¡No seas maje! Lessons on bouncing back.
Part 1. Last year I landed the job of my dreams. I went to grad school to become a school counselor. I started my career and soon after decided I was also interested in working with students in higher education. So there I went, bright eyed pursuing a second master’s degree. After multiple job applications and selling myself in interviews, I finally left my high school counseling job with a box of all my office belongings and cute paper clips. I started my job at a university I will not name (LOL) and 6 weeks later, abruptly quit. The story of why I quit will be on another blog entry. I felt like a failure to say the least. I couldn’t understand how I had made a wrong move. There I was, a college grad, whose mom fled the Salvadoran civil war and who did everything possible to get me to this country. I was now unemployed (by choice). How did I let this happen? Months earlier I had created a shirt for delicadas but soon realized the delicada was me all along.
I cried the first four days that I was unemployed. I was on a rollercoaster and overwhelmed to say the least. Thankfully my husband, mom, and friends came to the rescue. I remember those first few days so vividly. I remember driving from the west side to the Dodger stadium on the day I quit. My friend listened to me cry and as we spoke, she was sending me job openings she found on Indeed. I should have gone home but I was meeting my husband for an event his job was hosting at the Dodger Stadium. I stood in a line confused, with swollen eyes, my Dodger t-shirt, phone on 10% battery, searching for my husband. Monday morning came and after mailing my office keys at Fedex, I was at my friends house by 8am. I still remember our Target and Trader Joe’s trip. Everyone around me helped me feel like I had made the best decision for myself, even if on paper it was a terrible one.
Okay, on to the lessons I learned. Lesson 1: Know your worth. I quickly had to realize that to feel better, I needed to find a job. I immediately contacted friends who were also counselors and asked if they knew of any open positions. I went on Edjoin and started applying to every school counseling job available. I knew that I would find a job soon. I had six years of experience as a high school counselor and there had to be a school that was willing to bring on a counselor midyear. Lesson 2: Know that this is temporary. Thanks to networking, I got a job offer within two weeks of quitting my job. Too often it feels like the dread will last forever when it’s only temporary. Things do get better. Lesson 3: Have savings for a rainy day. Even without savings, I still would have quit the job I was in. That’s how terrifying the job was. Having savings to cover me until I got another job helped me but I wasn’t out of the woods. The final lesson, which is very much aligned with knowing your worth, is to be confident. Be confident that even when you make decisions that may seem wrong to others and you’re throwing away an opportunity, only you know what is best for you.