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Thursday Update: 04/30/09

There are certain days when I really, really feel like a grown up. Today is one of those days. Another round of layoffs was announced this morning, in my corner of the world, and it was a little close for comfort.

It may sound weird, but most of the time I guess I don’t really see myself as a full grown woman living and working in the big scary world of business. I’ve been working this job for nearly 8 years and have enjoyed most of it…I’ve learned new skills, been exposed to all different kinds of business, attended conferences and classes and immersed myself in my job and all the different paths it has taken me, climbing slowly up a few rungs on the corporate ladder…and every once in a while I would stop long enough to look at myself and think ‘huh…I guess I am a grown up professional…weird.’ I didn’t really choose this career path, but after college I never really knew what path I wanted, to be truthful. All my childhood dreams seem so ridiculous to me now…a teacher…a writer…a stay at home mom…and here I sit – a Business Analyst. Don’t get me wrong, I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at my job…I can’t say enough how good it has been to me…I am blessed by this job, for sure. But I think somehow, in some way I may have felt sort of immune to things like tough economic times. Recently as we’ve endured wave after wave of layoffs I find myself looking closer at myself and what I could do…what I might choose to do, if I were forced. Reflecting on my skills, my interests…I sort of come up blank. I don’t see them meshing much. Trying to think about what I might do, if I didn’t have this job…I’ve got no idea.

I wonder how many other folks feel like I do…people who sort of wandered through college, entering the workforce without any real end goal in sight. It sort of makes me feel old…and young and dumb at the same time. I don’t have a trade…a niche…a definite idea of what I want to do and where I want to go. I know if I had to, I could put myself out there and find a place…but the thought is daunting, overwhelming, and honestly…a little terrifying. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to explore some things at this job, to grow myself and my skills here…I’ve been nurtured, supported, and encouraged to try new things and to challenge myself. I realize this is not the norm…and I am thankful. My heart goes out to those struggling with the direction of their own lives right now. It sounds weird to say it, but I actually have colleagues…and to see them have to pack their boxes and find a new job…well, it stings. It creates so many layers of emotions, I’m not sure I can even capture them all…fear, anger, frustration, grief, relief, guilt.

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