The very first item in my RSS feed today screamed at me in ways that I have not in recent weeks. The headline says it all:
Definition of procrastination contained therein: “THE MASK of feeling overwhelmed, scared, insecure, or unable to do something correctly.”
This certainly has my mood pegged correctly right now, as I tackle a stage of my career transition that I have been reluctant to approach: Actively beginning a job search. There are several positions I have in mind, and I am eager to pursue them. After I spent most of last week getting my résumé in working order, my fantastic career coach finally gave me the green light: Go for it.
So here is the moment, and it is a daunting one. I’ll tell you what else procrastination is: The fear of rejection. Yet I know this is all part of the process. Given the rotten state of the economy that’s likely to grow worse, that ought to be a call to action.
And yet, it’s caused some melancholy. Perhaps it’s the the staggering news that continues to come out about the newspaper industry. Ditto for the economy, even if fears are being unnecessarily stoked by the media. If you’re not working, it’s hard not to feel a little extra jittery.
Then I read about a laid-off technology journalist in Silicon Valley and how he’s forging ahead, in ways that don’t sound very remarkable, except that so many of us are having to do the same thing:
“One part of Mullins’ day is spent pitching story ideas to editors and writing; making sure money continues to come in. The other part is spent sending out resumes, calling contacts to see if they’ve heard about job openings or tracking down editors about giving him work. With a mortgage to pay, Mullins jokes that he’s learning to mix Starbucks coffees as a ‘just in case.’
“The arduous process can sometimes get him down. ‘It can be frustrating and depressing to be sending e-mails and getting nothing back,’ Mullins said. ‘I have friends who help encourage me.’ ”
“As for the future of tech journalism, Mullins is confident that the public will always crave news.”
And as I sat down to write this post, I saw a message from someone I know who’s starting his day by “plunging headlong into red tape.” That cheered me up. Obviously I feel bad for him, because I know what his days are like in the corporate silo.
No, I was heartened because I don’t have the burden of red tape to choke my actions. That was one of the key factors in my buyout decision. All that’s keeping me from what I want and need to do are my own fears, and the limits of my own imagination that I don’t test frequently enough.
So without further delay, it’s time to go for it.