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This post will mainly be a downer report of recent events but also include some excitement and hope for the future.
First downer event: I was informed on Thursday that I will not receive counseling assignments at my college for Spring semester. WTF?! Complete shock and awe. Commence disbelief, questioning, hurt, and tears. Talked it over with a couple of other part-time counselors, and they were in shock, as well. In retrospect, I think there was a policy change that initiated at the beginning of this semester. The only clues about this change were part-timers not being inviting to the annual retreat and there being a couple of meetings to which part-timers were not invited. Just prior to learning about this development, I realized that our important orientation/education planning classes were only assigned to full-timers for the Spring, and all the other classes were only assigned to full-timers, as well.
I have worked at the college for several years and increased my responsibility over that time. When CTE counseling was shut down two and half years ago, I was really concerned about my job, but since then, I've worked hard to integrate into general counseling and feel proud of my efforts to serve students and teach several college success and orientation courses. I *never* have empty appointments, and my understanding was that we need more counselors, not less. To my knowledge, I have made no big mistakes or pissed any key people off. So WTF?! Again, my only guess is that it's policy regarding part-time/full-time that I don't fully understand yet, and something with the budget (errors in planning made at a higher level).
Since finding out this news, I have basically come to terms with the reality of what this means and have shifted into coping with it and planning how to replace that income - at least to the extent that I can get by - for Spring. Two hopeful possibilities in this regard: an interview for a full-time position at another local college on December first. I think I have shared how much competition there is for these positions but fingers crossed. The other possibility, which is the one I would prefer, is signing on several new clients. I have already signed on two more, for a total of three. I would like to find four or five more in the next two months. Will you envision that for me?
Positive actions so far include hosting a great career transition Meetup group last Tuesday during which four women signed up for consultations! I am realizing I need to actually get them in the calendar if at all possible before leaving because now we are playing tag to set them up. But signing one or two clients from that group would be wonderful! I am also following up with close friends and colleagues to generate more referrals, which is the best source of potential clients. Lastly, I am taking steps to increase my online presence and find opportunities to speak to introverts who are seeking meaningful career change and want to make a difference doing work that feels like play.
I have support through my business program, which is great. If you or someone you know needs career counseling support, will you please let me know in the comments or by sending a message? You can also contact me through my website (and receive a free gift of a Career Clarity Questionnaire) on my website at www.helpnavigatingtransitions.com And all good thoughts very welcome. This could be the shove I need to expand my business...
The other downer news is that I was late to the adoption orientation and they had locked the doors and were turning people away. I was sad and disappointed, but I also see that the timing was likely not right for me. My intention is to attend the orientation in December, knowing that once I start the process it will likely be a minimum of several months before I complete the home study and am offered a placement.
Okay, I'm going to end on the excitement and hope! I'm excited to go to S's dad's house for Thanksgiving this week. We are staying in a dog-friendly hotel that night, and I'm looking forward to time away. Also, though it's more in the future, I continue to look forward to Christmas in Oregon. And in the weeks before that, I will also celebrate my birthday and attend S's company Christmas party, which will be festive and fun! S is buying me a special dress for my birthday, and we plan to shop for our niece and nephew's gifts together.
Finally, though S and I have had some difficult conversations lately and our old dynamic has reared it's head, we have also managed to talk through it so far and experience a new level of intimacy. We will be meeting with our counselor next weekend for help with healing more of our underlying "stuff" around this dynamic and developing communication agreements for when it comes up. I am feeling hopeful!