Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Forward 2010

By Alicia Pozsony

As we set our clocks ahead and await warmer, sun-filled days, it’s time to recognize the season of spring. New life and bright colors of nature—it’s as if Earth is taking new breaths. Take this opportunity, as nature flourishes, to start anew in your job search journey. Whether you’re new to being unemployed or you’ve been unemployed for a longer while, I hope you will find my story uplifting.

Can you think of another time in your life when you were down on your luck? Maybe it was when you were younger in age and less informed about the ways of the world, as was true for me. I recall the very first time I was asked to walk to the corner store to get milk and bread for my mother. This was a challenge I gladly welcomed and proudly accepted. It came with age and she felt I was ready. “Come right home and bring me all the change” I heard my mother call as I walked away from our front door.

It was a warm, sunny day, and I had the confidence of ten thousand men. Repeating the items with each step, my stance was straighter, my attitude was positive, and I had the whole world in front of me with this one simple challenge. Okay, so I had only the second block in front of me where the store was located. It felt like the world. It was a new situation, a new challenge and something I had heard about but never done before. For me, this was a new opportunity for greatness and a chance to prove myself.

With any new experience, the situation can suddenly turn, making one suddenly unsure. In my milk-and-bread situation as a child, I was ultimately forced to have to return home and face the disappointment of my mother. What 9 year old cannot resist the candy conveniently placed at the register? Maybe you recall a time when you spent change on a Popsicle or candy. Maybe it was the local bully spotting you and taking your parents money for lunch that week. Maybe the bag broke and you dropped it causing the bread to quickly lose its shape. I had to return home that day knowing my mother would know some of her change was missing, there’d be no special treatment that day for a job well-done, and worse, I might not get the chance again to prove myself.

To me, being unemployed feels much like I felt that day so many years ago. I recall spending the whole begrudging walk home trying to find a way to come up with found money to replace the missing grocery change. And I tried to come up with a worthy explanation for my mother recounting what had "happened". I thought about how I could do better next time if given the chance.

The element of loss of control is the same during unemployment as it was on that day. Only difference being as a 9-year-old having not made many mistakes in judgment, the choice to spend the change was mine and I caused the situation. On that day there was no found money once it was spent, and today there’s no found job.

But something did happen that day that stuck with me:
My mother instilled in me the confidence to not be afraid,
to not give up,
to be honest about who I am and to know good things will come.

No matter how severe the situation seemed to me that day or how severe the situation seems today, two things hold true:

The situation that day was temporary and inevitably did change; I learned from it and was able to grow, knowing it was a valuable lesson learned.

So, if you’ve already gotten all the enjoyment you can out of your unexpected time off and are now feeling down on your luck, as I did on that warm and sunny milk-and-bread day, remember that your situation is temporary and you will eventually overcome being all the wiser!

Stay positive, reach out to other Professional Service Group Members, and be well as you become renewed this spring.

...You know, my mother DID eventually let me go to the corner store again, and I proved I was able to produce a better outcome than the first outing. Let’s hope these employers will soon see that each of us can do the same and prove a better outcome than our last employer!

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