A Career

Have you ever felt like you’d never move past the “job” phase? That you could never call what you do, or what you want to do, a career?

On Friday, I had my 90 day review for my job, and it was good. I came out of it feeling valued and proud of myself and with a desire to keep pushing and working hard. And I realized–I have a career.

After the struggle I faced post-graduation and last year, I never thought I would be able to say that. I always called what I did a “job,” and now I can transition that language. I am a writer, a blogger, an editor. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. My husband used to tell me “if you want to write, we can find a way to make it work.” I finally found a way.

I’m not anxious at this place. I don’t feel like if I don’t answer emails on my days off, the world will end or I’ll get yelled at. I don’t walk into work dreading the interactions I may have that day. I don’t dread the people or the work itself. That doesn’t mean I’m not tired after working all day, because I am. That’s part of working. But I’m proud that I’m tired by the end of the day. I feel like I’ve earned that exhaustion. And I really needed that feeling.

This job, actually beginning my career, has showed me the things I needed to see. I can see why my husband was always exhausted coming home from work. I can see why no one wants to go out after work, even if you are in an office all day. I can also see why it can be tiring to come home and make a meal, even if it’s just you and the animals. Having never experienced those things before, I didn’t know what they were like, so my reactions and my attitude were off. Now that I know, I feel better prepared.

So, today, I am thankful for my career. I am thankful I had the opportunity to truly begin it. I am thankful I found my calling. I am thankful I have a good work environment. I am thankful God granted me this opportunity. And I am thankful He used this opportunity to show me how to be better and to provide me the proverbial tools I need.

I want to encourage you to be thankful for your job. No matter what it is to you right now–whether it’s “just a job” or a career–God is using it in your life. If you don’t think He is, I challenge you to think about what your job has taught you. How has it changed you? What have you learned? Because every experience teaches us something.

I Finally Did It…

Stomach in knots. Racing heart. I feel like I’m shaking. I close my eyes and pray, “Father, if this is your will…” I open them again to find minutes have passed. There are papers piled on my desk, but it’s the paper hidden at the bottom of the stack that’s causing my anxiety.

Why is it we are most anxious to do something when we know it’s something we must do? Shouldn’t we have peace from God in that moment, especially if we feel He is the one telling us to do the thing?

I needed to take back my decision-making ability. I need to find what I am capable of. I need to find what really gives me that spark.

. . . . . .

I walk into the office, the feeling that I’m shaking more pronounced. I don’t think I am. I take my time, allow this to flow naturally. The time comes. 

“I would like to take this moment to tender my resignation.”

. . . . . .

I’ve thought about ways to use that phrase, “tender my resignation,” since I started my first job. It always sounded so adult to me, so professional.

In case you are wondering: yes, you have interpreted correctly. I quit my (main) job today. Rather, I gave my notice.

Once I did and I walked out of the meeting, I felt better. Calm finally settled over me. I had the conviction that I had done the right thing.

. . . . . .

I am going to take this time to do a few things.

First: I am going to invest in my writing. I’m going to buy a big pin board to use as a giant, physical story board or idea board. I need to physically write things down, post them up somewhere, and look at them frequently. I need to be able to move them as needed, to touch them.

I’m going to work on my memoir. I wrote a brief one for a creative nonfiction class in college, and I’ve always wanted to expand on it. I just never felt I had the time. I know, now, that was an excuse. I had the time, I just wasn’t managing myself properly.

Which leads me to the second thing: I’m going to work on managing myself and my time. For those logical people out there, I do still have a job—an adjunct position. I’m basically going to start from scratch, though. Whatever I did in college is out the window. I’m going to try new techniques.

Finally: I’m going to learn about myself. I realized recently that I’m not really sure what I want out of a career; I just knew where I was wasn’t it. I’m going to take time to find what makes me tick, what really gives me a spark.

. . . . . .

We have to realize God has created us for something special, something unique, something only we can do. When He calls on us to move forward into the unknown, it’s a test of our faith.

Do we move without knowing what will happen, but trusting He has a plan? Or do we keep plugging away at something He has not designed for us? If we do the latter, we may never find fulfillment, and we may move through life completely unsatisfied.

If we do the former, though, so many possibilities await.

The unknown is terrifying. It’s the unknown after all; by definition, we don’t know what’s to come. But if we put our faith in God and remember all things will work for the good of those who believe…then, just maybe, the unknown can be less scary.

It’s still something I am working on, believe me. I still have to practice my faith. I still have to work to reorganize my priorities. I have to constantly work to reorganize my mind to focus on Him. When I do, though, I can feel a change.

Like now.

. . . . . .

Do I feel better? I think so. The anxiousness I initially had went away as soon as I handed over my letter.

For the first time in at least five months, I feel like I have control of something. And, right now, that is important for me. For the first time since graduation, I do not really know what’s going to happen next. My life has turned so many ways in the past few months, I’m not sure what to expect. For once, though, I’m okay with that. I’m getting better at taking things one day at a time. I don’t know what’s in store, but I know God has a plan for me, that I am made for more.

I may have decided to quit my job, but, for the first time, I don’t feel like a quitter.

Treating It Like A Job

Something happens in your head, in your heart, in the way you see things when you finally make the conscious decision to move forward with something you feel called to.

I have felt called to writing for quite some time, years in fact, and I have really only recently begun to move forward with that calling in a conscious, viable way. I started looking for articles on writing and found one on Medium that sought to inspire writers to turn from “wannabe” to “pro” with their craft. One article in particular, though, said exactly the thing someone like me needed to hear: you have to treat your writing like a job.

As I have expressed previously, I started working on an assignment for my creative writing class in college, and I had hoped to turn it into an actual novel. When my instructor told me, however, that the only way it would be believable was for it to end in a way I didn’t want it to (read: not have a happy ending), I stopped writing. On top of that, I was down on myself—no one would ever read this crap I told myself, even though my husband insisted I continue working on it. (Lesson: listen to your spouse.)

But a quote from the article on turning pro really struck me: “a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Well, in the past, I quit. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I quit…quitting? (Does that even make sense?)

All of this has led me to the idea of rebranding this blog. Not because I’m not writing about what I want to write about (because I am!), but because I want to truly solidify what it is I do and what I write about. I started this blog as a place to just…write, but it has helped me to grow and realize what it is I want to do. If I want to be taken seriously, I have to begin to take myself seriously. So, over the course of the next month, I will be changing things up a bit. The biggest changes will most likely be a new domain name and a new layout on the blog itself.

The topics will not change. The overall goal of my blog will not change. I’m just going to actually work on developing that goal into a type of mission or vision. I will also keep writing during these updates.

I feel excited about this. The thought of treating my writing like a job brings me joy and an excitement I didn’t know I still had. I feel I am finally putting my calling to use, like I am finally honoring God with the gift He has blessed me with.

I hope you all will join me on this mission I’ve created for myself. And if you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them!