Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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Human Resource: Being Human

Screenshot 2017-09-28 09.13.04

One of the worst things a person can say to someone who has just been laid off is, “What are you going to do now?”

What do you  mean, “What am I going to do now?”  Are you asking me because there is an answer? Do you have a job for me in mind, and the question is to see if I’m free so your wealthy dad can hire me?

What am I going to do now?

Well, for one – I’m going to feel a bit relieved. I wasn’t happy in the job I held for almost 5 years, and was gravely underpaid and unchallenged. Not that I didn’t try looking for a new job with better options while employed. I did. I have a resume that’s polished and updated. I have recruiters numbers and HR contacts on speed dial. From New York to Los Angeles – I’ve traveled for jobs that rendered nothing – yet.

And then, I’m going to speak to my financial advisor who deals with multi-millionaires and must wonder why the hell she took me on as a client several years ago when I was making better money, had a better job outlook, yet moved to Los Angeles for a change of pace only to run into low paying jobs thinking I’d get out of this financial rut. But seven years on? I have yet to.

And then, I’m going to write a book proposal where I reach out to frustrated people who are underemployed, underpaid, unemployed – millennials, Generation X-ers, Boomers Y-ers  — the multi-generational workforce that is fucking tired of trying to exist in this world. Not just in the material aspects of life, but spiritually. We are living in our machines – our faces illuminated in the light of our iPhones. We don’t see or feel each other. We argue and hate – in a world divided because we can’t find the American Dream.

And then, I’m going to find a job that pays better than what I’ve been paid. I’m going to write the book that needs to be written. I’m going to coach people to change their mindset so they find empowerment in the job seeking world that transcends race, gender and generations.

We are all in this together, folks. We need to wake up and understand how to survive.

Yet – here’s the thing:

I refuse to give into fear. I REFUSE to panic, to  live in lack and scarcity.  And if you find yourself in this position – YOU SHOULD TOO.

This is the hero’s journey, the big story of our lives, where we are taken out of our comfort zone, the “ordinary word”, and reluctantly forge to the “ordeal”, where we fight the slings and arrows of rejection and “what’s next”?

I don’t know if I believe we all have a “purpose” in life. Some of us do. Some of us don’t. But it’s nice to do something that helps others while we’re trying to help ourselves. It makes us – and jobseekers alike – human in a Human Resources world.

Just don’t ask a person who’s been laid off “What are you going to do now?”

What do you think I’m going to do?

Survive.

 

 

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Workforce: Finding Your Way with Your “Why”

paddling down river

I wake up everyday wondering what my “why” is. Why do I do the job I do everyday? Does it provide me more than just a paycheck, health care and a place to go where I feel I’m making a difference? Do I come home feeling fulfilled?

Simon Sinek is the purveyor of the concept of “Why”. In his book “Start with Why”, he proposes a simple and profound philosophy: Why do you do what you do? How do you help others do the same? What drives you to making you create a life and career that fulfills you?  (Read his book. He’s amazing, and my description can’t do his words justice.)

The work force has changed in the few decades since I graduated college. Rather than going for the safe and seemingly secure job, it’s become clear that nothing is safe nor secure. Money doesn’t grow in our bank accounts. Salary increases are not living up to inflation. Rents are stupidly high. We cannot build up the 401K plans provided by those who will cut us loose when budget figures don’t meet. If we lose health care, we are screwed.

In the advent of layoffs as probable options for companies, we are not able to grow careers under the mentor ship of our company executives unless we really focus on taking charge of our careers.

For introverts, like myself, who find it difficult to get out there and cultivate career goals, we don’t stand a chance.

And then, as we wander our way through the work week, counting down to Friday, some of us wake up and realize – we aren’t find our “why” in a paycheck because we are only at our jobs — for the paycheck.

When I was in college, I wanted to become a writer and producer. I wrote scripts, studied television and interned at NBC. When I graduated and went into the Reagan infused workplace of the 1980’s,  I went the conservative route. I became an Assistant – just to get my foot in the door of a major television network. The rest would take care of itself, I thought. I’d stay and work hard until someone recognized my accomplishments. My own network will grow, and I’ll apply for work that will lead me toward a job on a show. From there, I’ll offer my writing services, learn, work late hours, grow, build relationships.

What actually happened was this. I was laid off 4 times in 7 years. Instead of growing my path, I kept getting knocked off it. Fearing long unemployment, I went for and grabbed any assistant job within the industry – just for the paycheck. Just for somewhere to go that made me feel productive in society. Just to at least try my hand at my plan with another company.

I didn’t do the work after hours to gain my writing career, nor my production aspirations. My days were spent safe. Sound. Bored. Earning. Learning. But learning what?

Learning that after all those years – I fell asleep at the wheel.

30 years later – YES – 30 years – I’m still an assistant. I never ever wanted to be one. I didn’t work my college years writing and getting good grades thinking, “I really want to be an assistant!”

Yet, it happened.

Because I never really believed that what I wanted to do was going to happen for me.

Because no matter how hard I tried in the past, I never won – like all those track meets at school where I’d train and train my ass off to exhaustion – only to come in dead last all the time.  I thought winning was just completing the race no matter the standing. But I didn’t realize that idea had done some slow burner damage to my self esteem.

It’s easy for us to do this. And it’s easy for us to run to the same damn thing over and over again just because we want a little of what we once had, or to just play it safe. The problem with that is – you run aground. Your anchor gets stuck in the marsh.

With all this self awareness flooding through me, and understanding that I’ve been in a deep sleep all these years, I’m starting to wake up. I’m beginning to clear away fear and trying to find that blue sky to freedom.

In this millennium, we need to rethink the way we decide to do life. Millennials, Gen X-er’s, Boomers – we’re all in this together. If life is a drag and your job sucks. Or if you’re unemployed and can’t find anyone giving a damn about your resume. Maybe you should think of changing the work force on its head and go out on your own.

I’m thinking this way now.

Although I’m grateful at the moment that I do have a job, I want to work my way into no longer being beholden to a company.

How do I do this? How do we all do this?

Create a message that one is passionate about.  James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem sings, “You’re a pushover for passionate people.”

Yup. Because they’re all we introverted 30 year veterans of futility have to wake us up to how to flourish from within so we can change our notion of living and how to live. And because I want to be passionate about something or else I will fold into myself and fall asleep in the snow and die of hypothermia. (Cue Liz Lemon).

Devise a logical and doable plan – to build your own thing. Your own business.

Do life you’re own way.

Help others – others who are not your age, not of your generation, not your race, not of your life, not of your sexuality or of you gender – and together – try to find a way to create something that leads you on the road to WHY.

As we have seen in the news – those in elected office who call themselves our leaders – aren’t going to do it for us.

We have to get started. There’s a lot of work to do.