Sunday, September 06, 2009

Thoughts on Labor Day Weekend

As we celebrate Labor Day weekend 2009, I feel a huge sense of uncertainty regarding my work life and my career. As it turns out, 2009 has become another year of the transition for me.

At this time, I want to thank all of my family and friends for supporting me and praying for me during this challenging time in my life. Please know that your prayers and support mean more to me than I can express.

During my five months in transition, I have been surprised by three things in particular:

1) The large number of people who are in transition like me. About a month ago, I went to a networking event at a suburban church where over 100 of us were stuffed into a very warm room. Rather than feeling any sense of "strength in numbers," I felt a huge rush of sadness and helplessness. Thankfully the feeling went away quickly.

When I go to a library during a typical weekday, I am amazed by the number of people who are waiting to use the computers or working on their laptops. I am also amazed at the large number of people I meet at networking sessions who are looking for employment opportunities.

Currently the national unemployment rate hovers at 9.7 percent. This figure covers those of us receiving unemployment benefits. I know there are a lot of people who have either given up looking for a new job or they are severely underemployed. Whatever the case, there are many days when this 9.7 percent figure feels way too low.

2) I am amazed at the number of people that seem unaffected by the current unemployment challenges that are occurring. While part of me feels jealous of people who are living with a sense of "business as usual," I am comforted by this sense of "normalcy" in the work world. It gives me hope to see this at a time when my life does not feel anywhere near "normal."

3) I am amazed at the great amount of resiliency among people in transition. I've met plenty of people who need to express their pain, disappointment and frustration about their situation. But I have met many more people that are optimistic and positive about their situation. During this challenging time many of us are looking for, dare I say, a better job and a better life.

For a spiritual perspective about work and Labor Day Weekend, please check out a great article from one of my favorite columnists from the Chicago Sun-Times, Cathleen Falsani. You can check out the article at the Sun-Times or Cathleen's Blog.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!


Lori said...

Hi Tim,

First, let me say that I love the concept at the core of your blog: becoming more well rounded! I love that! Thumbs up!

One of the things that struck me when reading your post is that being well rounded is one of the strategies to avoid under- or unemployment. The more we know, the more we have to offer the world and, frankly, to ourselves.

I need to read further into your posts (I'm a first-timer at your site), but it sounds like you have a lot to draw upon as you transition. I wish you all the best and thank you for your insights here today.

Tim said...

Hi Lori:

Thanks for stopping by and for the positive and encouraging words, I really appreciate it. I've heard about a book called "The Renaissance Soul" which is "for people with too many passions to pick just one." I think the book fits me and in some ways this blog is a reflection of some of my interests.