Updated: Jul 1, 2020
I attended my first MN Blogger Conference this past Saturday. A full day of content to improve blogs, meet bloggers and monetize your sites. What struck me as I started networking was the variety of content and the powerful potency of the written word. Whether focusing on travel, spiritual motifs, mental health or tech, bloggers are storytellers and connectors at heart. People’s lives are changed through the blogs and communities that grow from them.
At the after party, held at Rocket 55, I submitted my raffle ticket into the practical cup – in an effort to win a tote bag with bicycles. I say practical cup because the two other options included an ugly Xmas sweatshirt with cats and a wreath and a t-shirt with a dog laser-eyeing a pizza, the cat sweatshirt being the most popular amongst attendees. I ended up winning the tote. Totes!
I also talked with quite a few bloggers and techies at length about their experience at the conference, their blogs and their lives. What I witnessed was the depth of passion these writers and videocasters had for their subject and for life. The tacos may have been late, but we hardly noticed as we drank wine/beer and laughed heartily.
Weeks after I started blogging about my experiences changing careers from the perspective of the authentic, heart-based human soup, against the tide of political conspiracy theories, family dynamics and detractors, I was feeling validated and at home in this group. I may not yet have original photographs or Facebook Live events - my iphone is out of memory; I can write a whole blog about trying to get Google Photos to properly download stuff so I can free up memory - but I am in good company sharing my vision.
One woman, whose PhD research focused on change processes, said that her mentor had said that for every year of grad school you may need a year to unwind and integrate. I realized that in the rush to “prove” oneself, we can feel inadequate in the time it takes to become – who we are. Justifying our existence through a career move or job change can get in the way of our experience and aptitude for a quality maneuver.. I decided some time ago I wanted to err on the side of quality and make a move that truly reflected the new me, my future self. To become my future self, I’d be born of this soup I have been writing.
I finally could breathe deeply listening to her validate that I would be good to no one unless I took the time to be good to myself, in this one instance. That the “get a job” mentality I’d been raised with had impacted and impeded my growth as an undergrad and a grad student the first time. I wasn’t repeating history here. I needed to make a radical shift in my perceptions. It is OK to take my time, network, learn and develop my chops.
The key caveat is not making enough to live on. The rush imposed externally and internally as a habit was to not rely on outside donations or family support. Why? Some unknown template that says “that’s not the way we do things.” Maybe from now on I’ll coin that the “Ramen Noodle Template.” I must scrimp and work 3 jobs not rely on the abundance of the Universe or the support of strangers/friends who see the potential. Somehow the Ramen Noodle Template is less embarrassing then the “Abundance” template. Spiritual is bad and making moves to cheaper locations with no network (requiring one to quit their current job) is recommended even if it makes ZERO sense.
Still, no matter “what I or my family wanted with their egos” the Universe wasn’t providing. Instead it was showing me the path of a different type of success. One born on the time it takes to BE a bigger version of myself, to be happy and fulfilled, and to truly understand and feel into what I bring to the table as a strategist, storyteller and conscious Capitalist.
I don’t want to make light of how difficult a process this has been. Multiple weeks of minus numbers in my accounts, wondering if I’d get evicted from my apartment, anger at the MBA program that left me in the lurch with no recruiting program or contacts, struggling against the tide of conventional wisdom provided by parents, friends and Facebook contacts.
This was a crucible, not a vacation.
Jennifer Kane spoke in the MN Blogger Keynote address about becoming Fierce and Fearless. Her talk validated the part of me that went out on a limb asking for help, goes against the tide daily in how I write, the subject I write upon and the process. I realized as I heard her speak that while work and adjustments needed to be made to expand to a wider audience, my intention was to reach the heart of the tribe with work that matters.
Connecting with others was also a major theme of the event. Sharing the community. Building a structure that was literally bigger than ourselves and being willing to make adjustments along the way. I saw resonate themes with this job search and ‘ask for help’ journey I’d been on for a couple of months.
So I made it through the Blogger con, the dues for curling – a sport that represents community, connection and much needed physical outlet -- and many other milestones. Still no post-MBA job in sight. All the while I am lectured to and admonished – the tide is turning however as more and more, I find validating viewpoints and support outweighing the fear-based ideology of “stay the same and make us comfortable.” Don’t rock the boat. Don’t go out of the identified role.
I am manifesting this career, one grid-filling experience at a time.
Next up, more work for MIMA. I’m on the fence about The Summit but leaning toward going. However, at this point, out of PTO, I am going even further into unchartered territory. Unpaid days off, and more money spent to “hopefully” meet hiring managers who WILL know who I am. I am a bug that won't go away no matter what they think of newly minted MBAs. - they want too much money, they aren't creative, they only want Brand Manager roles, they don't have enough agency experience - I've heard it all. I'm still showing up. Eventually I'll get noticed, for the right reasons.
The plan is to finally get a real interview and that elusive offer. It’s a trick of the mind, every day. Is this really money well-spent or is staying home, staying safe and buying a new pair of shoes a better option? And by shoes I mean replace the ones I have that are falling apart. Not the cute kind.
My friend Kris said “will you be short on rent?”
I replied…rent is due in like 3 weeks, I may get a job out of this MIMA Summit. Tough call really.
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