Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Employed But Looking?

Ah, gentle readers, your MatchGirl has been a busy, busy bee. She is about to leave her cozy apartment, where she has lived for 6 1/2 years. She had been hard at work as part of the team that brings your favorite networking event to Brooklyn. She has joined the Community Managers Meetup community, hoping to meet more people who share her passions for connecting people in real life. And she has been working away at her day job.

At the same time, she is still connecting with people who are unemployed and underemployed, sharing the knowledge she gained during her year and a half of unemployment and trying to help make sure that others have smooth transitions and answer any questions that I can.

Recently I spoke with a friend who was employed, yet unhappy. And I've been thinking about that conversation. She's since quit her job and is in the process of figuring out what her next steps will be. I also spoke, recently, with a friend who, though he doesn't hate his job, he certainly does not look forward to going to it every morning. In that conversation he confided to me, and I feel OK in sharing it here, that after a long period of unemployment, he still just felt grateful to have a job. And, through, my network of formerly unemployed and still unemployed people, I have had the opportunity to speak to a lot of people who have been or are currently in similar situations.

Many of you, dear readers, took the first job you could get. You needed to. You needed to make more than $405 a week. You needed to get health insurance. You needed to start putting money back in your savings account. You needed to be able to go out for a drink or to brunch. You needed to be able to afford that plane ticket home for Christmas. And, for some of you, that's worked out well. For some of you, you feel stuck. You're employed, but you're looking. You don't want to seem ungrateful, because you still feel so lucky to even have a job at all, but you're not in a place that feels an exact fit.

And that, gentle ones, is OK.

It's awesome that you have a job now. It's awesome that you can pay your rent on time and without freaking out that the check will bounce. It's amazing that you can go to the doctor without having to go into debt. And you are not ungrateful.

Here is my advice. If you are unhappy, but employed, look. It doesn't hurt. And it's not ungrateful. See what's out there. Either you will find something that will suit you better or you will find out that where you are is not so bad.

It's not the same kind of job search that you had while you were unemployed. It's not as pressing. It's not imperative. It's just putting your feelers out there. Knowing what you are worth. Knowing that it's healthy to be keeping an eye open for your future. It's totally OK to look to better yourself and to take care of yourself. Keep eyes forward, gentle readers, it can only help you move ahead.

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