“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”

Walter Elliott

She wanted today to be both an ending and a beginning.

Search, research, write, apply, and pray. She was proficient. On some days even efficient. The required steps of this job search were concreted in her muscle memory. If she asked for help, she’d probably found something by now. She didn’t tap her network the way she should, the way others did. She’d been burned before, goodwill is tethered to a quid pro quo. She liked acquiring things of her own volition.

She had lunch with a friend yesterday. They talked about today’s interview. She shared the story of when she moved back to Illinois from Maine. She didn’t need a job. She didn’t even want a new one. She was unsure she wanted to move back to Illinois, let alone Springfield. She had nothing to lose. She told them how she saw the world. She told them what they already knew, but no one had the balls to say. She told them what they needed to get what they wanted. Without saying it, she impressed upon them how much they needed her. She thanked them for their time. She joined her family at her grandfather’s wake. She joined them again when they buried him the next day. And she joined them again the following day when they celebrated Thanksgiving. There was something beautiful about the events of that week. She was present. She was grateful. She was wanted. And she was needed. She was a part of something.

This morning as she prepped for this afternoon’s meeting, she realized that is how she viewed her career. People say you can’t pick your family; a true statement. Such is the case with her career. She wants that familial experience. She can choose to apply, but someone eventually needs to choose her. All she ever wanted was to be wanted, to be needed, to be valued, to be respected, and to be appreciated. She told Aimee that throughout her career, she found that, and when she reflected on that yesterday, she smiled.

Aimee said, “I wish I could live Karen’s life even for a day.”

“Hah!” she said. “Why would you want to do that?”

It was a rhetorical question. Her life and her career were both calm and tumultuous. Her strength was constant. She thought it was her secret. But she knew that the right people at the right times in her life found it. They chose her. They hired because they knew she was smarter than she thought she was. They liked her humility, her wittiness, her confidence. They liked her. She sensed when it happened. This morning, she hoped that today would be one of those days. More than anything she wanted the churn to end.

Note: Churn| Thanks to the Daily Post’s daily prompt of churn. Interested? Check out the Daily Prompts here. A new prompt is published every morning. Note 2: I edited out the word churn in the first draft!

26 Thoughts

  1. Love the way you write, Karen… This: “goodwill is tethered to a quid pro quo. She liked acquiring things of her own volition.” I feel that deep down.
    I have not applied for a job since 1995. Each one that followed that one was a succession of job offers, tied to that very first one. Crazy. I definitely know about wanting to feel wanted and when I am, it feels great.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha ha! Your turn! It really and truly is indeed. You get all warm and fuzzy inside (I actually have a “warm and fuzzy file” where I used to slip in nice emails from co-workers or clients – great for those days when you are feeling less than wanted…

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Pork chop sandwiches, hot dogs, polish sausage, deep dish, Italian beef, corned beef sandwiches, thin crust, and more. I grew up near Nabisco where they made Chips Ahoy and Oreos. I’ll fill your bellies, and then we can walk it off!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Two things got me here … 1) Career as “calm and tumultuous” … Bingo! … 2) You touched on being wanted so well in a few sentences. No matter the endeavor, feeling wanted is great feeling – especially if it doesn’t go to our head.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Feeling pretty unwanted since I was laid off my “we are family” nonprofit after 11 years.excited briefly by the prospect of a temp campaign job that’s not right for me health wise right now. But leads toward a part time gig riding buses and interviewing people. Will put something on my linked in and resume. Extend my unemployment, give me a purpose and people to talk to, a reason to get out of the tiny house with the big rental cost. But it’s not a career, even a job, just a gig. Blogging, my book writing, don’t pay yet if ever. So I’m low. A like of a post is worth more than gold though it won’t buy food, it still feeds me in another way. So thank you for your post and like.

    Liked by 1 person

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