I’m unemployed. My husband is unemployed (but nearly done with school to become a front end web developer). We’re in debt. We have a lot of financial obligations.
Normally, in this situation — and I’ve been faced with it before — I would commence to FREAK THE F*CK OUT and take the first job I could get that somewhat matched my salary expectations and experience. Because I was motivated by fear: fear of creditors, fear of not having a place to live, fear of not having a car, fear of not having a professional identity.
This time, though, it’s different. This time, there is some real clarity about what it is I need to do.
If you time-travel back 6 years ago, to 2010, I was reveling in my passion: social media and social journalism. I was executive director of the Alabama Social Media Association. I was managing social media at al.com, Alabama’s largest news media website.
I’ve since veered off-course. After moving to Orlando, I held positions in the digital space, but none of them involved social media to the extent that it was my entire job. And the past two years have been somewhat of a nightmare for me, working in digital agencies in Atlanta and Orlando. There was no social media, no community engagement, no digital content for me to work on directly, just managing digital projects for clients that I sometimes didn’t even morally feel right working for. It was anxious, soulless busywork — for me, at least.
So now, I’m setting out to course-correct. The work I enjoyed the most is the work I was able to do in Alabama, teaching journalists to engage on social with their readers and viewers, and engaging with them myself. Whether I’m working with local news media, a web-only operation, or something on the national level remains to be seen, but it’s what I want.
Writing, editing, teaching, mentoring, analyzing, tweaking, improving, and creating great content is my passion. I’m not sure how, exactly, I veered this far off course, but I’m glad to finally be back, to be myself again, to really feel again.
Have you ever had a moment of clarity like this in your career? What did you do about it?