I get anxious a lot.
Especially now – my anxiety levels are high. I try not to let them run with the synapses in my head – but right now there’s a rodeo going on. I have anxiety about my future, about the job prospects, have I written down enough information to help them make a decision – have I written too much and put myself out of the position. Is there a wording the hiring person (or computer) just doesn’t like, does my experience look credible – too credible – fake? Have I concentrated my job search on the right jobs, have I made the right decisions to work out this path?
When I was in college, we spent a lot of time talking about setting up your career path. Where do you want to be in five, ten, twenty years? I had a hard time with this because I felt that as I lived life, my priorities would change and I want to explore those new interests. Also, I don’t think that they took into account the job market changes in the last few years. My degree is in Marketing/Advertising with some Computer Science thrown in to round me out. My intent at the time was to find an advertising firm and work with them on their marketing for this new thing called “the internet”. It was like the wild west at the time – people were becoming million/billion – aires in a few short months. I graduated right in the middle of the “dot com” bubble burst. It looked as if Enron was printing money – they were in the news every day. Do you know what they did? Neither did we. One of the final assignments was to analyze the accounts for Enron and we couldn’t find out HOW they made their money. They didn’t produce anything – they had sister and baby companies created under them to funnel money around, but the bottom finally fell out. I was left in a state of anxiety – even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. My future was shot…right out of the gate. I had my Bachelor’s degree and I returned to the same job I had during college. The Job Center set up a great interview – Fortune 500 company, plenty of advancement possibilities, growing company, ability to travel and interact with people. Sounds great right? It was Blockbuster Video. I already worked there. When I went in for the interview, I looked across the table from my District Manager and we both kind of laughed.
Eventually I moved out of retail for a few months and worked in a beer and wine warehouse, pulling orders on third shift. That lasted 90 days.
I fell back into retail and found that I was pretty good at it. I found a like-minded soul in Kurtiss, the other Assistant Manger working the store with me. It turned into the Kurt & Kenny show for a while. We were very good at our jobs – so much that the Store Manager would take 3-day weekends away and could be “off the grid” without worry.
I received the call to take my own store. The options were Detroit (huh?), South Bend (wha?) or Toledo. Now – I wasn’t a big fan of Toledo due to an old girlfriend and weekend trips back and forth from Cleveland. But I knew if I wanted to advance, I had to do this. The call was on Thursday – I started full-time on Monday. So, I packed up my SUV like a Beverly Hillbilly and headed west to my fame and fortune. Anxiety levels off the chart. I wasn’t fully trained for what I was getting myself into – but I would eventually figure it out. Where was I going to live? I was running and gunning to find a place to stay while working. Honestly – whoever thought this out should have put a wee bit more time into the process.
After a while – what I thought was a successful run ended and I was unemployed.
Anxiety grew – this was the first time I had ever been fired. What did that say about me? Was I ever going to find work again? Was I wearing a large red “F” on my chest – forever marked as someone who was less… I didn’t have a strong support staff on my side in Toledo at the time. An ex-girlfriend who had moved on, the cashier at the liquor store who kept calling me Kevin, my crazy neighbor lady who KNEW who I was, but tagged me as a trouble maker. Winter was hard that year – I lived in a lot of isolation. I didn’t have anyone to visit or anyone to visit me. It was cold outside…bitterly cold.
(1 of 2)