Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Days Between

I like to keep things positive on this blog, and there is a lot in my life to be happy about these days: a beautiful family, slow cooker cooking, and two weeks of unlimited yoga at Back Bay Yoga are at the top of my list of reasons to smile right now.   However, like all of us, my life has its ups and downs, and right now the yin to my happy yang is my job hunt.  My job in Vermont wrapped up right before the holidays, and I'd dipped my toe in the job hunting pool while closing out that job, and dove in head first after the new year.  I know we're only two months into 2011, and I feel lucky to have had some great leads and interview opportunities thus far, but nothing has come to fruition.  

Several recently unemployed friends have taken the better part of a year or more to find something new in this still-struggling economy, so I know I have to be patient and be grateful for the interesting opportunities I'm finding, even if the process feels slow.  I also want to just enjoy this precious time I have to spend, totally unfettered, with the little guy.  However, when I find myself really enjoying a moment, like on our walk to town this morning in the bright, windy sunshine, it is tinged with guilt that I ought to be doing something, at that very moment, to further my search, rather than gallivanting about town with the child (even if that gallivanting is productive... hello armload of dry cleaning we dropped off and much needed playground stop for little J).  Where is the sense in that?  I know I'll eventually land a new gig, and when I do I'll miss these days in their own way, so I wish I could just enjoy them more fully right now.

I'm an avid traveler but a nervous flyer, and rarely read or do anything requiring focus on a flight because, as the husband says, I'm "too busy flying the plane."  So true.  I think that's where I am right now as well, unable to really and truly savor this time off ("funemployment", as my friend Jen calls it), for fear that happiness would mean I am somehow compromising my desire to be gainfully employed.  I'm caught between feeling a hole where my professional life usually is, and feeling very gratified as a full-time mom.  This is especially complicated by the really interesting, challenging work my husband and so many of our friends do all day.  I was having trouble keeping a rhythm pattern at the little dude's music class yesterday and found myself thinking, "wow, the hubs is having a daily impact on environmental policy, while I am struggling to keep 4/4 time... awesome."

There you have it, friends, a look inside the darker regions of my mental landscape these days.  All of this is to say that I'd really like to find challenging, meaningful work for a fabulous company sometime in the near future.  Prior to this, my last real job hunt was over six years ago, and I admit I'm feeling out of the loop on the latest and greatest job hunting vehicles.  My lovely sister-in-law introduced me to Indeed and sold me on the importance of LinkedIn, but I'm wondering what other advice all of you might have.  What's your favorite job search engine?  Networking tactic?  Boston-based company?  Any brainstorms you can offer would be gratefully accepted here or via e-mail (sweetmamajane@gmail).

In the meantime, I'm going to do all I can to enjoy the days between.


  1. My fave Boston-based org is the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Their parent for-profit, Interaction Associates, is pretty cool too. Good luck, Jane!

  2. 1. nothing more important anywhere, ever, than parenting

    2. turn any of your fun, philosophical, or inspiring blogs into an article and send it to a magazine

    3. believe that the universe places you where needed

  3. I'm with Anonymous.
    1. Treasure these moments you have with the little guy. I know that it seems like a cliche, but his childhood will go by faster than you can ever imagine. In hindsight I promise that you'll be so thankful you had this time with him.
    2. I read every one of your blog posts because they are TERRIFIC. Put some time into making these into articles. It will be time very well spent!

  4. Ditto 2 with Anon. When I have been job searching, two things have helped. The first is to conduct informational interviews in the places I'd like to work. This is a great door opener - even if they don't have openings at the moment, you might meet someone who knows someone at another org, or someone who will call you when they do have an opening.

    Second, I made weekly goals, and then broke that into smaller daily goals. If I knew that during naptime I would make 2 calls, send 2 emails, and check online job postings ONE MORE TIME, then it would allow me more mental freedom to enjoy the morning. And be more present.

    Good luck - transitions are never pretty!

  5. Thank you for all of the superb advice and support. I appreciate your input, as well as the blog love!