Tag Archives: career change

Mr. Muffin Top is back…change is afoot.

Well, I’ve grown another muffin-top, which is reminiscent of the one that I grew during unemployment, thanks to the help of the stress hormone cortisol designed to help you run from the saber tooth tiger. Unfortunately, as evolved as we are as humans, our hormones can’t delineate between running from a saber tooth tiger and general life stress – if not released from the body, cortisol builds up and causes all sorts of health problems like weight gain and trouble sleeping. Guess it’s time I sneak into the zoo and play cat and mouse with one of the tigers so I can sleep again and reduce the size of my muffin top.

Or, I guess a less exciting option, might be to just do some digging into what’s bugging you. The only problem is mustering energy to do the self-work. Let’s face it, running from a tiger would take about 20 seconds of energy, then problem solved. Challenge over. Tiger wins. (Unless of course you survive, in which case you have an uphill recovery battle ahead of you so let’s pretend you’re dead.) But self-work? That’s going to take a whole lot longer than 20 seconds and require a hell of a lot more stamina. Guess I’d better start an I.V. drip of caffeine, put pen to paper, and start digging because the tiger route sounds less appealing and change needs to happen.

Yeah, I know, not the most positive uplifting post, but I’m a human so bear with me while I work out the kinks.

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Fear, shut yer pie hole

Normally, I do my blog posting on Mon/Wed/Friday, but the post below from Litegeist was so inspiring that I had to share. I needed some encouraging words today too because that little fucker by the name of Fear has been yammering on in the background of my mind the past couple days and now….he’s just a mumbling idiot pie hole wrapped in duct tape. Thanks Litegeist!

The Four Things You Need to Start Your Dream Job (And the one thing you don’t)
 
It’s official: there’s no more hierarchy. There are no more titles. There’s definitely no ladder with endless ambiguous rungs to be climbed. Whatever you want to do, do it. It’s the 21st century, and there’s absolutely no reason not to.

If you have a couch, a coffeemaker, a laptop, and a couple kindred like-minded souls whose talents complement yours, congratulations, you’ve got a company. With the multitude of how-to’s and tutorials on the web, the amazing software available, and the ease with which you can now create business cards and websites, there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of you doing exactly what you want to do, exactly the way you want to do it.

For example, I want to make viral interactive experiences. Taking something static and making it in to a three-dimensional, dancing, singing, cursing, wriggling rich interactive experience is the thing that makes my heart pound, my eyes glaze, and time streak away in dripping technicolor, like a butterfly made of toast and butter in a Lewis Caroll movie. And that conviction, that spasm of glee, is the only foundation, the only certification (I am recasting this word to now mean steeped in certitude) I need to begin.  But it took me a while to realize this.

For months I’ve been waiting for a Creative Director position. I figure if I can just get someone to look at my portfolio, affirm my awards, make little nodding sounds of approval as I discuss synergy and metrics, I can then finally, finally make viral interactive experiences. But then it hit me: I could just go ahead and start making viral interactive experiences now. So I am.

I am writing a novel, which will eventually become a screenplay, which will eventually be promoted via a viral marketing campaign including posters, videos, websites, blogs, whisper campaigns, mullets, cherries, the number 5, baby rattles, and much, much more.

Now that I know this, I am working in leaps and bounds to make it happen. I have already become proficient in Pages and Iweb, which is riveting in this freaky, giddy, Faustus, unearthing creative fashion. Next up is photoshop and Imovie, and maybe a little Garage Band, who knows? Knowing that creativity is my core gift, I will apprentice myself to each and every tool that will allow me to flow in my natural-born talents.

Most importantly, I won’t wait for some arbitrary nod of approval to begin my heart-pounding, insomniac-inducing, giddy-glee career pursuits. I want to begin my dream job now. I have all the kindling to ignite my creative destiny, and I’m going to go from apathetic lighter-flicker to full-on passionate pyro. Permission granted, Self. Let the flames of creativity begin.

The moral of the story is,  don’t wait for a job offer, a shiny office, a fancy title, 401k, or whatever else you think you need to reassure you that you are what you already know deep down you are. Act first, and the fancy titles and 401k will come naturally. I promise. Or if they don’t, your life will be so awesome you won’t care.

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Passion! It’s passion, people!

About a month ago, one of my fellow unemployed creativites did something very out of the box. She spammed every creative agency she knew in Seattle, pitching her product (the product is her of course, she’s jobless). And guess what? It worked, she got the interview! You know why it worked? Because she was passionate about working for that company, passionate about her product, passionate about writing creative stuff and all of this spewed forth in her email pitch. According to a smart guy I know, passion is apparently the key to getting interviews and differentiating yourself in this job market. Now, she didn’t get the job because as it turns out, there really wasn’t a job available and these ass clowns just brought her in for sheer entertainment purposes, but that’s a story for another time.

So anyway – yeah –  it’s this passion thing that will land you the job I guess! I know, duh Keri, right? But you see, I haven’t been super passionate about my job in a very long time and my resume highlights all the boring details of my passionless career.  And that’s just it. My resume is freaking boring as hell and does absolutely nothing to showcase my interests, passion, energy or creativity. Which is fine, I suppose if I want to land a job that’s ultimately going to bore me to death, force me to color inside the lines and suck out my soul! And sadly enough, these are all the types of jobs that I am seeing online, which as you know don’t interest me.

Now before I continue with this thought, I want to compare my resume to my blog for a minute because I think it’s important. (Prepare yourself, you are about to witness “a-mother-f*ing-a-ha” moment people! )When I got laid off from my job at Microsoft, I felt like a no talent ass clown wearing house pants and growing a muffin top. Then, I did something crazy and started blogging about this experience and a funny thing happened. I discovered a new talent and a new passion – creative writing. Yes, I knew I could communicate since I came from a PR/marketing background (with some project management sprinkled in), but I really didn’t know that I could WRITE, write and here’s what I mean by that.

People who’ve met me and have heard me verbally tell my crazy stories have told me that when they read my blog, they can actually hear me talking and see my mannerisms. I had no idea I could do this! None at all and this my friends is the first “a-ha moment” and now…wait, wait for it! Here’s the other and it goes back to that passion thing.

While I haven’t been getting job interviews (just the one!), strangely enough I’ve been getting media interviews. Why? Probably because my blog is different and it’s over-flowing with the real-deal Keri, the one I know well and have a love hate relationship with. The irreverant one that rolls unscripted, who’s naturally off-the-cuff. The one who’s dreaming up random inventions or ideas about nothing and everything all at once. The interesting one, the out-of-the box creativite who’s drawing outside the lines and loving it. The passionate me. So it seems there are two completely different candidates (both in the same body!). We have the resume Keri (a lifeless being, who’s been going through the motions) and the blog Keri (an energetic, determined and passionate woman who’s reinventing herself so she can make a personally meaningful difference on this earth). Now, who would you hire?

Thankfully I got that gift of the pink-slip, took a chance on blogging and uncovered this new writing passion. And, thanks to my blog and my outgoing personality, I’ve also discovered that I really like networking and helping people who are jobless find themselves, find a job or when all else fails, to simply find humor in their house pants. I like what I am doing and I’m not making a dime. Isn’t that interesting.

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Filed under Career changes, Job search tips, Life

Identity crisis

When you are laid off, you feel like a big loser and you start to have an identity crisis cuz you were “this”: 

“I am a creative marketing and PR pro with entrepreneurial instincts and proven ability to ramp up quickly and deliver results in a dynamic and ambiguous environment.”

And now you’re becoming a twisted version of your former self that looks a little like this:

“Maybe I am just a no talent ass clown of a loser?”

“HEY! Listen up – don’t talk about yourself like that! You were given a gift of time, remember? Now use this time to find the perfect career for you and make yourself happy!” 

“Who is that talking???? OMG – I totally have a split personality disorder! When did that develop? Is that why they gave me the pink-slip because my ‘otherside’ came out at the office?”

“No…that’s not what’s going on, silly. I am your inner critic, don’t freak out and start searching WedMD. You got as far as you could at Microsoft doing ‘that’ and while you were good at ‘that,’ you weren’t fulfilled. So why don’t you explore writing?”

“Oh, thank god! Ok, how about I start a blog? Yes! I will start a blog that will be about…hmm…living life as a laid off person…and it will make people laugh! Yes! God – I am SO brilliant and someone will take notice and want to hire me because I am fucking funny! Oh dear…”

“What?”

“The stats on my blog are down. Damn-it. People don’t like me. Oh wait!!! They are up to 120 visitors today! Oh wait, now they are down to 12. God you loser, where’s that bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs?!? Wait, look at that!! 164 visitors from that posting on forcing socialization! Gosh, you are SO clever….you are MONEY baby!”

Somehow, this blog is shaping my new identity and I think my mood seems to be mirroring my blog stats. For the unemployed person who’s new to blogging and deprived of human contact, visitors to my blog equate to friends. 

Blog stats|Mood indicator

Blog stats|Mood indicator

Yes, we (the pink-slipped, jobless and hopeless) tend to get a little pathetic and that’s why I started writing this blog. I’ve noticed that my stats (friends) increase considerably when I post a story that’s self-deprecating in nature and void of anything really important. I know I am not the go-to blog for anything of great value and I am ok with that, as long as you keep coming back because you are slightly amused. And, all I ask of my “friends” in return is that if you are slightly amused by my blog, PLEASE SHARE MY BLOG WITH FRIENDS so I can have more friends. I am lonely and bored and every single day I am working for you! I keep a notepad handy so that when something slightly entertaining pops into my head or crosses my path, I write it down so I can share this useless and possibly funny story with you, my friends, for FREE!

So, it’s time to give back to me – the jobless who’s getting very sick of spending all this time with herself. I need volunteers to co-manage my new campaign – the “help Keri find the perfect job” campaign! Anyone? Anyone? If  you are interested in volunteering, please email me at lol.seattle.kr [at] gmail [dot] com. More to come on the campaign later…

If you don’t want to help that’s fine too. Just be forewarned that one day you may hear a knock on your door and when you open it I will be there – unshowered, wearing house pants exploring the contents of my navel, gorging myself on chocolate and fiddling with my new friend, Mr. Muffin Top. Then, we’ll talk 😉

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Changing the world one blog post at a time

While I have high hopes that my blog will change the world and I have already been asked to be a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, I think I need to set more realistic expectations. Maybe this blog just changes one life at a time, starting with mine and through my stories I keep a handful of others entertained for one day or a lifetime.

Since I’ve started blogging, I have also come across people in the same boat as me, blogging during unemployment. These two sites are particularly entertaining and after reading their stories, it makes me feel better about my new status.

While I am choosing to press pause on the job search temporarily to figure out what the hell I am doing on this earth, it makes me wonder if I have set the wrong expectations. Is it selfish to think that someone has a bigger purpose on the earth and that I should follow my insticts even in this horrible economy?

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What if the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall?

Today I want to share a quote that I found in an amazing book I started to read – the book is called First Things First – by Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (never read, but heard that it’s pretty powerful). This quote totally changed the way I need to view this time of unemployment. It’s actually an excerpt from a book Covey read, but he didn’t quote the author:

“Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

The layoff was obviously the stimulus and my response so far has been that of fear, hence my high anxiety and lack of sleep. Fear is not a good mindset to be in when you are searching for a new career opportunity. You will end up in another job that doesn’t bring meaning to your life. You will end up working for a company who’s work environment is set up to promote fear – career objectives and competencies that don’t actually bring meaning into YOUR life; they bring money to the company that then qualifies you as a “contributor”, allowing you to keep your job, get promoted, increase your income, climb the ladder and acquire more stuff. The book suggests this and also says something pretty profound: “What if you get to the top run of the ladder and the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall?” And now, that wall that you built a “life” on disappears. The “life” was the job that brought status and money to acquire things that would hopefully bring meaning to your life. Things being the house, the car, the vacations, the family or the relationship. But now you have no job and your new “status” becomes that of unemployed. And now – because you are no longer moving at the warp speed of Corporate America that helped you ignore that voice inside you looking for more meaning in life – you begin to realize that all these other things really didn’t bring as much meaning as you thought they did. They are what the book calls “cotton-candy” – a short term fix that has the illusion of fulfilling the need inside of you. And, now that you don’t have that big income, these things actually become stressors – the mortgage, the car payment, etc.

Today I am silencing that fear. The job search is on hold – and I am choosing to focus my energy on finding my “true north” or my “internal compass” to figure out what’s going to bring real meaning into my life so that when I am on my deathbed I don’t have any regrets. I want to make “first things” first. I want to feel satisfied with the choices I’ve made in my life and I want the people around me to know that they are important.

OK, that’s enough deep thoughts for today…just got pretty inspired by this book and think its a good read for anyone who might walk away at the end of a long work day and say “What did I really accomplish today? I got a lot of “things”done, checked “things” off my to-do list, but so what? What am I doing that really counts?”

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Filed under Career changes, Life, Random thoughts, Resources