A Different Kind of Ask Afrobella

Most of the Ask Afrobella questions I get are about hair and beauty stuff. So when I got this one, I was thrown for a loop a little bit. Here it is.

Hello Afrobella,

How are you? I am writing because it seems that you know a lot about a lot. Here is the skinny, the reason for my letter. I have been unemployed for the last month and I am a bit lost. I am twenty nine years old. I really liked my job but after my departure I began to rethink what I was called to do. I began to rethink my path and the course of my life and this has brought me to a crossroads in my life. I was one of those people who believed that you are what you do. I no longer believe that because after a month of no work I am still here. I do however feel undefined and I am on a path to find some definition.

I know that I want to do something with in the teaching field and I am working on going back to school to get certified as an English teacher. I also want to begin writing a book. I want to do something different. I never again want to just have a job and be in a position to do anything just for the paycheck. I know that there is no such thing as a dream job or maybe there is I don’t know. But, I hoping that maybe there could be a dream position that enabled me to do what I love to do which is to teach people mostly children and travel.

Anyway I’m writing because I read your blog and I find it very interesting that you find time to give advice on what to do with fashion and hair and so many other things. Maybe you would have some advice for me too.

Thanks, Oretta

Hey Oretta, thanks for writing! Your e mail made me LOL at “it seems that you know a lot about a lot.” So not true. My husband’s gonna get a big kick out of that, and best believe I’m going to be using that as my new byline. But all jokes aside, I do try to stay informed, I seek out the advice of experts, and I try to think long and hard before I speak my piece. Which is why I had to take my time in trying to offer you some advice. Here’s the deal.

I’m one of those annoying people who have always pretty known what they wanted to be — by passion and by process of elimination. I suck at math, science, foreign languages, and business. The one thing I was really, really good at was English literature and creative writing, which at best means you can be a real, published writer or a professor. At worst, it prepares you for a career in food service and a lifetime of bitterness.

So when I graduated with my undergrad, I was scared. I went straight back to college ASAP and got my masters. I was so scared of facing the real world and the job market that I even considered staying in school and doing a PHd — lots of my friends were on that get-a-scholarship-and-stay-in-college-for-as-long-as-possible plan. But my university didn’t offer the PHd I wanted (few colleges offer a PHd in Creative Writing). Then I pretty much lucked out into the job I have now, and there you have it. So I personally don’t know how it feels to be at that crossroads you speak of, and I don’t want to front on some “I’ve totally been there” BS. Even though I can’t speak from experience, I have seen lots of my friends and relatives go through what you’re going through.

I’ve seen the effects of unemployment (and the consequent depression caused by extended unemployment) up close and personal. So I had to ask someone for advice. My big sister Petal came to the rescue!

I’ve mentioned her several times before here, but here’s an official introduction — Petal is my one and only big sister. And before you ask, yes, Petal is her real name. Petal Dawn. She’s brilliant — got two degrees under her belt and was well on her way to being a lawyer at one point. But then came across those crossroads you mention, where you find yourself rethinking the path and course of your life. Petal has had long periods of unemployment, between equally long periods of slogging through am-I-doing-what-I-really-want-to-do-with-my-life jobs. It’s taken her years to find THE THING we think she was clearly always meant to do. She’s selling real estate for Century 21, and doing fantastically, I am so proud and happy to say.

So here, Oretta, is some advice from my big sister Petal:

You should view this period in your life in a positive way, and always look at the positives in your life versus the negatives. You need to be upbeat and focused on doing, growing, and getting things done. Feeling down, sad, angry, or dejected will sap your energy and turn potential opportunities away from you. Already you want to be a teacher, so you can build on this by looking at the following websites for more information on how to expand on this skill into a way to earn money & travel.

Tefl.com

Teach Overseas.

Peace Corps (if you are a US citizen)

Transition Abroad.

You should check job sites, job fairs (both online and in your area).

Monster.com is very good and has many articles on career advice from choosing jobs to making a career change.

Use your local library or Chamber of Commerce to help you update skills and get reading materials for free or at reduced rates.

Revamp your resume using the advice at monster.com and make a “Job Search” hard copy file where you list all places you applied to for jobs, and on what date, and note the result so you don’t duplicate your efforts. Also revamp your interview outfit.

See what networks you have around you that can assist with your job search and let people know that you are looking for a job, especially those networks geared towards helping women. Sign up with employment agencies in your area. In the interim you will need funds to get you through, so see what part time job you can get at the library, the nearest technology store, or bookstore.

Don’t give up, don’t be afraid of being an older job seeker. Be consistent with doing all of the above and give yourself another month and things should have turned around.

Please keep me posted and who knows out of all of this may be the plan for your novel *grin.*

Petal

And here’s my two cents for what it’s worth.

If all else fails, and the bills are stacking up and you feel overwhelmed — sign up with a temp agency. I’ve known several people who have found long-term jobs through temping — my husband’s one of them! It took him months of eating chips on the couch and watching The Price is Right after graduating college before he peeled himself up to a standing position and made it out to a reputable agency. They sent him on at least four different wack-ass clerical jobs before he landed at the company he’s at now. And when he GOT to that company, they hired him to file accounting documents. Because he was friendly and had a great work ethic, they kept him for temping job after job, then they looked at his resume and realized hey! Our dude in filing is actually a computer specialist! Let’s give him a job where he can use his skills. Now he’s a major asset to their IT department. All because of temping.

Of course I agree with my sister — maintaining a positive attitude is key. But let’s be real, there’s gotta be days where you allow yourself to feel the feelings you might be suppressing, as well. I think this fallow period between employment could also be a great time for you to get back in touch with yourself. Get up, get out, keep yourself active and keep your mind sharp. Read the whole newspaper, not just the classified ads. Read as much as you can, period.

I recently met a guy who works in Vegas as a casino dealer. He has a list of the books he should have read in school — all of the literary classics we know of by name but have never actually read. And he’s reading them, one by one. “Even if I don’t get them, I force my way through the whole thing,” he explained. He was slowly limping his way through Kerouac and Chekov, and I thought that was really cool and inspiring that he was challenging his mind that way.

I’m not (yet) a published author, but I do have some small insight on starting to work on your book. Keeping a journal could be a good idea, and could lead to life paths you never considered before. I’ve got several journals, but my favorite has big blank pages so I can make lists, draw, scribble angrily, whatever. In your journal, plan out the kind of book you want to eventually write. Dream up a loose guide of the structure and the chapters and what happens when. Even better – go to a bookstore, look around at the books that are like the one you want to write. Note the publishing houses of these books. Start thinking of the book as a real thing and not just a pipe dream. Make lists of the writers and books that inspire you to write one of your own.

Sketch your future plans and dreams as big as you want to, but don’t set time limits on them. I personally think far too many of us make mental lists and set a clock by them. “I need to have a baby by the time I’m thirty-five.” “I’m 30 and I don’t have my dream job.” “I’m 40 and not married yet.” It’s important to own your age and wear it well, but placing those burdens on yourself can just weigh you down and set you up for disappointment. Not everyone’s life clock ticks at the same pace, if that makes any sense. It kind of reminds me of The Desiderata — the poem I practically live by.

Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

Keep your head up, keep trying, and stay confident that good things are coming to you. I really hope that helps, and please keep in touch and let me know.

I know there’s GOTTA be some readers who can identify with Oretta, so please throw in your two cents as well. Your comments are so often filled with great advice and insight. Please share yours with us.

Got an Ask Afrobella question? E mail me at bella@afrobella.com. It might take me a while, but I will try my best to answer you.

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Comments

  1. Bella is correct that one should not generally typecast one’s life into “married with 2 kids, house with white picket fence at age 30″..or whatever …walk to the beat of YOUR own drum not what people say you should be doing at age X, Y or Z…. AND please remember that if you are trying to get a job you are NOT a failure because you do not have a job.

  2. Your advice was great Afrobella. We put so much pressure on ourselves in this culture to hit certain bench marks. It’s madness.

    I was unemployed after the film company I worked for shut down two weeks before Christamas (Happy Holidays everyone!). I had a complete freakout. However, now I look back at that moment as a big wake up call. I no longer live to work, I work to live. I started to write again and decided I am going to move to Rome.

    Oretta, regarding writing, a journal is a great place to start. Write in it everyday, even if you don’t feel like it. Two books on writing that were highly recommended to me were: Walter Mosley’s and Stephen King’s. Both are excellent. There are also a bunch of writers, in different genres, who have great blogs/websites. One consistent thing I’ve noticed is they all talk about having the discipline to write 5 days a week (some say 7). Writing is like any muscle, you have to excercise it. You might not like what you wrtite down but that is what rewriting is all about. Writers write.

    You mentioned you like to travel, maybe you could be a travel writer. Teaching can be very rewarding, just make sure you set aside some time to write. Frank McCourt was an English teacher for years before he wrote ANGELA’S ASHES. Also read everything you can get your hands on. It will help you with your writing. Every single talented writer I know is well-read.

    This time can be very stressful for you. One thing you have in your favor is, you are young and are thinking about these things now. There are so many people in ther 40s and 50s stuck in soul-sucking jobs who can’t leave. They have children or a mortgage. Or there are the people who have been so beaten down they don’t think they deserve anything better. To me that is not a life.

    I hope things work out for you Oretta. Stay strong.

  3. Sumatra77 says:

    I am so glad I read this post today. Oretta, I am in the exact same boat. I was terminated in June in a very nasty situation and have been unemployed since. I hated my job but I’m still trying to work through my anger and bitterness because I feel very helpless. My career life has been very tumultuous and I am at a very desperate crossroads. I also dream of being a writer but I’m constantly distracted by my fears of being utterly broke while I pursue that dream. Fear is paralyzing but I recently heard a quote that I try to live by and that’s:”Do it afraid” Whatever that “it” is, do it in spite of the fear.
    I’m going to take Petal’s advice and sign up with temp agencies because I need a job soon and I’m going stir-crazy in my apartment. Anyway, I just wanted to reach out so you know that you are not alone.
    I wish you all the best and the realization of your dreams.

  4. I’m so glad to read this. Thanks Bella. Thanks Petal. Thanks Oretta. You are definitely not alone. I’m 34. I hate my job. I hate my co-workers. The good thing is yesterday, I was put on an action plan (1st step to termination) meaning in 60 days I’ll have another review. What they don’t know is that I’m going to give my notice on Nov 30. I’m so happy and excited, I can hardly stand it. I don’t have a job lined up yet but I’m stepping out on faith. I refuse to just have a job. I want to fill every aspect of my life with passion. I’m facing the future full of hope.

    I hate to think how long I’ve just existed because of this damn job. How long I’ve been depressed because I bought into the lie that this is life. That’s not living. I realize now that by holding on this “good ass job” (like my mom says) that I hated, I was blocking things from coming into my life that would bring me joy.

    My plan is to take December off and temp for a year until I find something I love. I can always return to the cube or the lab.

    Good luck on your journey Oretta.

  5. many times i’ve explained to my bf that i’m pursuing this “fashion thing” as he calls it at this point in my life because im at the age where i can play around and find exactly what i want to do with my life now instead of being stuck with kids and mortgage in a job i hate later. defining oneself i have found can be such a long and tumultuous process but in the end it must pay off!

    advice that i give people all the time who are in the same predicament is to take a look at watever it is you have made sure to find time to do over the last 6 months to a year, and whatever that is…find out how to make money doin it! goin thru a period of whack jobs…my out was researching fashion trends on the internet and commenting on my finds to my friends. slowly but surely they started to regard me as the fashion go-to girl and i realised hey, this is what i want to do! and i kno i’ll find my sucess here because its what i enjoy…find or MAKE your door to that traveling/teaching career you seek and i’m sure happiness will not be far behind, good luck!

  6. nearandfar says:

    Oretta, I was you and definitely feel where you’re coming from.
    My passion is traveling, photography and writing.
    I think that the websites that were given are really great ones but you can also check out the fount of all info focusing on travel and teaching abroad: Dave’s ESL cafe. If you’re really serious about traveling and teaching, this is a good place to start. I am now in Seoul, South Korea and am loving every second of it. I teach for part of the day and the rest of the day and weekends I work as a photographer, snapping all over this city and meeting some of the most amazing people. My photos have led me to a book deal with a world renowned designer and it’s all because I took a chance and left that ” pays the bills job” in DC. You already have the most important thing it takes to succeed at anything you want: DESIRE, now you just need a little more courage to make the change and the world will be your oyster. Write your what you want down on a piece of paper and read it every morning when you rise and every night when before you get into bed. Believe me, it helps. I intend to never again have a job. So far, so great!!!!
    You don’t need any luck: You’re intelligent. You’re learning something very valuable right now. You’re great book is already in the making!

    Joy to you!

  7. Wow, this is so my situation as well. I’ve been unemployed since May, I’d been in finance since I was 21 and I was sick of the politricks, backstabbing, and not seeing anyone that looked even remotely like me at the top. My daughter was in daycare and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to manage my end of day work, picking her up on time, and not committing some terrible act of road rage along the way! I soon realized that having a child in corporate America is the equivalent of career suicide. I have a degree and a securities license and after all this time have yet to find a new job (which I think is God’s plan), but I have found and acted on my passions. I love Jamaica and I love writing, so I combined the two into my site and that’s what I’m focusing on, but most importantly I spend everyday with my daughter. Today is her birthday and I didn’t have to ask anyone for the day off or to leave early. Just tonight I sat down with my husband and told him that I want to quit looking for conventional work and start freelancing from home and he said “Go for your dreams!” I almost started to cry I was so relieved and happy, but at the same time it’s nerve wracking. Sometimes I get the what-ifs, but I’m so anti-corporate America I know I have to try. I don’t know how it will all work out but after making millions for other people, I’m ready to start making some for myself even if it’s just on the side. I fortunately have a support system in my husband, but even with that being said it’s still taken me most of my life to jump head first and realize that just like He said, God has not given us the spirit of fear. So take it from someone who is in the trenches with you, if you can’t take the big jump all at once, then just stick your toe in. My biggest fear has always been getting to the pearly gates and having God show me all the things I could’ve done and having him ask me, “Why didn’t you even try?” Thanks so much ‘Bella for this post, it’s like a confirmation. for me. (Sorry so long, but this really touched me)

  8. nearandfar says:

    @Mrs YFA

    Your post reminds me of that song by Macy Gray, “get up, get out and do something. How will you make it if you never even try?” Truer words have never been spoken. You’ve got to try. That was great what you wrote.

  9. afrobello says:

    Thanks so much for the post, Bella. My situation is similar to that of Sumatra77, and unemployment always puts one in a club they never wanted to join. It’s like being in a truly undesirable element of society, with negative connotations even if it isn’t your fault. So it’s nice to feel like there are others in the same boat and understand.

  10. Such awesome women you all are! I am in a similiar situation as I left my job at a “prestigous” Ivy League university on the east coast and moved 3,000 miles to the west coast– alone! Each day has been such a blessing since and such a learning experience. I definitely agree that you should do all of those things you’ve always put off because because of time constraints. I am finally LIVING now at 26! I have been without employment for two months but am continually faithful that the seeds that I have planted will soon grow. Although these past two months have been quite unpredictable and downright scary at times, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Use this time to shape yourself and build your character! And let us know how you are doing!

  11. Mrs YFA – I can’t tell you how much your particular comment touched me. You are very very very very lucky to be in the place that you’re in to be able to make that decision in your life. Someday, I hope to be able to go for my dreams as well. Big respect and all the best to you and your family.

    I am so happy that this post is getting comments and thank you all so much for sharing your experiences! I know you’re making my sister Pets feel good (Petal, you’ve got the first comment!) and I can’t wait to hear back from Oretta. I think it’s important to know that you’re not alone in hating your job, or being unemployed, or trying to find your place in life. We’ve all got individual struggles, but there’s common experiences we can all learn from here. Love and respect to you all!

  12. Unrelated but really disturbing please check this out.

    http://polls.newsmax.com/imus/?PROMO_CODE=3A69-1

  13. This post rings so true with me. I am a writer, and I worked at a newspaper for 2.5 years in the South, but I sorely wanted to work for a magazine. So I made the big move to New York, no job, really no apartment. I got here and I did what I had to do. I started over by temping for six months and I took a paid internship at a magazine. I’m still looking for a job, but I’m much closer to where I want to be, but have realized that although I do want to gain experience at a magazine, my real passion is teaching children how to read, which is the next step. I’ve realized that I don’t have a cookie-cutter career path, but it works for me, and I can’t live my life how everyone wants me to.

  14. Beslia, I actually have been following that story closely. The rapper Nelly made some interesting comments regarding Imus’s comeback that I plan on mentioning sometime soon. Thanks for letting us know.

  15. Thank YOU Bella for creating a forum where we can just let loose and have our say. You have definitely already “put your toe in”. :)

  16. I can relate to many of you ladies. Especially you Mrs. YFA. I work for a HUGE corporation and I too am getting tired of the corporate politics, backstabbing, gossip and everything else thats come with working for such a large company. I was speaking to my husband the other day and I told him I’m giving myself 2 years and my goal is to open my own business. I love to cook, especially food of the Caribbean so why not share my love of food with everyone else? He said go for it. I mentioned this to my mom as well. It took my mother almost 25 years (my whole life) to discover her dreams and pursue them. It took so long because she was afraid of taking risks. She told me never be afraid to take a risk or to step out in faith, life is temporary so it up to you to make the best of it..

  17. I have definitely been in Oretta’s shoes. After being a “good girl” daughter who always got great grades, made the honor roll through high school, went to college straight through and graduated Magna Cum Laude, I got tired of the educational rat race and decided that I needed to get out in the world and show tht I could do more than study, take tests, and write papers. The funny thing was that I had gone into college knowing exactly what I wanted to do career-wise, but when I walked across that stage to get my diploma, I was confused. That led to many years of me hopping around to job after job because I hadn’t really taken the time to find out what I really wanted to do. I was worried about living on other people’s timetables and that led to a lot of stress for me. Finally, at 32 I feel that I am finally getting my act together and I have found that I love the non-profit world and I do like acedemia and I am delving into program evaluation and data management and I love it! I am also pursuing my 1st love of writing and hope to get a book published. Long periods of unemployment do mess with your spirit, but Petal had great advice–stay active and busy. You don’t have to be “on the grind” 100% of the time, take some time to relax and reconnect with what you really want.

  18. warrior11209 says:

    This topic is sooooo on time for me. Pls all bellas find what you love to do and then do it to make $$. I am 52 yrs old I took the corporate root – I am sitting in my office right now working with a staff that I am ready to kill for a company that I hate!!!But I have a plan – I have started a medical coding business(which I love ) and I will be able to leave this situation alone very soon . My husband and I are teaching our children to take the time to explore and find what you love to do and think outside of the corporate box!

  19. warrior11209 says:

    Did I just lose my mind and announce my age to the world???????? :-)

  20. This blog is a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work.

  21. Haitianroots says:

    SO can relate! Currently my last day at my company is November 1st. My position is being eliminated and all I can say is “My God hears me!” I wanted to get out, but didn’t know how. Here He has put me in a position to leave gracefully and also have my co-workers help me in my current search. Of course there are days that aren’t so great and I’m thinking that “man, it’s been over 2 months and yet not one interview”. But my encouragemente to everyone going thru this situation is that as long as you do your part (send out resumes, increase your network, stay prayerful) God will do His. When He closes a door, He ALWAYS has another door open for you. However, people neglect to tell you that sometimes, there’s a lot of hell in the hallway between doors. So right now my mantra, that everyday that goes by is one day closer to my new job. I’m still confused on my “career path” and “what I want to be when I grow up” but my God hasn’t failed me yet. He’s provided 10 fold already, so I have to trust that He’s going to make a way. My prayers to everyone that is going thru this challenging/pruning/testing/exciting time right now.

  22. WOW. I guess I’m not the only person who feels this way. For the longest time I was measuring myself against people’s expectations of me and when my life didn’t follow a certain path I was looked at as a failure. But the one thing I have realized is this is my life,my time and my experience and only I can make it what I want it to be. So Ordetta don’t let fear or anything else hold you back. Follow your dream. It’ll be ok. Step out on faith and look at your unemployment as a blessing that instead of going to a dead end job you can spend this time pursuing your passion. Good Luck to you and everyone else

  23. five gold stars for the desiderata reference! i keep it on my wallet, in my office, and always on the tip of my tongue, as in “breath deeply. goosfraba. i am a child of the universe.” :)

    http://daniellescott.net/2007/08/09/i-am-a-child-of-the-universe/

  24. Whew! I have a lot I could say on this one. I think it’s just something about hitting that almost 30 mark that makes you re-evaluate some things and what happiness truly is.

    My path was a lot like Afrobella’s. I was born a writer. I’ve always known what I was put here to do. I have 2 degrees in English (stopped short of a Phd because I knew teaching wasn’t it). I was heavily involved in all things journalism and creative writing all through my tween and teen years. However, somehow I’m working in IT at a job that is killing me softly everyday. I wonder how I even got here but I won’t be long for this place. I do know that my purpose for being here is that I’ve found a way to merge my interest in technology with my passion for writing and literature. I am in the process of getting my side hustle together. The plan is not to make it a side hustle for long–so that I’m not punching anyone’s clock. God has put people in my path that have opened my eyes and I truly am seeing the light.

    Great advice given here. What are you waiting on to start writing that book? Join a writing group or visit a writing center. You never know who you’ll meet. Or meantime, start writing a blog. Great way to build community and work on your writing.

    Look for ways to pursue that passion. Reach out to people. Tell everyone who is in your corner your dreams and let them share with you some things that you may not readily be able to see. I also have formed a goal setting group with a friend and we’ve written mission and vision statements and now are working on the plan. Find a friend who will see and support your vision. It helps!

  25. Here’s my story:

    I have been unemployed since June 29th. I chose to leave a Fortune 500 company because I just could not take it any longer. After months of yes, i’ll quit/no, I’ll stay, I was on the train and went straight to the office and told my boss, “I’m out of here June 29th”. That was Memorial Day weekend.

    I had to remember that I had women in my family that had less than I had and they left jobs, husbands to pursue what they dreamed of. Some had their own businesses, other found their dream husband. Either way, they looked at what was important for them/their children, ways to progress to the next level.

    I enjoyed my summer and I am in the process of starting my own business. Starting up a business is hard. And make no mistake, I am going to have to temp. (even though I saved money, you never have enough) My goal is to get assignments to build up a cash reserve (make sure you have NO DEBT) and take summers off (to focus on self). Life is about choices, but sometimes we get caught up in the non-essentials and make life more difficult.

    But no matter what, let me tell you, life is too short to do something you do not want to do. I had to finally come to this conclusion after working for 20 years in various companies and jobs that looked promising, only to be complete disappointments as time went on.

    Oh, did I mention that I was 41? This fact makes it even more crucial that I find happiness. I don’t want to look back 20 years from now and wish that I had took a chance.

    It’s never to late to discover who you are. Liberate yourself.

  26. ambivalent artist says:

    I’m going to offer a slightly different perspective. I’ve been an artist and writer for about 20 years; on paper you could say I’ve had some success. I’ve exhibited and published both my art and my writings rather extensively–even have my name on a couple of book spines. A couple of years ago I was freelancing because I couldn’t find a job in my field (and I have 3 advanced degrees). So I did what I swore I’d never do–I went to work in corporate America. As the lowest person on the totem pole here, I make more than twice what I made at my last art position. No, money isn’t everything, but I have to say that pursuing creative careers in a culture that doesn’t value that work either spiritually or monetarily can weight very heavily on a creative spirit. Though my job now couldn’t be more mundane, I feel respected simply because I’m finally paid a living wage. I agree that there’s no such thing as a dream job–in fact, I think that’s an oxymoron–and I know that some atmospheres are worse than others, but I just have to add the experience that pursuing one’s creative dreams can be just as difficult, deflating, disheartening–if not more so because it’s so personal–than taking a less “glamorous” path.

  27. I don’t mean to plug but an e-book called “Journey to Purpose” really helped me idenify what i was put on this earth for. Its a great read, you should check it out! The website is journeytopurpose.net. I also would recomend “The Sucess Principles” it’s by Jack Canfeild. The book is good but SUPER long. If you have a lot of free time its a good choice. But if you not so into reading or can’t sit still! lol :) Than go with “Journey to Purpose” the e-book formating isn’t for everyone but I found it helpful!

  28. After four years of working for a Fortune 100 Company I quit. My last day was September 14th. For the first time in 6 years I don’t know what I’ll be doing next, which is big for me since I’m kind of a control freak. The one thing that keeps me from getting too down on myself is that although I don’t know what next steps are, 1- I know they’ll be what I want to do and 2, I know it’ll lead me to better things than the job I was just in.

  29. Wow! ..reading all of these post truly touched my spirit. I am now 33 and I was 30 when I started to realize that I wasn’t truly living; I was on automatic pilot; living the expectations that others had for my life. Through spritual soul searching and serious introspective I have healed and I have forgiven. I would like to add that the path to greatness is a journey. You will never arrive; because growing into your best self is a process; kinda like peeling a banana. With this perspective I have never lived life more fully. Thank you to all the women who have shared their fears, opened their hearts, and inspired other women to dare to live their best lives.

  30. I was extremely moved as I read the comments submitted. At 38 I too am in a situation similiar to that of the women who’ve posted comments. After five years in a position that offered little personal or professional growth, I decided to leave. The decision to leave was something that I wrestled with for years before finally deciding to take a leap of faith in May of this year. T.D. Jakes’ book Reposition Yourself definitely helped me to see that if I am to continue to grow and expand my faith I have to be willing to challenge myself by reaching higher. I expected to leave a job and simply find a better one but in my time out of work I’ve discovered so much more. My faith has grown. I’ve pursued interests that I never seemed to have time to pursue. I reconnected with friends. I’ve reclaimed my passion for living and learning. Before I was simply going through the motions not experiencing life. My out of work experience has taught me what’s important in life and I will not lose sight of that in my next position.

  31. This piece was so touching. I have been unemployed for over a year. I totally understands how she feels. Also it is so true that being unemployed does lead to depression. It feels good to know that you are not alone.

  32. Wow, it’s interesting that I find this in my own time of a job “struggle”. I am 24 years old and I’ve been working at a small company for a year and I absolutely dread going in every morning. I have suffered verbal abuse from a dreadful boss and worked extremely long hours without passion for what I’m doing. I recently took 2 days off (big whoop) and had a 4 day weekend. I learned how to knit, learned how to make necklaces and wrote in my journal for the first time in ages. I’ve come to the conclusion that where I’m working now will not allow any room for me to grow and instead with suck my soul away. I am trying to be patient, but it grows difficult, but I am confident that I need to go out and do what I want now.

    Thanks for all of your advice and I wish everyone here luck.

  33. niks59, chica keep your head up.

  34. Aww…that was a really nice response from Afrobella. I hope it works out for Oretta. Oh, and remember to pray in situations like these.

  35. All I can say is that this post was right on time for me…I know God has a plan for all of us and in due time it will come to light…I pray that God gives us all the strength and the wisdom to see his works.

  36. Wonderful post!!!

  37. And one more thing, ‘ambivalent artist’ says she “agrees with there’s no such thing as a dream job.” I beg to differ…there is such a thing, but it (such as life) will always come with pros and cons. I am working full-time, disillusioned by the mere fact that I have to put clothes on in the morning, but it is paying for my ‘real job’. I am a small-business owner, I LOVE, I DREAM, I LIVE to sell unique accessories to men and women. I just enjoy it so much that I could give my accessories away if it wouldn’t financially break me. I just beleive that accessories are the icing on everybodies cake. Some folks like a little, some folks like a lot, but everybody enjoys a little icing every now and then. The con is the administrative side of doing what I love, taxes, paperwork, marketing, etc. But this about finding, and following your dreams. I am creating my own. I encourage everyone to do the same, whether you decide you want to be the corporation or work for one. Make your happiness where you are.

  38. I’m curious have you ever heard back from Oretta???

Trackbacks

  1. [...] First, I got a lovely e mail from Oretta of the last Ask Afrobella question. I’ll quote part of what she said here. [...]

  2. [...] recent comment on a post from October ‘07 — A Different Kind of Ask Afrobella, where I tried my best to answer Oretta’s question about dealing with unemployment — [...]

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