Changing Course

A book published recently extols the virtues of quitting instead of hanging in forever at a job or in a situation that isn’t going well.

The expression “Quitters never win and winners never quit” does NOT apply to sticking it out in a job or another endeavor that’s making you miserable.

Finding your true joy in life often only happens after you’ve failed big time doing something you originally convinced yourself you wanted to do. I’m going to trot out my one-trick pony example of how I bombed out with smashing success in my first career in the gray flannel insurance field.

I was laid off from four out of the five jobs I held from 1990 to 1997. People back then would ask me what I did and I’d say: “I’m professionally unemployed.” It was like making a career out of not having a career.

No job I held lasted longer than 19 months. I kid you not. I job hopped so often that I could hop along better than the Easter Bunny.

One employer simply called me up on the telephone and told me not to come in the next day and not to come in at all after that. Yes: I was laid off via the telephone. I got a special dispensation to come into the office so I could retrieve my gym bag I’d left under my desk the day I went home sick with a cold.

I got a cold and three days later my employer called me at home and told me not to return. String the violins.

It takes courage to change course. Suze Orman famously tells people not to go back to school for a degree when they’ve been laid off. Pay her no attention if getting a degree IS going to help you get a job in the long-term.

I went back to school for a Masters in Library and Information Science even though I was unemployed. I had no guarantee I’d get a job in the field yet the job I wanted required that you have a masters degree.

This story is like everything else I often tell you: unusual. I will return in here with the remarkable story of how I decided to go back to school. I went back to school 10 years after I was diagnosed.

There is hope dear readers. Feel free to laugh out loud when you envision me hopping along like the Easter Bunny.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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