The wait is over

Not writing for so long means there are many, many things to catch up on. I wasn’t idle over the summer, just not inclined to write. And since this is my hobby blog, I don’t have to write if I don’t want to. 😉

The first big news is that I accepted a really good job offer and start December 3. Yay! I’ll be working in the same industry and same field, but the new company is smaller than the place I used to work. The people are welcoming and friendly, the culture just felt like a good fit right away.

All of this activity started after the Labor Day holiday, just as the transition coach said it would. I had been feeling really low just before that point since I wasn’t getting any affirmative responses to the jobs I had been applying for.

One of the positive things I did to kick-start the action was to start a new group of professionals in my field in the greater Bay Area. I had been looking for opportunities to network but not finding any. I had one local contact in my field that I met with face-to-face to discuss the situation and he suggested I start a group. So I did. There were several people interested, and we were able to pull together a meeting in a very short time. We’ll be holding our third meeting next week.

The transition coach encouraged me that this was a good step, and indeed it was. Things started happening after that. I started getting screening calls for some of the jobs I’d applied for, which turned into phone interviews. At one point I was looking at the possibility of having to decide between three different jobs in very different industries. One of the companies decided to put the position on hold, and the other two asked me to schedule in person interviews. Those were long, intense days, but I felt very comfortable being myself and in my knowledge of my field. In the end, I declined to pursue one of the jobs and accepted the offer of the other.

An important personal lesson I learned from this experience is to keep my network active. I’m glad to now have a group of local colleagues with whom I can talk about challenges and successes, and keeping this group going is something I look forward to doing.

Several months ago, I talked with a friend who is a natural coach about my career. She suggested I write down what I was looking for, and to focus on that description so I could make it happen. Everything I wrote down was manifested in this new job: the salary, the commute, the benefits, and the work atmosphere. I’ve been a skeptic about this manifesting stuff, but it worked for me this time.

 

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Learning

It’s been just a big ‘ol voyage of discovery for me lately. I’m still unemployed, and one of my biggest challenges is how much I like it.

There is so much to do with my time! In the past few weeks I’ve taken online training and earned a certification that may help me land a job (or at least get my foot in the door someplace). I’ve also started learning some code. I’ve taken a few free online training courses in Javascript and Python, and will be moving on to a SQL refresher. And then there is all the self-care I’ve doing.

Last week I had my last (hopefully) physical therapy appointment for my neck. I still get occasional, mild tingling/numbness in my right hand and arm, but it’s bearable. I’m accepting that my body has accumulated wear and tear, and that I likely will just have to get used to things like this happening now and then. I’m still going to PT for my ankle, but I’m hoping to wrap that up in the next few weeks, too.

My next physical milestone will be eye surgery #4 that is scheduled for September 17. The previous three surgeries and copious steroid drops I’ve had to use in my bad eye have accelerated cataract development. The eye docs both agree that the cataract is advanced enough to merit removal, although I could put it off for a bit longer. The uncertainty about my medical insurance makes me reluctant to wait, however. I know that I have this particular insurance plan through the end of the year and that I’m within $200 of my out-of-pocket maximum for the year. When I get a new job, my medical benefits may be different, and I may be forced to find new doctors. I’d much rather have one of the doctors I’ve been working with for the past three years do my surgery, so it makes financial and medical sense to do it now. I won’t need to go to San Francisco for this eye surgery, though. The local ophthalmologist is able to do this procedure, which makes the arrangements for transport much easier.

I’ve been counseled that removing the cataract may not make a big difference in my vision, though. What I perceive as cloudiness in my vision may or may not be due to the cataract. The local eye doc noted that I’ve lost quite a bit of vision due to the glaucoma, and the “cloudiness” could simply be my brain trying to fill in the gaps. I won’t know without the surgery, though, so it’s worth a try. The doctor also told me that there is a risk that my drainage device may stop working after the surgery. If that happens then I’ll have to have yet another surgery to add a new device. Despite these uncertainties, I still think it is worth the risks. After all, my only other choice is to just give up on trying to improve my vision, right?

Not working has also given me much more time to follow my thoughts and reflect on my emotions and reactions to situations and people. I feel like I’m making huge advances in understanding myself and trying to create new, positive neural pathways. Self-reflection was something I struggled with in the past; setting aside time for it just seemed like a luxury and a privilege I couldn’t afford. I’m practicing gratitude, making time for physical rest, and simply enjoying being in this time and place.

Summer is nearly over and I need to step up the job hunt, though. I think I’m ready for the challenge of keeping these good habits for my mental and physical well-being in balance while I’m working full-time. The voyage continues!