I have been without a job for a couple of months now, unemployed for the first time since I was 16. The feeling of relief is incredible. I guess that's how you know for sure that you're in the wrong job: you're thrilled when it's gone, even if it means you're joining the ranks of the jobless. I'm now a statistic that people talk about. Honestly, I think it's the best thing that ever happened to me. Perhaps I will change this opinion if things don't work out, but for now, let's go with the positive.
Inertia has been the driving force behind every single career move I've made, starting in college. I haven't actually been actively involved in developing my future...more like I've been along for the ride. The path of least resistance has been pretty good to me. One job led to another with the help of key supporters putting in a good word for me. I was consistently promoted, given more responsibility, more money...the whole shebang. The only real hiccup was that I wasn't happy. The only thing I've loved about every job was my coworkers...and I still love them. Some of the best friends I'll ever have came out of jobs I complained about endlessly (to those same friends...) Lots of things kept me where I was, but I now realize the biggest hurdle I've faced is fear. Fear that I wasn't good enough to do anything else, fear of failing if I tried, fear that I'd make the wrong choice and regret it. A subtle change has come over me since I was liberated from my job: I now only fear NOT making a change. I'm terrified that I won't take a chance at happiness and I'll go back to what's secure, even though it makes me miserable. It's quite the driving force, this fear. Of course it's not like dark alley at night fear, or "we have your test results" fear, but it's enough to keep me going.
I've decided to listen to some advice (novel idea, I know) and actually try to do something I enjoy. I'm good at lots of things! So what if they don't easily match any job description I can find? I'm doing all the right things, taking inventory of my skills, likes, knowledge. You know, I'm figuring out the color of my parachute. I'm actually thinking of starting a business. It may not pay much at first, but cliche or not, there are more important things than money. I hope to hell I won't have to use that line with my mortgage company or anything, but it is essentially true.
So here I go. I'm going to do this, naysayers be damned. I may fail, but oh my, I may not. It's a little terrifying...in a roller coaster, thrilling kind of way. Hold on for the ride!