In search of...
Back in the late 70's and early 80's there was a 30-minute show that aired on ABC: In Search of.... It was narrated by Dr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, and it focused on unusual, unsolved mysteries and phenomena, such as Big Foot, the Headless Horseman, Alien sightings, etc.. It was fascinating TV and I was overjoyed when it went into syndication and I could catch an episode almost every night at 7:30 PM. Yeah, fascinating but always inconclusive. Big Foot was never located. A true alien never captured. Loch Ness Monster possibly just a regular sea creature, mistaken for something more sinister.
So, here I am, on day 54 of a 90-day program called Career Attraction, in search of a 6-figure job that I love and, to be honest, I'm feeling about as inconclusive as one of those In Search of... episodes.
Career Attraction attracts mid-life folks like me who have been downsized, fired, taken a package deal, or are simply sick and tired of doing what they've been doing for the past 20+ years and they want to make a pivot...a shift into something more fulfilling, more satisfying.
Before the program, our initial attempts to make this change were met with eerie silence or requests for us to do work that was either nowhere near the level of skill that we possessed - for far less money, or to do the same thing from which we were attempting to escape for - again - far less money. These responses were incredibly discouraging and frustrating to say the least.
I saw the Career Attraction ad on Facebook. It spoke to me. I watched the intro video with its two founders, Olivia and Kevin, and felt, based on everything they said, that this program might just be the elixir I needed. I scheduled a call with a recruiter and 6000 dollars later I was signed up (and that's 6G removed from my IRA and 401 K -- retirement savings that are dwindling with each passing month that I'm not working, which in the past 6 years is a total of about 36 months altogether).
I started off strong. There are two really informative weekly calls with the founders and coaches (yes, I get a coach), an awesome Slack community that apparently just started to become really vigorous when I joined, due to the efforts of another member who has galvanized us to maximize our connections in the program, and share our progress and WINS. Her efforts have even sparked a movement where regionally members are meeting in person to connect and share - starting of course in the greatest state on earth, my home state: NJ. All in all, it seemed that I was in the right place at the right time.
I've been reading and supporting other people's wins and posting my own in Slack, as we work through the modules, attend calls and start doing our outreaches to get closer and closer to the job we desire. We start off the program figuring out our must haves, getting over any limiting beliefs, charting 50 reasons why we are so great and should be a highly desired candidate for any job in any super company - companies who will also feel obliged to pay us what we're worth. We're being equipped and readied to have our mindsets refreshed and centered on complete certainty of who we are and what we can bring to an organization. We're encouraged to have razor sharp focus on abundance and a heart to serve - to have conversations with contacts, who can become advocates - conversations where we dig out problem areas that only we can fix based on our strengths and the xyz statement we've determined describes what we do best (I help x do y so that z). It's all enlightening and can be quite powerful on the outset. However, it is hard hard work. I didn't realize just how hard it would be.
I've had so little authentic, satisfying success in my career - have gotten so used to doing what I don't like and not ever being sure what I do want to do - that all the work required to get into the right mindset to achieve my dream feels like I'm climbing Mt Everest on a daily basis. My career got stalled by a misguided choice to leave IBM that coincided with my parents sudden and prolonged need (still ongoing) for my care and support - which I had never anticipated - not to the degree that I ended up having to give. And of course there's my joy - Jonathan - and the care and attention that he requires.
I walked through my years at IBM in terror of being found out that I was a fraud and should by no means have ever been promoted, given a position of visibility nor be making 6-figures. And yet, those 6-figures where lovely and afforded me and Jonathan in his first two years a very comfortable life. I've had a hard time in these 6 years of on and off lack not still living like I make six figures. Hence my need to pretty much gut my 401 k and pension so that what was once over $200000 is now about $30000.
This program is not turning out to be the elixir I thought it would be. It's hard for it to be when I'm still struggling so hard to really KNOW what I want to do. So I watch the few folks who are encountering success in the program (and it is a few) and it's abundantly clear that the reason why there are so few is that to achieve success you have to REALLY work this program almost 24 x 7, i.e., watch module videos over and over - and over again. Do mindset rituals over and over - and over again. Be fully engaged on every Tues & Thurs call. Be fully engaged in outreach - at least 2 per day. If you do all that you will likely - IF YOU KNOW WHAT THAT DREAM JOB IS - land a 6 figure job that you love.
I have to be frank. When I look at what my dream is, it is in sharp contrast to much of what everyone else is searching for in CA - whether it be non-profit or for-profit. And so, because it really does not fit with what is essential or "reality", I find myself still in a place of scarcity, which Olivia blasts on a continual basis, and for good reason. However, because I'm a single mom, growing deeper in debt and the fact that my ideal in my current state doesn't make sense, I feel that I just need to suck it up and get a job and do what I need to do to climb out of debt, keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Period.
Yet, it's discouraging. I'm finding myself slacking on the program while I search and apply to jobs the traditional way, which has been as unsuccessful as it was before Career Attraction and why I joined Career Attraction in the first place. So, there's the rub: I want a dream job (that's not really my dream - just what makes the most sense based on my experience) and I tried to see if I could approach getting there another way (CA), but it's just as unsatisfying and discouraging to me as the former unsatisfying and discouraging way. Just lose, lose all over the place.
So what do I really want. What am I truly in search of. I say I don't know, but in truth, it's only because of how far-fetched it seems to me. How unrealistic, and unreasonably romantic, and how unworthy I feel I am to even ask for it and how many times that unworthiness has been confirmed because of the numerous request for it to happen only for it to remain a dream deferred. But I know. I most assuredly do know.
Here it is.
I want the gift of marriage to a really great guy, who love Jesus, is responsible, will love Jonathan as his very own, who I can worship with, honor, respect and who will love me as Christ loves the church and who will live with me in understanding - to whom I can be as one who brings him peace and that the two of us together will bring more glory to God than either of us alone. And to live on a nice little plot of land where there are other families with kids for Jonathan to play with, our dogs can run and romp, maybe a goat and a couple of chickens, a big porch and a homey comfortable interior in which we can entertain friends and family. Enough money where we can do some travel each year, give without restraint, tuck away for the future and live on in comfort. To be in this kind of solid relationship so that I can pursue my writing, editing and proofreading at leisure, without my income being essential to daily living.
That for me is the 6-figure job that I would love...a fantasy that at this point will likely never be fulfilled. And that for me is a sadness that is more overwhelming than anything else.
So, in the meantime, Father God, help me. I'm at an impasse and I guess I just need you to show up for me in a very miraculous way and put me in a job that works best for me and Jonathan and gives you honor and glory -where You show up in me on a daily, continual basis, and I don't lean on my own understanding or fear, but entrust myself entirely to you. Prayerfully, you do this before CA ends - before my savings dry out by end of July. I have to believe you will do it.
On this Father's day, 2019, be for me the Father you have always been. The word says, if a child asks for a fish, will his father give him a stone? No. If a loving, earthly father knows how to give his children good things, how much more shall my Father in Heaven grant me the desires of my heart!
Waiting on you God. Trusting in You Father. Hoping - BELIEVING - that the next time I visit here it will be to post that you have answered my prayer.
You have answered my prayer.