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!