Keith Owens became a full-time member of the Writing It Right For You writing team on August 1, 2011. An award-winning writer and journalist, Keith also is a regular contributor to the Jack and Jill Politics blog. He is writing a series for Jack and Jill Politics about starting a career as a freelancer as a Black Liberal Boomer. You can read the 1st installment of “The Self-Employment Chronicles” here at the Jack and Jill Politics Blog.
The Self-Employment Chronicles Part II
Like I said in the last post, I gave myself no more than 24 hours to suffer from the shock of losing my “good government job” with Wayne County. Then it was time to get busy. Although I had some reasons to suspect that something may have been coming down the pike, that my job was not exactly as stable as I would have liked, I still simply did not expect to walk in on a Monday morning and then, within 45 minutes, be walking back out the door with what little personal belongings I had bothered to bring with me to the office over the previous five years.
And now? Looking back? I have to say that my small amount of personal belongings is a bit of a revelatory peek into the somewhat subconscious state of mind I was in throughout the entire time I was working my day job. The fact that after five years as a department executive with considerable responsibilities I could nevertheless easily leave the office carrying all my personal belongings in a medium-sized box? I mean, if you peeked inside the office of just about anyone else at the job, any executive or manager, you would likely see pictures of family, stuffed animals, plaques, plants, you name it. Stuff to make the environment seem more homey.
The only thing I had on my wall was a calendar provided by the office. I didn’t even have a photo of my wife in there. Nothing. Just office stuff. Looking back it’s like I went in there with the feeling that I did not plan on being there long. Maybe I always knew what I really needed to be doing was working for myself because that was likely to be the only time I was truly willing to commit myself all the way. Committing yourself 100 percent to somebody else’s company or vision is great for them, but what does it do for you in the long run? For me, I will easily concede it was a fine learning experience where I picked up some valuable skills that will serve me well as I move forward in pursuit of my own life’s fulfillment, but in no way was it ever where I was destined to spend any length of time. Not to say that getting laid off was a great experience – it wasn’t – but I am definitely saying I have yet to miss anything about the place. It’s amazing how fast some things can disappear into your rearview mirror.
That’s the good part. The more, oh, let’s say ‘challenging’ part, is what lies ahead. I know exactly where I want to go and what I want to do. That’s not the problem at all. I also feel for the first time in a very long time that I am headed in the right direction and that what I am doing is right for me. I have quite honestly never felt this right about anything except marrying my wife. But how to get there?
Time to sketch out the plan. The clock is ticking, and it’s getting loud…
You can contact Keith for your writing, blogging, social media, and journalism projects here.
Have you faced an employment uncertainty or challenge? Let us know in the comments section!