|"Persevere!" A mural in Nassau, The Bahamas|
When I was working in Cubeville, there was always a push for us to develop a long-term career plan. I explored some of my options, thought about what I was good at, and decided that I wanted to get into training and performance improvement.
This wasn't a whim. I had some experience in training new staff. I had been given the opportunity to train a team of associates on a new process. Working as an underwriter, I considered teaching insurance agency staff how to write better product to be a big part of my job. I had a business portfolio full of job aids and training documents I created to help sales staff in my district and my coworkers.
I think I did everything right, or pretty close. I put a development plan in action, my boss helped me find a mentor working in training, and I got involved in some activities to increase my experience. I had great performance reviews every year.
But I couldn't get hired.
I was really, really frustrated. I had worked hard toward a specific goal and I still couldn't achieve it. I also had some signs that a member of my senior management was working against me to keep me on her team (I don't think this was paranoia). I started to resent my job. I felt trapped in a boring rut.
Then the economy took a big turn for the worse.
I watched as the new training jobs started to disappear. Then, because new employees weren't being hired, training staff were the first people to be laid off. Employees who had worked for the company for 20 years or more were losing their jobs.
I learned that when times get tough, staff who teach (rather than "produce") have the easiest jobs to eliminate.
That was when I began thinking about what I really wanted to do with the rest of my working life. I did a lot of soul searching. For the first time in a long time I prayed for guidance. And I ended up in Nursing. Needless to say I love my new field and I feel like I have found my true calling.
What was a professionally frustrating time ended up being a blessing in disguise. If I had been hired into a training job, I probably would have loved it, and would have been laid off soon after. I wouldn't have been able to find a similar job in another industry because no one else was hiring training staff either.
This week I found out that a job I applied for and that I really wanted has been filled. I wasn't even interviewed. It was tough news to get, and I'm pretty disappointed.
I talked to a friend today who will be peripherally involved with the unit where I applied to work. He told me that he thinks the whole thing might be a disaster at first, and that maybe not getting the job will be a blessing in disguise. Hearing that reminded me of the time when I felt trapped in a job that I didn't like anymore. I had no idea at that moment, but God had other plans for me, and I just had to get frustrated enough to take some drastic action.
This time I'm not sure that drastic action will be necessary, but I was glad for the reminder that a larger plan seems to exist. Sometimes you need a few roadblocks to put you on the right route.
So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid) and try to believe that it all works out in the long run.