Words, Weights, Whatever

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

***Where do I go from here...again?***

Back in college, I believed the stories that graduates should not expect a job after receiving their degree, that it took at least a year to find something higher than Mickie D's, etc. Being the naive and trusting soul I was (no comments from the peanut gallery out there. Especially you, GAC.) I took the tale hook, line, and stinker. (The folks who told me the story didn't bath too often.) This, plus being a lazy arse, led me to keep my job in an answering service longer than I should have.

Fate interviewed. I fell in love and the recipent of said love said, "how'd you like to write full-time?" So my entry into the adult world of work was again delayed for a blissful three years. (We won't discuss the debts accrued at the time.) But I ended that world: looking back with 20/20 vision, I wasn't mentally prepared for such unstructured time.

I started my first temp job in 1997 and half of my jobs have been temp. Unlike most folks who take such positions, I made the conscious choice to be a temp. And timing couldn't be better: the industry was exploding and the demand helped double my salary into what would be considered average within a year.

But I had graduated with a business major (which, by the way, I highly recommend to anyone who's undecided) and recognized that for every "peak" in the business cycle there was going to be a "valley". And I entered that valley when I was laid off from Sprint PCS at the beginning of 2004. Where once I had three to four job offers, now I had one every month if I was lucky. And they became fewer as I demanded my pay stay the same.

If you liken temping swimming across the sea, downtime (the period between jobs) is like breaking the surface after a steady swim. There, you take your gasp of air and check out your surroundings. There, you get your bearings, seeing how far you're away from shore.

What's my next job? Should I follow a career path?

Do I go back to school? If so, to learn what?

Do I continue pursuing writing to eventually get published? (Note: they're not mutually exclusive as shown from the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of pages written that will never see the light of day or webpage.)

Do I continue my workout regimen to stay healthy? Or change it to look good? (I can tolerate starvation and dehydration for a short period of time.) And what about my clothes? (Again, no comments from the peanut gallery.)

This is not the first time I've asked these questions and I know it won't be the last. That's the reason for this post.

I'm currently reading the book, What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson. Contained with the hardback book are the stories of folks asking the same question. Am I looking for my answer in this--or any--book? No. I learned that bitter lesson years ago to never put faith in books to tell you to answer one's questions.

So where do I "seek" such answers? For me--and only me--it's in this pause between jobs, this...taking a breath. (Talk about Zen!) I don't know how long it'll take to answer but I know this:

Water's good for you.


  • I have a business degree also and like you have struggled internally as to what to do with it. I agree with you that the right fix is hard to find and that each person must figure out what's right for them. I agree also that water, in the package you presented, would be good for me too ;-)

    By Blogger Keith, at 10:35 PM  

  • You'll be fine, J. Trying to find a job, whether it's transitional, full-time, watever, is always a struggle. But something will click soon enough.

    By Blogger Greg, at 8:14 AM  

  • When I talk about college to someone I always say: "You deserve everything but no one owes you anything. Go out and see what you can get." The adventure is finding out what you can get.

    As for questioning yourself - this is good. The you stop asking yourself questions is the day we will be burrying you.

    By Blogger Leon, at 8:33 AM  

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