Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Sixty-seven

Day 67 - Fifteen Minutes
Who would have thought my “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” would be associated with unemployment?
When I was in 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be an actor.  In fact, during a “Career Day” activity where we were asked to fill out a questionnaire that included the job title of our future job, I wrote “Movie Star.”  
Within a couple of years, singing had become my greater talent, and as I matured toward adulthood, I gained my identity as a theater performer.  I knew I could be great.  
I have learned to live by the quote most often attributed to John Lennon: “‘Life’ is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.”  Needless to say, my life as a singer/actor did not bring me fame and fortune.  I did not win an Oscar, and I did not become a movie star.
In fact, I became a U-6.
I’ve already written about the front page Oregonian article in which I was featured.  As I began my day today, I was wondering how I should handle an increase in attention; I’m not really seeking attention - I’m seeking a job.  I didn’t know if I could expect job offers from this kind of publicity, or if I would get any attention at all.  I decided to approach my day as any other.
I attended an HR industry luncheon, and had a good meeting with an old high school acquaintance I had long forgotten (she had forgotten me, too, and we laughed about it today).  I then had a lot of emails from friends and colleagues about the newspaper article that I wanted to return.  I had a number of phone calls from friends and colleagues, as well as text messages, all wishing me success on getting a job from it.  And while I didn’t like the fact that my Fifteen Minutes of Fame was centered on unemployment, it gave me a flicker of hope that maybe my fortunes were turning.
I decided to save the photo that ran on the front page, so I went back to the Oregonian website to pull it up.
I couldn’t find the story.
Eventually, I did find it, but it wasn’t easy even though I remembered the headline.  I think my Fifteen Minutes of Fame lasted for about 15 minutes.  It’s over now.
What lesson on gratitude did I learn today?  It was that in that 15 minutes, I got to speak for people who want to work and are not given that opportunity.  In that 15 minutes, I got to represent the networking groups I work with, and the job seekers I have coached, and the executives who can’t get a job because we’re over-qualified, or we’ve been unemployed for too long.  I learned that 15 minutes of hope is better than a lifetime without it.
I guess I can move on now.  Maybe my fortunes have changed - I won’t know unless I keep going.

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