Staying grounded during a dry spell

Glade view

After a few years on the road, I have finally become location dependant. It didn’t happen all at once, but now that it has happened, I have decided to live in a place far away from a big city and jobs in my field. Great!

Now that I have decided to stop moving, I face a dilemma. I want to keep working and improving in my field, however, there are limited local opportunities. And believe me I have applied to each and every possible local opportunity! My dilemma: stick to my guns and keep hoping for my kind of work, or accept my new reality and find work accordingly.

I’m applying to any job that I think my skills will transfer to. We definitely live in the age of specialization though, and my skills are very specific. My biggest worry is finally finding work and losing touch with the work that I love doing, with the person I have become. The job search often feels futile, either I am over qualified, or I’m facing hidden politics, or I simply don’t fit, or or or. Could be any number of reasons! Whatever the reason, as I go through this dry spell, I’m finding ways to stay in touch, with myself and my field. Here are a few examples:

  1. Work on a personal project. Mine is a user manual for remote work. I’m not sure what I will ever do with it, but I enjoy having a excuse to do research and reach out to people, and keep my collaborative muscles flexing.
  2. Learn something new, or re-learn something old. I’m signed up for a Moodle MOOC to learn what’s new in the latest version. It’s not overly time consuming or difficult, which keeps me coming back. It’s a low barrier way to hone my skills. While I may have to work as an admin assistant somewhere, signing up for this free course will provide my brain with some play time.
  3. Keep applying! And, make a note of future learning possibilities. Whenever I see a new job posting that seems written for me except one notable skill or certificate, I make a note. I have a list of possible certificates that I can participate in part time, regardless of the type of work I find.

Ideally, my dream job is in eLearning, at a happy, dynamic and collaborative company or institution that encourages experimentation and creative thought. I have trouble imagining myself going to a job that requires no creativity or collaboration. But I know that by staying here, I will have to accept what I find.

Staying motivated and not losing hope, seeing the bright side of the situation is keeping me going, and hopefully this dry spell will be over soon!

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