Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Praise the Lord, I'm Employed!!

I'M BACK!!  Did you miss me?

Boy, I've got to tell you, the last few months have been memorable, to say the least!  After weeks of sweat, tears, and intense prayer, I am happy to report that I am gainfully employed!  (Hold for applause.)

For a while there, I was getting so desperate that I would've settled for ANY job, but I've actually landed one that I like very, very much.  What's my new position, you ask?  I'll give you a hint:  if you were to visit Nashville and wanted to take a tour of the presumably haunted buildings in the downtown area, who ya gonna call?  ME!!  I'm the brand new guide for Nashville Ghost Tours!  Yay!!

Oh, my friends, it's such a wonderful job!  I get to meet people visiting from all over the country and share with them the wonderful history and ghost stories of my newly adopted hometown!  I just couldn't love it more, quite frankly.

But I must say, the process of gaining employment was quite frightening, indeed. I had no idea how impersonal and harsh the job search could be, or how completely it can crush your soul if you're not careful.  I'd show up in person at shops and temp agencies, only to be given a business card and sent right back out the door.  They'd tell me to apply online and attach my resume, they'd call if they decided they needed me.  I spent hours in front of the computer, searching and applying, knowing that everyone who received my "theme park performer" resume was probably having a good, hearty laugh at my expense.

I actually learned a lot from the process, however.  And if you'll indulge me, I thought I'd share my newfound knowledge with you.  I know in today's economy, there must be others in the same "employment-seeking" boat as I was just a month ago.  Here's a list of a few things I learned:

Don't be afraid to inform everyone you know that you need a job.  I was a little embarrassed to admit I was in need, but that quickly faded when I realized I was forming a whole supportive "Team Joan" that was on my side.  It was actually my friend, Keith, who heard that the ghost tour people were hiring, and sent me an email with a link to their website.  Otherwise, I never would have known and would have missed the interview date.

Find a support group to help.  Mine was invaluable.  It was a free "business transitions" group that actually met at my church once a week.  They specialized in helping people who had recently been laid off or who were new to the area and needed to find work. They presented guest lecturers each week who addressed everything from "How to Network When You Have No Network" to "Personal and Career Branding."  Not only was the information helpful, but the support of those who had once been unemployed and had now found work, saying to me, "Don't give up!  It WILL happen for you!" was priceless.

Resist the urge to "hibernate."  After spending several days emailing resumes and filling out online applications, all with no response, I must tell you, all I wanted to do was retreat to my girl cave, lock the door, and pull the covers over my head.  I actually did EXACTLY that one day.  Then I passed by a mirror and was a little frightened by the unkept, hopeless mess I saw staring back I me.  I vowed to try harder and avoid having to see THAT sight again!

Volunteer, it'll change your whole perspective!  Determined not to spend another day sitting around the house, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and perform some good deeds.  Let me tell you, it's really hard to crank the "self pity meter" when you're reading "Fluffy and Baron" to a classroom of first graders who treat you like a rock star!  Or see if you have the nerve to shed a tear for yourself after you've learned that the prayer shawl you've just knitted for your church group is going to be wrapped around the shoulders of a 30 year old cancer victim, as she begins her chemo treatments.  Suddenly, my problems seemed pretty minor in comparison.

And finally, if you're really weary and ready to give up, come by this blog and visit ME!  I'll remind you that you're awesome, amazing, tremendously talented, and DEFINITELY one of the cool people!  Hey, you MUST be, you follow THIS blog, don't you?

Thanks for your patience, everyone, it's just great to be back!  And, most of all...

Thanks for reading!!


jeff broz said...

Yeah my "theme park resume" has gotten me pretty far as well... Can't wait to visit and take the tour of the GHOSTLY! You do realize as a tour guide you have to pretty much talk the whole time? HOW will you ever manage that amazing task? :)) Miss you so much! THE BROZ

Hearts Turned said...

Congratulations, Joan! I DID miss you!

We're in the same boat here...my hubby was let go after 15 years the week before Christmas...and no job yet. Construction is just NOT a good career to be in right now (in California, at least!)

Thanks for the tips--he's been doing well--no hiding under the covers yet--but it's tough. We know we'll be okay eventually...just didn't think it take quite so long (I'm such a Pollyanna!)

By the way--I would LOVE your job! Can't even imaging how fun that would be! My job (just part-time/seasonal) is taking school kids on fieldtrips through our woods here & teaching them about the wildlife & Native Americans that lived here, which I also love. Just not enough pay to feed a family, unfortunately!

Hope your day is wonderful--so glad to hear your VERY good news, my friend!


Unknown said...

Congratulations! I went through the job search at age 61, and it was no fun. I did end up with a job that I pretty much enjoyed and that paid well. I retired at age 65. If we come to Nashville, I'll contact you ahead of time so you can take us on the ghostly tour!

Jessica said...

Congratulations!! That is very exciting news. I'll have to look you up if I ever find myself in Nashville.

regan said...

Congratulations! And are you going to share some of the ghost stories with us??? Say yes! We love that stuff!

Teresa Evangeline said...

I was just thinking: I cannot remove her name from my blogroll. She Will be back. And here you are! I'm so glad! Congrats on what sounds like a fun and interesting job.

Jean said...

Yay thats excellent Joan! Well done on the job front :) It sounds like you will have a good time. I look forward to reading about your new adventure.
Glad to have you back in the blogging world again.

Kellyansapansa said...

Woo hoo! That is THE perfect job for you. Congratulations, it's so great to have you back! xx

Kara Hoag said...

That's so exciting! I just had a prof say to me, it you stick to what you love and where your passion is it will fall in to place for you. I'm glad you got the job you wanted.

visions unto myself

Sylvia K said...

I'm so thrilled for you, Joan, this is terrific news! And I think it's perfect for you. You're a great inspiration! Definitely the best news today!!


Karina said...

Wonderful post, congrats on the job! You are so right about hibernating, I fall into that way too much.

Shady Del Knight said...

Welcome back, Joanie! Yes, I missed you very much and was elated to see your blog in my feed. I am thrilled to know that your job search paid big dividends. Finding anything at all is good news, but finding something that you really like is truly a blessing. I couldn't be happier for you. The tips you offered in this post are bound to help others to secure employment.

Kakka said...

Great news Joan, I am so glad you are enjoying your job so much. So happy to see you back blogging, you have been missed.

I am sure there will be stories to tell from meeting all these new people. You never know, maybe if I ever get to America I will come on a tour.

jel said...

WOOHOO!! way too go girl :)

have fun with it!


Lisalulu said...

this sounds like the perfect job for you. GLAD to know you are ok, and helping others too. Thanks for all the good advice!

Linda Myers said...

Great tips on the job search, and congratulations on the job!

ReformingGeek said...

Hip, Hip, Hooray! I'm so happy for you.

Ghost tours? That is so cool......maybe literally cool during er....ahem....visitation.

Good to see you back!

Debbie said...

Congratulations! How great is your job!!!! You get to meet new people. And you get paid to talk. Can't get much better than that. I've been a bookkeeper for over 24 years. At my age it's getting a little too stressful. I'd like to change occupations but with the job market the way it is, I guess I'll have to hang in there. Maybe some day I'll get to come to Nashville and I'll be lucky enough to catch one of your tours.


Anonymous said...

Joan, can a former FB friend that you have de-friended, "me", come visit you, too? My wife, Lara and I would love to come to Nashville and take the tour! Sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Joan!
I'm so happy to hear that you're happy! I've been "not working" since mid-January. At first I was scared, but through family, friends, and networking I feel like I'm on a new road to discover myself. My life isn't on hold, like I thought it would be. Instead it's taking me on a mini trip to "me-ness". I've never before felt so confident.
Your encouraging words add strength to my feeling okay with working toward getting what I want and not just settling. If I need to be reminded to keep my head up, I will visit your blog.
Thank you so much for sharing.
My goal is to go places I've never been...Nashville is one of them. I'll be seeing YOU after I become gainfully employed! ;)
Take care and have a blast with your new journey!
Karen Drogalus

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! And congratulations! A ghost tour guide moght just be the coolest job i've ever heard of!!

Tuppence said...

Congratulations! Glad to hear that things are going well for you.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Congratulations on the job and great to have you back - especially as there are not so many bloggers around now who actually WRITE stuff - hope you'll keep it up :)

Liz Mays said...

Woohoo!!!! That sounds like such a wonderful job! I love the idea that you'll see all kinds of different people each and every day. Fantastic news!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

This type of position to me fits your skill sets well. Great job.

Glad you are back.
we've missed ya.

Cheeseboy said...

I loved this post. I hope I never need to take this advice. I especially love the thoughts on volunteering. Great advice.

Sounds like this job is through the roof awesome. I'd LOVE this job too. Almost as much as I'd love being a guide at Disneyland.

exskindiver said...

Hi Joan,
I decided to check up on you and see how your decision to blog over a year ago has turned out.
This post tells me:
1. Love your writing style.
2. Enjoy your content.
3. Your blog is a comfy hang out for the brain.


Shan said...

My blog reading is woefully out of order and behind the times, but I meant to mention last time I dropped in how happy I am to read your posts again.

Volunteering is my personal favorite way to get out of the Why Mes. Tomorrow my friend and I are going to plant veggies in a colleague's garden. Good for him, good for us.

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