I never thought finding a job would be so challenging. For more than a year, I’ve kept my eyes open for just the right position where I could use my skills and experience in a place that fanned the flame of my passion. Seventeen months to be exact.
I’m beginning to think it might have something to do with my age.
I’m only a few years away from fifty and have worked since I was sixteen. For more than three decades, I’ve been contributing to society as a worker bee, a manager, or more recently, as a self-employed consultant.
And I was good—am good—at what I do. But still no job.
I used to hear about the struggles people in their fifties faced during searches. If I’m honest, I sometimes thought those people were using their age as a crutch for some weakness in their resumé...or worse, in their resourcefulness.
Now I’m not so sure.
With age comes a certain understanding of who I am and how I’m wired. This knowing was the genesis of my consulting business. After working as a vice president for a local chamber of commerce, I left the chamber profession, which I loved dearly, and began my own business.
I focused my work in areas based on strength. I’d known about my strengths for many years, but found confirmation from statistically valid data based on research in books like Now Discover Your Strengths and StrengthsFinder 2.0.
Emboldened by the theories espoused by Clifton, Rath and Buckingham, I continue with intentionality and now focus on strengths in my job search. My top five strengths are WOO (an acronym for “winning others over,” that means I build rapport quickly), Communication, Belief, Connectedness, and Individualization.
Writers (Communication) most often work in isolation, which starves my people-hunger in ways I’ve not known before. Maybe it’s good to be hungry. In the last few years, I’ve found great fulfillment in ministry-related volunteer opportunities (Belief).
To be sure, there are many jobs I could perform and perform well, but I wait. I’m not sure I would have done that when I was younger.
In fact, I probably couldn’t have done that. I’m grateful that I am no longer a single mother and the primary breadwinner. I’m a job searcher for several reasons, but finances aren’t at the top of my list. (My husband may disagree with me on this one.)
But still, apart from the money, it’s the long perspective I have gained from getting older that tells me the process has something for me—as well as the great job I am waiting for at the other end.
And slowly, I’m realizing that God might be in this place.
Yes, He is here.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever."
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