Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Man, I Miss Mondays

I used to dread them. I'd sit on the couch on Sunday night, which is my big TV night and usually an ice cream night, and wish that Monday would never come. But this last year has taught me to be thankful for Mondays.

A year and a half ago, I left a job in corporate America and returned to my first love, the ad agency world. My first and most obvious choice for a place to call my second home turned out to be a total nightmare. And after a short four month stay, I was let go. It was truly a blessing in disguise because due to circumstances associated with that job, I was headed down a fairly destructive personal path. But the timing was awful. It was the week before Christmas, I was given 2 weeks pay and my health insurance was completely cut off.

I spent the next four months freelancing and traveling all over the Midwest interviewing for new jobs. Cold and snow and delayed flights and long drives filled most of my days and nights until I stumbled upon my dream job.

Seemingly, out of nowhere, I found a place (or a place found me) where despite my greatest attempts to make it JUST work and to not get involved with my coworkers, I felt home. There was a good balance of chaos and fun, an abundance of good work and the freedom to be me. I had been looking for them for 15 years. I guess it's true what they say about good things finding you when you aren't really looking for them.

Eight months in, the US economy took a bad turn. And the effect on small business was devastating. Corporate panic and fear gripped the entire country. People stopped spending money in their every day lives but big companies also cut budgets and eliminated advertising dollars quickly. Eventually, I felt the impact personally when I was laid off.

Finding a job in this economy is like online dating. I'm clear about what I want, I know what is a good fit, I put my resume out there... but there are no good matches out there. The calls I've been getting are from financial institutions. Trust me, people, you don't want me handling your money. Michele will work at a financial institution on the same day that Michele dates a 67 year old guy who is 5' tall.

I pray the lay off really is temporary. It's not easy living on unemployment in your parents' house. In fact, it sucks. I get to stay up all night watching MTV and I can go to the gym everyday at 2pm when nobody else is there. But waking up on Mondays with nowhere to go is depressing and discouraging. I have worked too long and too hard to be in this situation. I want to find a place where I can stay for the next 20 years. I want to find a place to spend my Mondays. And I need to find it soon.

(If you know anyone looking for a project manager who believes she is as good as they come, send them my way.)

No comments: