Does your life ever feel like a wildfire?

29 Mar

Gale force winds hit my house about 2:00 this afternoon.  Not long after that, the grassfires began.  A few hours later areas of Midwest City and Choctaw were being evacuated.  Firefighters from all over the metro were called in to help fight the blaze.  Many people didn’t even have time to get home from work to get their pets out or know where their family members had gone.  All they could do was wait and watch and pray.

This last month my life has been like a wildfire.  The same day I received the offer to blog at Examiner I was let go from my full time job for lack of work.  I was stunned.  The clock started ticking — notice, severance, vacation — how long would the money last?  Where do I start looking for another job?  In this economy, how hard is it going to be to find another position?  Will I have to start all over again with benefits and vacation?  Is it time for me to take a risk and pursue my dreams?  All alone — what do I do?

First, there was the shock.  Then came the tears, the anger, and the fear.  I was helpless to wait and watch and pray, like I was watching my career burn.

I took a deep breath, stood back and realized that this is not the worst thing I have ever been through.  If I can survive divorce, I can survive anything.  God has always provided for my needs — He’s not going to stop now.

So I focused on what I could do today rather than worry about tomorrow.  First step: my resume.  The shock made it hard to remember all of the assignments I’d been given over the years, so I pulled out my job description and mentally went over my calendar from the time I had worked there.  After a few days I pretty much had it down.  In spite of the pressure I felt to get it out, I did not rush the most important job-landing tool.

Then I went to the single biggest job hunting resource out there — the glorious internet.  Without internet access at home, I used the public library for a few days until I finally gave up and ordered internet for home.  The library is a wonderful resource, but when you’re in a time crunch job hunting, you need to be able to keep an eye on your email every few hours.  Quite frankly, there are so many sites to check that it can take hours to view it all, and the library does have a time limit.

Internet job searches have improved so much in the last few years.  In fact, there’s so much out there it can be absolutely overwhelming.  I started with Career Builder, USAJOBS, OK.gov, OESC, and Craig’s List.  I also found a helpful new website called Careerealism that offers job hunting advice.  Then I compiled a list of some of the companies I’m interested in working for and used Google to find their websites (which should include “Career” or “Employment” pages).  I applied for a handful of jobs…but nothing.

Then things got a little more interesting.  The heat turned up a little.

But more about that later.  (To be continued…)

——————————————————————————–

For live coverage of the wildfires, visit Fox 25, KOCO, KFOR or KWTV’s websites.  My prayers and deepest sympathy to everyone who lost their home today or whose home remains in the path of the wildfire until the winds die and the morning comes.

(Cross-posted at Examiner.com on April 9, 2009.)

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