To be honest, I was never built for this kind of culture and have spent a lifetime looking for scant comfort to help me live in a society that feels foreign to my nature. Oh, I have professional talents and have done OK in my career, but I believe I could have done much better and contributed much more in more supportive environments than the ones I've found in American private industry. Competition and clawing to get ahead never came naturally to me. I don't think I'm unique. I suspect nearly all of us have faced jobs that we have found meaningless and alienating, or where we have screwed up, or even worse, where we have been abused by unscrupulous coworkers or vicious bosses.
Unemployment can be a time of healing from those experiences. It's a time when we can take a breather, look back at what has happened, and look for a new and different path forward. It's also a time when we can find new sources of comfort and healing, whether it's through counseling or deeper faith practices, a closer connection with friends and loved ones, opportunities to get away into nature, or pursuing education to strengthen personal or professional abilities. Whatever your situation has been, it's good to take the time while unemployed to introspect, to look back at where you have suffered at work, justly or unjustly, and then make a plan to find a better, happier, more positive you.
So here's a big question: Where have you suffered in your career, and what are you doing during this time to make it better for yourself in your next job and in your life? What are you doing to be kind to yourself?
Chuck Petch (chuckpetch.com)