Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"There are different paths to EVERY destination" -- Job Hunt Thoughts

  I officially announced my 'retirement' just over a month ago. So I guess you can say I've been on the job hunt ever since. Though, the word hunt sounds intensive and stressful, it really hasn't been that.

  Roughly one month in, and already faced with a few learning experiences, I thought now was as good a time as any to share some thoughts.

  I had a summer plan, or so I thought. To take things slowly, not rush into anything, put some feelers out there (wherever there is), and figure out what I really wanted to do.

  But like many plans, mine quickly was thrown by the wayside. Mostly because opportunities arose. And also because I started getting a little antsy (so much for taking things slowly, huh?). I suppose I am more anxious to get on with the next part of my life than I initially thought I would be.

Swimming with Sofie over 4th of July weekend.
  As I've gotten myself into the networking, connecting, job hunt world I've encountered a few difficulties. Not huge mountains to climb, but there have been a few common denominators that have arisen.

  Don't get me wrong, the positives have immensely outweighed the negative. Family members, friends, mentors, etc have been gracious enough to give me their time and their ear. I value and rely upon their experiences to guide me in this journey a great deal.

  1) The first stumbling block I've come across is my 'lack of experience'. I find the different reactions, and vibes, I get regarding my ten years abroad as a professional basketball player interesting. It is seen as a negative entirely too much -- in my opinion, of course.

  How can it be a negative? Sure, I lack the work place experience that many people my age already have already garnered. I will be the first to acknowledge that. So let's acknowledge it, and move on to how how that experience is a positive.

  Here's why I'd prefer to focus on the positive side: What was I supposed to do, turn down the opportunity to play professional basketball? I don't think so. I worked my tail off, and sacrificed a lot growing up so I could get to the point of being able to play professionally. Pursuing, and enjoying, that career was only natural.

Taking advantage of auntie time!
  I would like to think, through my 10 years overseas, I bring a great deal more to the table than a kid fresh out of college. (Here's where I'd insert all the positive things about my career oversea -- my international perspective, my ability to adapt quickly and succeed, and so on -- but tooting my own horn isn't what I'm here for.)

  What I need is for a potential employer to understand my time and experiences in Europe outweigh any negatives.

  I find myself echoing the sentiments of the people I have just talked to. If they are positive, I come away with a positive outlook. If they dwell on my lack of experience, I find myself thinking I'm in for a long, uphill battle.

  Maybe that is me, my responsibility. I need to hold myself accountable, and force the conversations to remain focused on what I will bring to the position. And not allow a question mark to enter into the equation.
“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated."
-- Victoria Moran                                  

Beautiful sights of Boulder.
  2) The second stumbling block I have encountered is that I'm not nearly narrow-minded enough. Call it not having a clear vision. But it seems that I don't know exactly what I want to do. I believe I'm getting closer, and that vision is becoming clearer. But still, there are details to work out!

  I understand that a wishy-washy, unfocused person is nearly impossible to deal with. And that is not what I want to convey. I have been working diligently to familiarize myself with some potential job areas. It's not easy navigating through the different languages that each job description comes with. But again, this is where I rely on friends and family to help clarify.

On the lake for fireworks -- July 4th.
  I knew this transition, and in turn, this job hunt, wouldn't be a cakewalk. Every situation I have encountered thus far has been a new experience for me. I'm taking baby steps and learning a great deal as I go along. It's only been a month, but I'm positive I'm headed in the right direction!

  Shout out to my friends and family who have been willing to offer up advice and guidance! You don't know how much I appreciate your time and input!

  Here's to a resilient, patience-filled journey!


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