At this point, we have all heard the term The Great Resignation and read the statistics on the number of workers leaving the workforce in droves AND how that has disproportionately impacted women. As a reformed corporate human resources professional, as well as an individual who found herself unexpectedly a job seeker, I want to rename this time The Great Opportunity because – cue popular TikTok song – “what a time to be alive”. Seriously!
My situation is a little different, since leaving my job was not my choice. However, I could have easily just jumped right back into doing exactly what I was doing, just in a different-same office, different-same walls, different-same conditions. I knew exactly what I didn’t want, but I had (I thought) zero idea of what it was that I did want. Reader, the inertia and the stress of it all was crushing. That is until I had a very fortuitous conversation with a dear colleague regarding my existential career crisis, she gave me a simple and shockingly effective task item to complete. I will now pass along this wisdom to you, in the hope and expectation that it services you in sorting through the murky waters when asking yourself “How do I manifest the next step for myself when I don’t know what I want?”
It really is a crisis. To know what you have and what you are doing does not make you happy, but you don’t know what would. Manifestation is knowing what you want and envisioning that in your life. Picturing it, seeing it, believing it. But what if there is no picture?
How about this? Can you see a piece of the picture? Any piece, the tiniest piece? Start with the ideas that are tangible –
- Your work environment – in an office, at home, out in the elements, or some combination
- Your schedule – how many hours, what time of day, which days, evenings, or weekends
- Social interaction – coworkers, solo, client interaction, public interaction
- Attire – sweatpants, work boots, corporate, corporate casual, corporate on top-sweats on bottom
- Structure – small company, large company, flat company, solo company, report to a boss, report to a board, report to yourself
- Types of tasks – routine, varied, intellectual, creative, administrative, quantitative, qualitative, consultative
- Money – exactly how much do you want showing up in your bank account and how often? do you want to earn a salary, hourly rate, commission, project pay, piece rate, and when
You are designing your dream job here. It doesn’t have to be realistic. It doesn’t even have to be something you have ever seen. Take out your notebook and favorite pen and write it all down. Is a picture starting to emerge? Read the words you have written. Often. Every day. Make changes. Rewrite.
Then. . . stay open. To looking, to exploring, to discussions, to networking, to connecting. When something appears, and it will, there will be an aha moment and you will think “Wow, that sounds familiar”. The role you have manifested has arrived, your GREAT OPPORTUNITY and you are ready to go for it with passion and precision because you have done the work and now the picture is clear.
From my work with my job-seeking clients, I’ve learned just as much from them as hopefully, they have learned from me. One of those lessons is – each one of us is in a different place – in our careers, in our lives, how clear or unclear we are about what we want, our commitment to our careers, how much we want our career to define us, in knowing and in not knowing. It’s all ok, it’s all good even. The beauty of this time in our lives is that the chaos we’ve been thrust into has somehow given us all the space to think about what we want, make our own choices, and create our own opportunities.
Indeed, what a time to be alive. . .
Jessica Milewski is a human resources/recruitment professional, masters-level educated in management and SHRM/HRCI certified, currently being her own boss lady during COVID times as a resume writer/career coach. As her seven-year-old daughter likes to explain “Her job is helping other people find jobs”. For help with your own job search, you can find her at www.greenlightcareers.com.