Ugh…I have priority paralysis!

It’s not an official diagnosis but everywhere I turn, there are things to do. Some fit into the “really need to be done” category and “really want to do” category. I struggle with priority paralysis – what do I do first?

A couple of the things really need to do include finding an income. I don’t know if that’s a full-time job, a contract position, or maybe even freelance work. Since I have bills to pay, I need to figure it out. Unfortunately, when looking for jobs, I get overwhelmed because every job description seems to have different skill requirements – CSS? CMS? SEO? SAAS? Adobe InDesign? Google Analytics? Huh? Sigh…what should I learn? So I look at my other list…

On my other list are things like working on two of my volunteer positions. One group is hosting the annual conference this summer and I’m in charge (surprised?) of a couple of committees. This will be fun to work on. And for the other organization, I need to work on job descriptions, policies and procedures, marketing ideas, strategies, and so on. Again, I find this very fun to do. And there are books to read, movies to watch, closets to clean, genealogies to research, documents to scan, VHS tapes to get rid of, goodies to bake, etc. (Yeah, I know they don’t sound like fun to anyone else but me…)

Duffy and Priority Paralysis

So I think I’m going to follow the example of Duffy, this wise soul from the early 80’s…I’m going to lunch.

Thanks, God, for my friends

I know that I’m a little late with my “thanks” post (which is what a lot of bloggers did around Thanksgiving) but this week, especially, I’ve been reminded just how wonderful girlfriends can be and it’s time to show some gratitude. I’m blessed with a lot of wonderful friends and it’s too easy to take it for granted.

In late November, I had very promising job interviews at two different companies.  I didn’t get either job which was disappointing and discouraging.  And then my phone has been silent for weeks.  No calls from recruiters or employers.  Sigh…

As a result, I feel like I’ve been a little whiny and not much fun to be around lately. Fortunately I have girlfriends who love and support me, listen to me whine, help me get past my insecurities and lack of confidence,then kick me in the butt to get me moving again.  You’ve been incredibly kind and fun (and funny) and encouraging.  Just what I needed – thanks!

Thanks to the conversations we’ve had this week at lunch and dinner, I’m ready to start moving forward again.  In fact, I’m ready to start the process of owning my own writing business.  Yup, I’m going to do it.  I’ve been doing some writing while I’ve been off and I enjoy the flexibility and the creativity that it brings.  I know there are risks to owning your own business, but I’ll worry about those next year.  (Just kidding!)  Let me start fleshing out my plan and I’ll tell you more about my new business as soon as I know more about that.

But first…I need to work on Christmas cards, wrap presents, baking and all those kinds of things.  I was sure I would be done by now because I am – after all – unemployed.  Plenty of time, right?  Nope!

So are YOU ready for the holidays?  Everything baked, wrapped, sent, decorated, and so on?  Oh, wait…maybe I don’t want to know…

Write something every day

In early November, I was given this advice by another writer: Write something every day.  I’ve thought about it a lot, but haven’t done much of that. So that’s what I’m going to do. It may not be in this blog, but I’m going to figure out a way to write something.  Every day.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of things to read, write, see, think about and so on. In fact, today I’ve been researching what it would take to become a self-employed writer. My unemployment benefits are going to end soon and so far, I’ve had a bunch of promising interviews but no offers. And that’s okay. For now.

But I’ve been thinking about this more since I have done some writing while unemployed. In addition to writing some training materials, I’ve also written a few case studies, press releases and white papers. And yesterday I submitted two articles to the Snohomish County Business Journal for publication in mid-December.

And I’ve been enjoying my flexible lifestyle…sleep in, run errands, work for a while, have coffee with friends…  I know that to make a living, I’d need to cut back on some of those things but I could do it. I think. I hope.

So I’ve been doing some research today. Looking for ideas, resources, tips and stuff on what it takes to start a business, to find clients, and so on. So I didn’t just put one or two books on hold at the library…I put SEVEN books on hold. And I’ve bookmarked a number of websites to read later.  Good grief.

It looks like I may be spending more time reading than writing…

What are you listening to?

When I’m at my desk at home working on my job search, volunteer projects or whatever, I typically listen to talk radio (97.3 KIRO FM).  I listen, but don’t always hear.  Does that make sense?  It becomes background noise for me.  I’ve always loved music, but music can distract me and then I can’t focus on what I should be doing.  And complete silence is VERY distracting.

I’ve been working on a writing project today for a friend and the guys on talk radio started to annoy me.  It was time to pull out some old CDs.  Oh, my…

Started with an old Chuck Mangione album, “Feels so Good,” from 1977.   It’s a jazz/pop instrumental CD.  Plays the flugelhorn.  (You don’t hear that word very often, do you?)

Then I moved to a CD by Dehner Franks.  He used to play the piano in the lobby of the Rainier Bank building when WaMu had a bunch of us housed there years ago.  I’d go down to the lobby at lunchtime to listen to him play on a beautiful grand piano.  Now I’m listening to Etta James.  I really cannot concentrate or focus now.  Not only does she have a great voice, her back-up musicians are terrific.

Okay, so I have to make a choice now.  Continue listening to Etta and moving to the beat or should I get back to work?

What are you listening to?  And why?

Job search = roller coaster

In order to collect unemployment benefits, you must apply for at least 3 jobs a week. An interview or certain classes at Worksource may count toward that total, too.

I know that that doesn’t sound like much work, but there are weeks when it seems you can’t find anything that you feel qualified to apply for. Other weeks, you find a bunch that sound interesting. Both looking and applying can take HOURS. And it’s not just the looking and applying that takes time…but that’s conversation for another day.

Regardless of how many jobs you apply for – and the odds of getting a job are better if you apply for more than 3 jobs, of course – it takes time. Tweaking your resume and cover letter for each job, as well as filling out the online application and/or profile can take FOREVER.

I once spent an hour completing an online job application then hit the wrong button and lost it all. I remember debating about how badly I wanted to apply for that job. Grrrrr….

Today is an “up” day. I applied for several jobs today that have me energized. I hope, I hope, I hope! Tomorrow I’ll look for a few more jobs, try to set up an informational meeting or two, and also see if I know anyone at any of these companies to connect with.

And so the roller coaster ride continues…

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