ETA: My thoughts and prayers are with Boston after the tragic events yesterday at the marathon. Bless the first responders who immediately took action to save lives.
I saw a quote on Pinterest recently and it really resonated with where I am right now. That kind of feeling always sparks a layout idea and I got to work right away so I wouldn’t forget it.
This layout was inspired by a layout from Wilna Furstenburg’s Art Class workshop at Two Peas. I highly recommend this class. Wilna has a way of presenting her techniques and walking you through what she is doing that makes it look so easy. It certainly made me want to create several layouts with techniques I’ve never tried. I love a good technique, even if not all of my pages include them.
I was really inspired by one of Wilna’s pages where she cut her title out with her Silhouette and used pattern papers behind the negative cut of the words. This technique is a great way to use up some pattern paper scraps. That is exactly what I did. I went to my blue scrap drawer and pulled out a variety of different strips.
Originally I thought my layout was just going to be shades of blue, but as I pulled papers, I could see an aqua/red trend forming so I changed up my original idea as I worked. Including the background paper I was going to use. In my head, I saw myself going with a white on white idea. But when the red was introduced, I needed to go in a different direction. I practically heard angels singing when I put my quote cut on this Studio Calico background. I always steer toward the neutral backgrounds.
With all of my selections made, the layout came together in a matter of minutes. The quote is the focal point and I used a small photo that perfectly fit in with the mood and sentiment of the page. I added in the dark navy ribbons and ink splatters to help balance the dark tones in the photo. This layout is a reminder that even though I am so far away from how successful I was in a career I loved, there is nowhere for me to go at this point but up. I can’t give up. I have to keep moving forward.
This quote resonated with me so much because I started working again recently. In retail. I have no control over my schedule and I’m finding it really hard to be creative when I do have some free hours. It is so far away from my fancy, corporate 9-5 job. But I’m grateful to be working and to have some money coming in.
I have worked with this company before in a different capacity and I know the local team is thrilled to have me. That is almost more important to me right now than the fact that the job is not in my field, nor will it necessarily advance my career in the future. But I’ll make the best of it.
I have been pretty open about my struggles with unemployment. For anyone who hasn’t been through this, it can be quite hard to comprehend how awful the situation is. I have been living with it for four years and I still don’t understand. I have a Bachelor’s degree in business. I have a long and successful track record spanning 12 years and being consistently promoted. I have knowledge in a variety of areas and could do any number of things.
But I have been out of work long enough to become unemployable. I don’t understand how that is even possible. A company has a job opening, I am fully capable of excelling in that position, I apply, I am free and available to start tomorrow, yet they won’t talk to me. I have applied for positions at my level and below my level and in my industry and totally outside of anything I have ever done before. I have talked to recruiters. And even though I have always been self reliant and hate to ask for help, I have called on former bosses, former co-workers, former professors and anyone that might be able to open a door.
When doors do open, hiring managers and HR people put you in a box. And you better not dare try to get a job outside that box. I’ve been told many times that I don’t fit because there is no line item on my resume that says I’ve done it before. So I explain how my past experience is relevant, how I did this and that and how it’s similar. But more importantly, I am smart and bright and learn fast. Unfortunately, once they make that initial “you don’t fit” perception, it’s impossible to convince them otherwise.
It’s hard for me to talk about this as I did have such a successful career. I have worked hard my entire life. I landed every single job I ever tried to get. I never thought I would be in this position. But I was laid off, through no fault of my own and the downward spiral ensued from there. I always thought that with my skills and knowledge I’d be able to get an admin assistant position or a coordinator spot somewhere. But I’m overqualified and again, HR people make assumptions and decide for you that you won’t want to make less money and you will not be happy in this position and you will make all of our other employees distracted by how unhappy you are, so we won’t even give you a chance to prove us wrong.
It’s a vicious cycle and there’s no way out. I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do. I apply to everything I think I could perform well at. I call on people just in case they have a lead, because I do know that if you know the right person who knows the right person, you’ll get in the door. I do volunteer work. I attend industry lunches and networking functions. I make phone calls. I follow up. Yet, all my leads run into dead ends.
So I found a job in retail. The bills need to be paid. I need to work. And it feels really good to be out of the house, away from the computer and all of the rejection I’ve experienced over the last year. If I know anything, it’s that my career cannot be over. I am not done. I still have so much more to contribute and share. I pray that someday I’ll have the chance to do that again in my field. For now, I’ll make the best of this opportunity.
And just keep moving forward. Even if it’s only baby steps.
If you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there. And thanks so much for stopping by today.