Tag Archives: career

It’s a Brand New Year, Baby

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Competitiveness. Infatuation. Greed. Vanity.

Do you know the famous story of the spider and King David? Young David is hiding in a cave from King Saul. He sees a spider and wonders why the Almighty bothered creating spiders at all. (I admit I’ve questioned their purpose at times!) Long story short, the spider saves David from Saul by spinning a web that covers the mouth of the cave. When King Saul approaches the cave, after being tipped off by a spy, he doesn’t even enter since he assumes that David would have broken the intricate web when going in to hide.

Spiders have a purpose in the world and sometimes their purpose is quite lofty.

Our inner ‘spiders’ (competitiveness, infatuation, vanity, and greed) can have a lofty purpose too. They can be the first steps in motivating us to accomplish great deeds.

Lately, I’ve been noticing the volume of people who are at a crossroads. They’re toying with new ideas for their careers, they’re ending relationships, some are feeling anxious about their future, others are experiencing the bittersweet flavor of closing one chapter and beginning the next.

We see that we need to make a change in our lives but we are masters of distraction and rationalization. We stay in the rut and we are sure that’s the most practical course of action.

But then…

We bump into a contemporary who seems to be running his life far more efficiently, happily, and successfully than us.

OR We are attracted to someone who appreciates achievements that we suddenly have energy to accomplish.

OR We look in the mirror or try on that outfit or step on the scale.

OR We want more attention, money, honor, affection, medals, degrees, accolades, or popularity.

Suddenly, we are able to update that resume, skip that dessert, set up that date, book that ticket. We are spontaneously and wholly motivated to accomplish what we were sure was impossible.

What about these negative traits and emotions that we’re capitalizing on to accomplish great things?

A Jewish perspective? Go for it. Seize the day. Just do it. Fake it ’til you make it. What begins with impure intentions can transition into idealistic ones.

So to those around me who feel that they are at a crossroads…and to me, who can appreciate downtime like a champ but knows the value of accomplishing.

DO. Do at all costs. Do ambitiously, boldly, and bravely. Use the hidden ‘spiders’ in yourself to haul your body off of the couch and accomplish.

It’s a brand new year, baby. Live greatly.

 

 

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We’re on the Eve of Destruction

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Today marked the end of my winter break and the six month anniversary since we left our Kiruv (Jewish Outreach) jobs in Los Angeles to start anew in San Diego. These are the two reasons why today should have been tough but thankfully I succeeded in shoving those pesky thoughts into the back of my mind so I could soak up the sun and enjoy ice cream, the beach, and a playground with my kiddies. It’s funny how in 2014 (!) Americans who are going through difficult financial times can still enjoy luxuries like cell phones and Starbucks. We stress about the future but when I take a second to look around at the here-and-now, I see we have it good. Still, many moments I’m not plugged into such present-mindedness and I worry.

Sometimes my husband and I lose our patience while waiting for The Answers. In case you don’t know, here are The Questions:

  1. Will he find a job?
  2. When?
  3. What?
  4. Where?
  5. Will he like it?
  6. Will it like him?
  7. Will it support us?

When we hit boiling point- when we feel like we’re on the eve of destruction– we brainstorm. My husband predictably mentions creating our own small business and buying a lottery ticket. I predictably suggest starting our own non-profit. Somehow by the time the kids are in bed for the evening, the momentum is lost and we apply for a few more jobs online, shoot out a couple emails, and call it a productive night.

While doing something dramatic to rescue us quickly from a panic is tempting, the small consistent effort we invest has to amount to something…right? Well, we’ll keep on trucking. Maybe a virtual fairy godmother will read this and pluck us out of our maze with a tweet, link, text, email, or status update that solves everything. Meantime, I’m hittin’ the hay to wake up for work tomorrow- a job that ends in June- gulp. Torah wisdom tell us that “salvation comes in the blink of an eye” and we learn from this to never despair in the face of imminent destruction. While it’s tempting to allow negative thoughts to creep in, particularly on a day like today, I have faith redemption is around the corner.

Thanksgiving it’s Chanukah!

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Happy Chanukah! Happy Thanksgiving! I had a wonderfully low-key day with the kids and when my husband, Daniel, returned from supervising the kosher department at a local market, my whole family sat down to a turkey and latke dinner like many American Jewish families I know. I love the overlapping theme of gratitude in Thanksgiving and Chanukah- it’s a great time to appreciate what and who matter most.

Did Maya Angelou really say this? It makes this quote so credible if she did. Either way, until we make a stable and comfortable living (God willing), I endeavor to follow her advice (funny how easy it is to take advice from Maya) and count my blessings, kiss my kids, and appreciate my life. Still, even with full bellies and gratitude, we carved out a part of our evening to The Job Hunt. Gulp.

If only finding a job just required a couple clicks on a keyboard. I have concluded that technology has hindered our prospects because employers are flooded with resumes as soon as they post a job on any career site- Jewish sites included.  Daniel and I search Indeed.com, Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, LinkedIn.com, JewishJobs.com…to no avail. We are often led through tedious and repetitive applications that go unnoticed as some HR ghost hoards resumes like I hoard chocolate (joking of course- our chocolate never lasts long). Still, we search, apply, email, call, rinse, repeat.

There are so many well-meaning people out there dispensing “feedback” that leaves me scratching my head. We moved to San Diego in the summer and yes, as a matter of fact, I do know San Diego has a high cost of living with very few jobs for Jewish community leaders and finance people. But we made the decision to be here- for now. Why? For starters, I have parents and a sister who I liberally boss around (I am the baby in my family even at 30) which really helps me adjust to working full-time and supporting a husband who is struggling to find a job/career. One of the first women I was introduced to in San Diego instructed me to move somewhere else because the prospects are so dismal. Funnily enough, her husband just found a job.  Those who believe they’ve cracked the code for finding a dream job in record time love to tell us how we need to focus more, work harder, network better, smile wider.

There’s another category of unwanted advisers who have equally good intentions. I dub them Whandis (Wannabe Gandhis). These are the sweet people who knowingly tell me beautiful but empty rhetoric that sounds more like a greeting card than a to-do list  (see above- yes, I’m serious).

The feedback I really appreciate is specific, constructive, tangible and (even better when) paired with effort on the part of the adviser. Any kind of effort from anyone who might know someone who knows someone is appreciated. Short of that, if a close friend or family member reassures me with “You’ll see, it will be okay” that warms my heart because (depending on the day) I know it will, in fact, be okay. Listening (or in your case- reading) is huge too since I get to kvetch my little heart out and then go about my day business as usual.

So I raise my Thanksgivukah glass to you, well-meaning naysayers, Wandhis, family, and friends. Keep the feedback coming- the silence would get boring after a while anyway. And while you’re talking, maybe you can pass along the word that Daniel is looking for a job?

The following links below are Daniel’s resumes: One for a position in non-profit (rabbinical/director capacity) and the other in finance. We had help from family, friends, and professionals and somehow still feel unsure of the finance one (I’m pleased with the non-profit because of his experience). I do ask that you read one (or two!) and, if at all possible, forward along to friends and colleagues. If you could share this blog with others you know so they too can help, I’d be grateful. It’s hard to be in the vulnerable position of asking for favors but here I am so THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

Here’s the link to his rabbinical resume:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7JHujxI2lfHMEN4MzNlWU96NlE/edit?usp=sharing

Here’s the link to his finance resume:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7JHujxI2lfHdml0X3BlOXJFd2R4RThfeWRJZ3hWYm5vMGhn/edit?usp=sharing  

 

Unemployment

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This isn’t my husband but if the sign fits… As it turns out, my husband is job hunting. Don’t get me wrong- we’re grateful for the job he has but while kosher supervision is necessary and puts food on the table (pun intended), he doesn’t want it to be his future.

So now you know. If you’re my facebook friend and now you’ve found my blog, don’t be offended to find out this way! We’re real friends and not just the facebook kind (probably!) but I’m not the greatest “networker” and tend to be private- despite this very public appearance.

My husband, Daniel, got his degree in Finance from YU and is taking graduate-level classes in Finance at UCSD. If you hear of a job opportunity, I’d so appreciate you thinking of him and dropping me a message. It’s tough out there! For more on that and this blog, read this.

As I said before, I like my privacy and in that vein, blogs leave bloggers…exposed! Plus what can I contribute? There are some incredible Jewish blogs out there. I love this blog for recipes and great food pictures. I love this blog for scarf inspiration to beautify the mitzvah of covering a married Jewish woman’s hair. I like many Torah-based blogs for thought-provoking articles. So, why/how should I write a unique blog?

No two people are alike and all I have are my personal experiences. Truth is, this blog is for me- this is a year of transition and challenge and I’d like to document it to look back on because I have faith that God will get us through this.

A-journey-of-a-thousand-miles

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. These are wise words but the Jews put it differently: Rabbi Tarfon (Pirkei Avos 2:16) said  “It is not incumbent on you to finish the work – but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it!” With that in mind, I enter the blogosphere with every intention to come and no plans to stay. Take your shoes off, put your feet up, and make yourself at home! Mi blog es su blog and I welcome anyone’s feedback.