Monday, January 03, 2011

Nervous Nelly

After graduating college with a 3.45 (and a 3.89 in my major), you'd think that job seeking would be a breeze, that the world would be my oyster. Add that to a 25 year tenure in retail and a successful retail management career (except for the last year of it), and hey, I could apply for anything that matches my skills, right?

Not quite.

It is amazing to look at Monster, Career Builder and local employers and scan the opportunities. There are many that I definitely would be a great candidate (and employee) for, but the last year or so of my tenure in the retail arena makes me gun shy to even consider them.

Yes, my plan is to pursue my studies full time and work part time, but hey, I'm realistic that I should see what is out there with my qualifications should the need arise. That said, I saw a half dozen jobs that paid 25% more than my highest paying job because of that piece of paper and the idea of applying for them scares me to death.

What if they won't consider me because I job hopped the last two years in the field?
What if the fact that I left management for the promise of a corporate trainer job that didn't materialize turns them off?
What if my health issues (which wouldn't be a factor in these jobs) are brought up by my former bosses?

It's funny, for years, I was confident in my skills. My bosses gave me excellent reviews, one even begged me to stay with our division instead of transferring to another when we moved to Florida because she didn't want to lose me. The appraisals sit in a folder on my desk, testament to the fact that I busted my ass and enjoyed doing it. Ed used to lament the fact that I was a live to work type of person when he's a work to live kind of guy.

On the other hand, if a similar job in academia came up, I wouldn't hesitate a moment before applying, even if my skills were slightly below the ones an employer desired.

Why is it I have more confidence in something I haven't done yet than the thing I did successfully for most of my life?

This past week was spent applying for about a dozen jobs, most of them in academia or in support of academia. Two were retail and I felt strange applying. It was weird that as I completed the form, wrote a glowing cover letter and attached my snazzy looking resume, I thought that my efforts wouldn't merit a second glance, when just a few years ago, I knew the same effort would result in a call to participate in a half day interview session.

If anything, I'm looking at my bout of skittishness as a sign that the path I've set myself on is the right one. Yes, I'll still apply for those jobs, and if called, I will give my all in the interview-but it just doesn't feel 'right' anymore.

By the end of the month, I'll have a new job, of that I am sure. However, the other thing I'm pretty sure about is that it won't be retail or management. It will be something completely new, where I won't be the expert, the answer lady, the 'go to when things go wrong' person.

At least, not at first.

Give me time, and wherever I land, those qualities will be what I'll be known for once again.


1 People talked back:

Baba said...

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