The Truth About Unemployment in Las Vegas Part III
Some time ago I wrote a three part series on the real cause of unemployment in Las Vegas. I had gotten fed up with our state being called last in everything because I know that’s not who we are and I decided to take a closer look at why, specifically here, the situation is the way it is. The third part of that series was written but never released. I couldn’t share it. It was too filled with anger and resentment so I decided to wait until I could re-write it for you instead of spreading anger with no recompense.
The main problem with that article was that I could not figure out WHY I was so angry. I wondered if I was tapping into deeply rooted feelings from my post-graduate days of having spent 40-60 hours per week doing serious, targeted job hunting to no avail. Or maybe the fact that I resented having a college degree from a popular institution, work experience with some of the largest companies in the world, and an innovative, creative, hard-working character but still having to struggle so much just to find a work.
It is a frustrating, degrading process that takes up more time than actually having a job. I searched for work relentlessness for over five years. I would get an interview here and there but, for the most part, was never contacted at all. As time went on it began to chip away at my spirit and my self confidence.
In my searches, I wasn’t just sending out form letters either, well, not until the final year when I was just tired of the whole process. For about 60% of the jobs I applied to, I did research on their status, their competitors, and created a report (sometimes with graphs) on how I could help them increase their bottomline. I have to say, as a person who is now on the other side of the hiring table, I pray regularly that I find workers who are as committed as I was to the work of the companies I partnered with. I have never received anything even remotely close to the quality of applications I put out myself. I knew back then that I was standing out, but for some reason, it still did not matter. Now I know why…
Lately, I had to start dealing with the side effects that unemployment created within my soul. I did not know they were there, but over the last few months as I have begun to see why I really could not get a job back then, I am beginning to see the emotional affect that continuous, unrequited effort left on me. And I am telling you this today in the hopes that it will help you see your own situation differently. My desire is that you begin to consider the possibility that your situation is the way it is because someone is trying to bring out the best in you.
Back when I was looking for work, I had an antagonizer, you know how they always come along at the “right” time. He was utterly flabbergasted at the fact that I did not have a job. He would often yell at me about it saying that I didn’t really want a job because if I did I would have one. In his mind, he was trying to help and was speaking as someone who knew my background and education first-hand. Still, his words cut like a knife. They cut because I knew how much time I had spent actively searching for a job. I remember looking back at one point and saying to this person that in a one month period, I applied to over 100 local positions, several in my full presentation manner. Some of those presentations took me 15 hours just to complete one! I resented his comments even further because as a single, independent woman with no husband, no boyfriend, and no parents to help me or family to fall back on, how could I NOT want (and very much need) a job.
It’s important to know that when I went to college at age 17, I moved out of my mothers house and never went back. Not even for summer vacation. I planned ahead and did whatever it took to make sure I could continue growing uninterrupted. During school, I often had two jobs because it was my responsibility to pay for my education. I was still an outstanding student, active in student government, and had a great time with the wonderful friends I had made. After college I took a corporate job straight out of school and it was so unfulfilling it was depressing. I left to fully pursue my dream of becoming an Art Director and succeeded in getting an offer from my idle shop in Miami, FL. I was elated…and unsatisfied. I knew my work there would be the same as my first corporate job; profitable to the company, its vendors, and no one else.
I turned down the job, taking the road less traveled by and, my gosh, that truly has made quite a difference. In choosing to do work that matters instead of just helping myself, I consequently made a choice to struggle for quite some time. Had I known this at the time would I have made the same decision? Yes. Because I know that the path I took is the one that has brought me here to be with you today. Regardless of its hardship, it was worth the ride and the required predecessor of things to come.
And that is what I want to say to you about unemployment in Las Vegas. Not being able to find a job all of those years had nothing to do with me or my abilities. It was preparation for the things to follow and the catalyst I needed to grow to a higher level than I would have with any job that could hire me. The way I made I money during those years was as a self-proprietor. I started my own business doing what my dream job in Miami would have been. The company I left when I first decided to do so became my first client and I started to build websites and perform graphic design and writing services on a regular basis for people God would send my way. Back then I never had excess but I always had enough. Still it was a struggle and I preferred the comfort of getting a regular paycheck so I continued looking for a job on a very dedicated level. Finally, one day, I stopped. I accepted the fact that, for whatever reason, I was not meant to have a traditional job. As I was writing that, I just noticed the cyclical pattern I had been putting myself in. I wanted to help people, I wanted to pay my bills ( when I was in the non-profit sector fighting for water conservation and the end of homelessness, I saw that those two things do not typically go hand in hand. That is, not unless you MAKE them). Today, because I let go of what I thought I needed to do and instead followed what my heart was telling me, I have been able to put my trust in God and am provided for through my service of helping others succeed and achieve their dreams. I have finally come to a place where serving others, growing intellectually, and having financial security are all coinciding and it is all because I stopped trying to force something to happen that was not meant to be for me. Just has some are not meant to go to college and others are not meant to do other things, some are not meant to follow someone else’s lead but are, instead, meant to be a leader themselves. Now I not only pay my own bills but the bills of contractors as well. Now, not only am I helped but also the lives of each of my clients is enhanced because of the quality and branding I bring to the businesses they are building. Now, I’m not reaching for my own dreams, I’m reaching for other people’s dreams and mine are being acquired along the way.
So maybe your situation is the same. Maybe you’re struggling to find work because there is greatness lying dormant within you that cannot be tapped in the standard job. Maybe you have something so powerful to contribute to this world that you simply do not have the time to be tied down to a desk from nine to five each day. Maybe your life is one that has been marked for independent success. Maybe you are not a job applicant, a hired hand, or a dream chaser. Maybe you’re actually meant to make dreams come alive.