Throughout this year I have been a little bit all over the place with my career aspirations. In typical 2020 fashion they have been crushed, filled with uncertainty, and through a fair bit of mental anguish are evolving. Let’s just say they’ve had to, “pivot”. (I’ve also re-watched the entirety of Friends, so there’s that).
I started this year with plans of applying for a new job onboard. I applied for one and didn’t get it. Had the video ready to apply for the next and then everything shut down. They wouldn’t be needing the job I was applying for with no passengers onboard, so what was I going to do? At that point I don’t think anyone really thought the shut-down would last until now, but still, that was one dream gone. Caput. While stuck onboard for 8,000 years this spring, I found out I actually had the degree needed for a totally different job onboard. I started job shadowing, took several courses (part of my growing pile of certificates from this year), and right about when I had my application materials ready, the company announced more layoffs. At this point and with the uncertainty not only of my career future, but now my husbands (and now, we still don’t know anything for sure), it felt a bit like, “what is the point?”
Not long after this we found out that for next year, or at least until “normal” sailing resumes again I can’t sail as wife-on-board. So, if they aren’t hiring right now and I can’t go sail with him, what am I going to do for months at home without him? Anyone that knows anything about our life in Vermont will know that I would have plenty to do. Getting bored is not the issue, but figuring out how to move myself forward absolutely is. It was at this point that I realized that I might get to have a mental career “pivot” once again.
I might say all this like it wasn’t a big deal, but each one of these pivots, each one of these disappointments has thrown me so much. When you apply and get rejected from a job it stinks and it’s terrible and I could write more blog posts on that (and certain specific soul-crushing experiences). When you’re faced with not only a situation where you don’t know where to go, but having to change the literal basis of your career future, again, it mostly left me with a feeling of, “I don’t even know which direction to go”. It’s hard to put one foot in front of the other when you don’t know where you’re going. It’s like flying a plane – if the direction you’re going is off by one degree you could end up somewhere entirely different than you planned. When you’re talking about your life that is partially terrifying but in another light is partially exciting.
After realizing, accepting, and getting past the fear that another career pivot was ahead of me, I started looking on job boards a bit for remote work. I wasn’t so much looking for my dream job as something that would give me the flexibility to live the way I want to. That’s how I ended up applying for a very “safe” choice. It was a safe choice because it was part-time and only for 6 months. If I didn’t like it that would be that.
To spoil the story a bit – I didn’t get the job, or at least if I did they are really slow at letting me know. What it did do was rip the bandaid off. Applying for that job was getting over the mental hurdle of yet another career diversion and putting thoughts into action. Now, I haven’t given up on those jobs onboard – I’m still working on some courses and will continue to, but since ripping that bandaid off I’ve applied for 5 jobs. And, aside from some serious repetition in online forms, it didn’t hurt a bit. The world kept spinning.
Maybe I’ll get one of them, and maybe this super frustrating terrible year of 2020 will have ended up steering me in the direction of a job and a career that I love. Honestly, after how this year has gone, it is the least it could do.
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