Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What failure is not.

So I guess I'm kinda on a roll.  My post on Monday outlined what I am not.  And today I will explain why starting 3 jobs in one 365-day period is not failure.  Technically it's 356 days, but you get the idea....

As you can see this year has been a series of literal false starts.  I started just over a year ago desperate and lacking confidence.  I was coming off months of being unable to find a job.  This had never really happened to me. My occupation for the better part of the last decade has been in high demand.  I'm a person who understands FDA Regulations for the Pharmaceutical Industry and can communicate them in a way that doesn't always immediately piss people off.  I can in virtually any audience get at least one person who will at least reluctantly agree with me.  I communicate the neccessary evil. 

So I live in what is perhaps the Pharmaceutical Company Capital of the world, the state of New Jersey.  Everyone in New Jersey knows at least one person who is employed in the Pharmaceutical Industry.  I read a statistic that in 1997 according to census data roughly 7% of the entire population of the state is employed in the pharma industry.  I'm sure that number is higher once the numbers from the most recent census come out.  But in either case that's a lot of people.

So here I am in the best place in the country to be in my chosen profession and I can't find a job.  I can't even get an interview.  Month after month, job posting after job posting, nothing.  Then finally I get a call.

It wasn't ideal, it wasn't a great fit, it was a stretch, and even worse one of the hiring managers told me so at the interview.  The Client I was to be "managing" was difficult.  The contract had been in dispute for months.  The client flat out did not trust the company I was signing on with.  I was expected to turn it around, when the client felt I didn't know what I needed to know.

It was hell.  I was working all the time.  One day last February I was taking a day off.  I was supposed to go to Harrisburg to spend the weekend with a friend.  I couldn't get out of my house.  At one point I felt like I had Tourette's.  Every time I would start to pack, or get stuff together, my iPhone would ding I had mail.  And immediately I was pulling the phone out of the holster and clicking on the mailbox.  On a vacation day.

And yet I hung on.  I gave it all I had.  I went to Bulgaria twice in a 60 day period.  I just kept figuring I wasn't working hard enough.  So I was online 16 hours a day, even weekends.  To the point that my husband was frustrated.  I kept working, kept trying, kept learning.  I've never been one to quit until all other options are exhausted.

Finally in April, I was laid off.  I was on the one hand relieved, I couldn't have stood the pressure cooker much longer.  And on the other hand I was terrified.  I was barely 6 months past looking for a job.  I panicked.  As a result I took the first job I found.  It was also not a great fit, but much more in my comfort zone.  It was something I hated doing, but at least I knew I did it well.

Three months in I was bored to tears.  I went from a pressure cooker to a job where I was completely unproductive.  I did nothing all day.  I can't do this.  I feel like I'm taking advantage of people.  I feel like it's morally wrong.  I worked on a book I wanted to write, I blogged, I wrote book reviews, I searched for a new job, I did a lot of things that brought no value to the company paying for my time.  And I constantly told my Supervisor, I had nothing to do.

So I took my time, I really researched the third job.  I know this is a good fit for me and my abilities.  The Company seems really great, and I expect great things from them.  So while I am starting my third job in 356 days I do expect this will be my last for a very long time.  And for the first time in nearly a year I am excited about going to work.

And this is why even though I'm starting my thrid job in less than a year I am not a failure. No, not like Nixon was not a crook, either.


  1. Holy cow! That first job made me exhaussted just reading about it.
    So glad you have found something that sounds like it will be the perfect fit for you.
    Hopefully that will bring you happiness & peace.

    ps thank you so much for your friendship, prayers and kind comments. They help me more than I can ever express properly.

  2. It was exhausting Debi.

    I'm glad my prayers and thoughts have helped you! :)