Christina’s one of those people who’re genuinely caring, positive and wishing the best for others in their lives. She was at the first tweetup I attended last October, and we’ve been in touch ever since. 2011 has seen its share of hurdles for her, but with the help of her skills, she’s managed to overcome them and aim her gaze toward the future.
This is her story.
(You can visit her blogs at www.notashopaholic.blogspot.com and www.journeytovancouver2010-fandiary.blogspot.com, or on Twitter at @Notashopaholic)
–Casey E. Palmer
Late last year I had the misfortune of being laid off from my job. It wasn’t a huge surprise. A major client was leaving the company, we knew it was coming, and when it actually did happen it was quite a shock. I guess because it came right before Christmas. Usually the happiest time of year for people, looking forward to time off and celebrating with loved ones, I was out of a job and returning Christmas presents. Having been in this position before, I knew it could be a very long time before I was working again and I wasn’t taking any chances. Anything I had bought in the last month that could be taken back to stores was returned. Every dollar and cent now mattered more than it ever did before.
It was very difficult getting through the first few months. Almost immediately I made a conscious decision I was not going to let this get me down. I viewed it as an opportunity to find something better, confident where I ended up would be better than where I had been. I also turned to the Internet for support. My Twitter followers were overwhelmingly supportive, full of kind words and inspirational messages. As time went on they became sources for networking and people that kept me company during long lonely days of job hunting.
During this time some of my followers commented on how I was using Twitter in my job hunt. They knew people who were out of work and sent my tweets to them as examples of how it could be used. Several tweeps commented on how positive I was being and how much they admired that. That definitely was the persona I wanted to put forward. As bad as this situation was, every day I was getting up and attacking it, constantly looking for work and leads. It was a huge compliment to me that others could see this. I always try to be positive and was very happy to hear that was coming through at a time that wasn’t so happy in my life.
Even though there were times I didn’t feel positive and was very down about my situation, I chose to always post positive messages. Sometimes I wonder where my positive energy comes from. I have been in challenging life situations before. I feel I’ve always kept things in perspective and adopted a strategy that helped me survive whatever I was going through. This time around, there were some pretty big things to help me keep perspective.
The first was a friend of mine having cancer. She was lucky an operation removed most of it, and except for medication she has to take for the rest of her life, she is pretty much back to healthy status. Another friend of mine was pregnant and in the hospital, not knowing if she would give birth prematurely, and if she did, whether her babies would survive. Unemployment by comparison was not that bad. I constantly reminded myself how lucky I was to be healthy, to have friends and family who love and support me and think the world of me. That is more than some people have.
I was worried, yes, I have bills to pay too. But when I compared myself to my friends, I knew my situation wasn’t as bad as theirs. I could do something about being unemployed. The fates of my friends’ situations were out of their control. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would start working again. The question became where.
Fast forward five months and I have a happy ending. I’ve been at my new job for 6 weeks now, slowly learning about the people and processes that make up my day to day routine. I am very happy and proud to say I didn’t have to settle for a job I didn’t want. I am in the position I want to be in at a company I’ve wanted to work at for many years. It’s like I always saw this in my mind and now it’s a reality. As hokey as that may sound, it’s true. I tell my brothers who are also unemployed and looking for work to do the same thing. Visualize yourself at the job and company you want and eventually it will happen. And many positive thoughts along the way will get you there.