2016 was a trying year for me.
It started off amazing as I started yet another new job as an Account Manager at a marketing tech start-up. I went in knowing it wasn't my dream job, but the experience, technical skills, and knowledge I would gain would suffice for the lacking long term potential this position had for me. After 3 months it was confirmed for me that I did not belong there. I prayed & fasted for a week asking God to give me a sign if I should leave or not. That week my boyfriend and I went to P.F. Chang's and on my fortune cookie, it read "You will make a decision with confidence in the coming days."
Yes, I know this could have meant anything but at the time, and at that moment it was confirmation for me to make a decision.
So without a plan, I left the job.
From March to September I went through an emotional spiritual roller coaster trying to put the pieces back together. It was so difficult but I knew God did not give me that sign for no reason. I trusted my leap of faith and I did not want to regret it. After going on a record breaking 32 different interviews, filling out over 200 job applications, and reaching out to old contacts for leads on job opportunites and being ignored by several of them, I was forced to freelance part time just to stay afloat. I kept asking God if I did anything wrong if I had made a mistake but I was given so much peace in knowing that everything would work out. It wasn't working out though... at least not right away. So I learned the amazing gift of patience. I wanted a new amazing position but it was contingent upon waiting for it and trusting God's timing.
After hitting so many dead ends, being rejected by my dream job, and feeling like I was making no progress I felt like I could do only one thing. The opposite of what the devil wanted me to do. I refused to get depressed, give up, and feel sorry for myself. I knew I had to fight so I started to do praise and worship in my room and praise God in the hallway until my door opened. I learned that yes, failure happens and doors will close in your face but what you do during that time shows God if you really trust him or not. Dust your shoulders off and keep pushing because a blessing is definitely on the way.
One thing that really got me through my job search was meditation. I took advantage of having more free time by treating myself to massages, going running in the park, and journaling. This period of rejuvenation allowed me to get to know myself outside of the hard working career woman I was becoming. I was actually able to finally stop life and look at myself in the mirror and gain new persepctives. I learned that sometimes we have to press pause on our hustle and take time to appreciate ourselves, and life.
It was in this moment that I learned my most valuable lesson of 2016. Be still. I kept coming across bible verses, devotionals, and quotes that all stated for me to "be still," like literally do nothing. We all know the bible verse, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10-11. When I kept seeing these signs I immediately thought okay this is easy just be still and do nothing God got me. But...um..me? Be still? A millennial woman on a misson to get her dream job? Um..right..
It was horrific to do nothing. I felt unproductive and like I was getting nowhere but here I am trusting these signs again.
When applying online I only heard back when it was for a job I didn't really want to work at, and of course I would always get the job and then kindly decline. I think I declined about 6 jobs in 2016 because I was done with floating from job to job and finally wanted longevity doing something I loved. Yes, I know that I shouldn't have been applying to jobs I didn't want but at the time I was desperate! LOL. There's a BIG difference between applying to jobs and applying to your dream job.
A month prior to "being still" I saw a job posting in a TV production group I'm apart of on Facebook, for a position at Refinery29. I DM'ed the guy and he told me to email my resume. I was "still" for about 2 weeks and this meant not doing anything else for my job search and fully trusting God. I was on my way to do my daily running in the park and I received a phone call from the guy from R29. Long story short he asked me if I could start working the next day. I immediately thought to myself wow, that was fast. R29 has an amazing video production dept with so much growth and innovation. The position I was offered was extremely entry-level and something I couldn't see myself doing for a long time, but it was a step in the right direction.
A few days after getting that job offer, I received another email from a woman at VH1 asking me to come in for an interview, and I received the job! So in a matter of 2 weeks, "being still" showed me the effect of trying to chase fireflies. If you just relax, align yourself with the universe, and focus on what you want mentally, it will eventually just come to you. I got offered two amazing jobs within 2 months.
Throughout the course of these last 365 days I went through so much. So many tears, closed doors, lessons, and spirtual growth. However throughout my struggles I still accomplished so much. I received my Master's degree, I launched Unleash Yourself, I taught a crash TV production course at Essex County College, I created, organized, and led 3 amazing events, I was a panelist at the Brown Women in Media Brunch, traveled to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, DC, and the Bahamas, and gained the career of my dreams!!
Even when I was at the lowest of lows, I still found ways to create opportunities for other young professionals who may have been going through the same thing. I know I wasn't the only one going through a job search struggle, it's quite common during our time period. But knowing how to overcome it is key. I learned that no matter what, God is in control. You can apply to 10,000 jobs but if you are not praying and asking God for guidance you are still trying to steer your own wheel and will end up getting nowhere. Align yourself with what God wants for you and then "be still." It will not be easy but you will be at peace knowing that God got you and will never steer you astray. Trust his timing, his signs (no matter how weird they are), and trust his presence over your life.
2016 you were quite interesting but I am so happy with all the amazing things you taught me.
2017 shall be LIT!