I’ve been unemployed for three and a half years now, the result of being laid off from my insurance claims job of 23 years. Being laid off was difficult because I am a hard-worker and earnest and diligent in my work habits, and I did not feel like I deserved to be the one chosen. My downfall, I think, is that I was not political enough: I kept to myself, did my relationship-building, and tried to inspire confidence to the best of my ability with the quality and volume of my work.
When I found myself out of the loop I had to do some grieving. Frankly, you don’t dedicate a third of your life to an industry with the ultimate of dream of not being needed any more, so it was very difficult. I handled the grieving process as well as I could, and eventually started to actually read the writing on the wall. Perhaps it was time to move on – time to think of something else. But what? That was the big question, and the answer at that time was that I didn’t know.
So, I went to school. I decided that if I wasn’t sure where I was going I at least needed to do something positive to ensure I got somewhere. I’m now in the final semester of a bachelors at University of Calgary.
So do I know any more now about what I want to do than I did then?
Yes. After all the hard work, the deadlines, the exams, the expenses of securing a degree in communications to put next to my English degree, I’ve decided that my dream job will be to somehow work for myself. I want to start a small business, and I can hardly wait to set the location and get it going.
So, working for myself is my dream job. Risk? Yes. Hard work? Yes. Long hours? You bet. But no bosses, no politics, no head office departments making edicts that serve themselves and no one else, and no ‘professional associations’ (term used loosely) creating arbitrary qualifications to keep themselves in jobs. Let’s face it, when I’m working for myself I’ll be the founding member of an association for one; I’ll be the head office and the regional office and the franchise location, all rolled into one; I’ll be the boss, the worker, the banker and the cleaning guy; and I’ll be smiling from ear to ear, every single day.
Here’s a photo. It has absolutely nothing to do with my dream job, but I like it. And yet, now that I think about it, it really is apropos, because what am I doing right now if not emerging from a long, dark tunnel?