Sort of, kind of, semi-employed

If you have been doing the math, you know that I was laid off at the end of November. This makes June my 7th month of unemployment from the full-time working world. I have been doing a lot with my time, one of the biggest things, has been volunteering. I was presented with a unique opportunity to work in a temporary part-time position at the non-profit I volunteer with. I decided to accept the offer of working for them part-time as bridge between someone leaving and them hiring someone in a higher capacity than the person who left. What does this all mean?

Well,  it means I have finally found something in my adult career to do for a living that I LOVE! The downside is the whole “temporary part-time” aspect of it.  I walk into work every day and just absolutely enjoy it and feel happy being in that office. I actually wake up in the morning pleasant and smiling, a big thing for a non-morning person.  I don’t think I EVER felt that way at my old job. I feel a sense of purpose, an energy to excel, and just a great passion for the mission of the organization. I am bursting with ideas I want to share and longing to make a difference. My only issue is the feeling of limbo and the void in me that is filled with worry over having found this great position, that it is only temporary. It is a real state of career schizophrenia. I want to shout out and tell everyone about what the organization does and what I do for them. And then I also want to keep it tight so that when and if the job ends, it won’t be so heartbreaking knowing that everyone knows.

I try to see that there really are no downside to all of this. I can still job search (though still nothing full-time has come my way) and I can learn all I can about working in the non-profit world. I work with terrific people and the high level of positivity is something I never experienced at my old company. I see that people can work together as a team and be highly effective. This is a whole new world to me. I am working with people who want to make a difference and are doing just that. It is such a welcome change from the high-level of uneasiness and inter-family combat at my old place.

I don’t think I am the only one in this type of career limbo. Having been in advertising and marketing, which is as my husband says, a very “squishy” career path, I know that many doors closed due to the economy and the jobs aren’t coming back. Why is no one hiring me? My unemployment has been my career reinvention, as I have really discovered I want to work in the non-profit world and use my talents to make people’s lives better, instead of just make a family-run company’s pockets full. I know a lot of people are exploring other options such as job-sharing and part-time work just to get back into the workforce and feel productive. I sympathize with all of us, even though the change has been positive to the reincarnation of my career. I still feel the sting of the job rejections, the unanswered cover letters, unread resumes,  the lack of jobs at my level and the underlying feeling of panic that I will never find anything.

Caught in between.

In between full-time and part-time, temporary and permanent. Caught in between euphoria and panic. Trying to enjoy what I am currently doing without worrying about the fact that it could end at any moment. Welcome to the new economy. Happy to be working and unhappy that it may not last.

So when people ask, me how it’s going, all I can really answer right now is that well, I am sort of, kind of, semi-employed.


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