard in my view. It is quite frustrating to have so much experience and desire and will, but not being of interest to many companies that are hiring out there.
Okay, now before I get a ton of “Keep your chin up Mike” messages, don’t think I am all doom and gloom these days. I am firmly grounded in the fact that I have a pretty wonderful life. It’s just that around this time of the year, I start to take stock of where I am at in the professional, and dreams department. The dreams are going on full throttle. The professional department…well we are hiring as we speak.