If Then

We’ve all encountered the ‘if/then’ scenario situation at one time or another.  We deal with it in the form of charts and graphs that help guide us through challenges at work or on our off time to trouble shoot when our soufflé falls. As ubiquitous as it seems to be, we often don’t apply the ‘if/then’ guide to our own lives often enough.

Many people are out of work, either voluntarily or not. This is a state that doesn’t have to last as long if we are willing to consider other options. If you’re a believer in the adage, “everything happens for a reason” then you need to examine those reasons and open your mind and expand your horizons because this may be the opportunity to finally allow what you have been attempting to manifest to happen.

Every time you complained about your former job, you were telling the Universe that you were ready for a change. Well, change has come. Most often, unless you’re specific about the circumstances, change will come when you are not prepared for it. This is the time to either survive or dive.

First of all, you need to make your new job looking for a job. Take those eight hours and devote the time to looking at the classifieds in the paper, on line, and bulletin boards. Take a walk and watch for signs in the windows because many retail businesses use this form of ‘recruitment’.  Going to an agency can be a humiliating experience. For some reason they have the propensity to treat you as if the reason you are coming to them is because you have no skills and they will run you through a battery of tests in the attempt to prove it. However, don’t discount this possibility because even a temporary job is better than no job. Besides, sitting on your couch, stuffing your face with junk food and watching TV doesn’t pay well and you can do that after you’re in the nursing home wishing you had demanded more from yourself when you were young.

I was a hair stylist for many years, but suffering from constant respiratory distress due to breathing in the chemicals every day was really starting to take its toll. When it got to the point that I got pneumonia at least twice a year, it was time to leave the industry that I had expected to provide me with a life long career. This was something that I trained for and worked at right out of school so it was all that I knew. Or so I thought.

A beauty supply company was hiring so I took a job delivering the products that made me sick. In the summer I’d be driving along with the orders I had acquired, taking them to the salons thinking, ‘wow, they’re paying me to do this’. I’d grab a sub sandwich from the drive-thru and sit in a park to enjoy it before hitting the road again until all the deliveries were made. The job allowed me to still be a part of the beauty industry so it was familiar and comfortable and I continued to enjoy the excitement of the fashion trends.

That position led to managing the store, which I did for over ten years. I’m not someone who likes to sell, but when I believed in a product, all I had to do was tell my customers about it and it sold itself. I loved motivating and coaching my staff to excel in sales or work on displays if that’s where their talents were best suited. My management training  concentrated on running the store, but had little to offer when it came to developing leadership skills. This I pursued on my own in the form of books, tapes, and seminars until I excelled at it. I’m the sort that if I became a ditch digger, you can bet that my ditches would be the best. That’s just how I’m wired, driven to excel and succeed.

When I transferred from my store in a small city to the one that allowed me to move to Madison, another manifestation that was years in the making, the transition was a nightmare. The store here was trashed, the current staff was a group of friends that worked together and stole together so I had a major internal theft problem that got them all fired.  This was during the Clinton administration when unemployment was non-existent so everyone was hiring…and offering a lot more money than the company I worked for was willing to match. Keeping good help was impossible so after six months of working 70 hours a week with 2 days off, I followed their lead and left for higher pay and less responsibility.

I explored other management positions, but by then I had had enough of working most weekends. But, what to do? I had no computer skills, no office experience and no college degree. I had a license to practice in a field I no longer could work in unless I was willing to be ill most of the time.

In less than two weeks I found myself ready to embark on a whole new path, working in a call center in the insurance industry. The only thing that was required was that I was able to answer a phone and ‘help’ people. I must admit that a lot of the time, ‘help’ meant allowing myself to be a verbal punching bag so this job ranks number one on my ‘worst jobs’ list.

Never discount a job, any job, that allows you to get your foot in the door. Transferring to other positions from within always offers an opportunity to advance as well as learn new skills on their dime. You learn things and develop new skills that you don’t have to return to school to acquire and they pay YOU to do it. Yippee!!!

If anyone had told me that I’d be working in the insurance field while I was busy cutting hair I’d have said, “yeah, on what planet?”. Yet, here I am. When I fell victim to downsizing at two other places after leaving the call center, I find myself back at the same place I was when I filled that position. However, I’m doing the job that I had wanted to transfer to and couldn’t due to union specifications. Manifesting…good!!!

I enter data, know my way around a computer, a result of the training they provided, and listen to audio books all day. It’s repetitive, but I’m not someone who gets bored so I love the quiet, solitary aspect.  As far as I’m concerned, they pay me to ‘read’, which is my passion. Quantum physics, neuroscience, epi-genetics…I’m getting an education provided by the university of life which teaches wisdom along with knowledge.

Now, via my blog and free lance writing, I get to share what I learn. Who knows where your path may lead you if only you take the risk of taking the first step in a whole new direction. What if…then? What if Michelangelo had said, “I don’t do ceilings”?

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