Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Soul Searching

Recently it became obvious to me that I would need to find a new job. Our work load has been steadily declining and the quality of the work that we actually have been getting has been sub-par. Then we had a couple clients freak out about their bills and pull back from their projects a bit. This is a small business to begin with. There are really only two of us to do everything around here. Every client, every job is necessary. When clients freak out and don't buy things, don't use our services, or when new clients don't come knocking with fabulous new projects - it seriously affects us. We can't survive as a business like that. And when it comes down to paying himself or paying me, my boss is going to put himself before me. As he should.

So, I started thinking about who I could work for; what kind of job I could get. I've been quite lucky in my current and past jobs in that I was always extremely qualified for the requirements of the job. But when I looked for a new job, I found that I wasn't qualified anymore. I realized that I would need to increase my skill set in order to get a new, better job. I just couldn't get excited about it. I don't want to re-learn CAD. I don't want to learn Revit. I don't want to get my NCIDQ certification. I don't want to change focus and try to get into commercial design. Interior Design doesn't excite me anymore and hasn't for probably a couple of years. I don't have the same sort of passion for it that I used to. I had to ask myself, is this apathy for my field because of the quality/type of projects that we've had for the past couple years? Or does it go deeper? I finally realized that I'm just kind of done with Interior Design.

I don't read many design blogs, I don't read any design magazines anymore, I don't blog about many design oriented topics. I don't get excited when friends or family ask for my design advice. I don't feel the same appreciation for new and innovative design products or items that I used to feel. I don't enjoy finding awesome furniture or fabrics for our clients. I search and search and search for items and never feel wowed by anything. I usually just find myself getting irritated by our client's needs and idiosyncrasies. I get irritated when I am second guessed on something that I've been trained to do and have done quite successfully for the past 13 years.

I know that I'm not always going to 100% love my job. It is called a job for a reason! But I should be able to find at least some fulfillment in it. I should be able to feel like I'm doing some good. And I haven't felt that in a long time.

I needed to look at my current skill set to determine if I had any transferable skills with which to apply to a new career. Let me just tell you that it doesn't seem like there are many transferable skills for an interior designer. It was really quite depressing to realize it. What other jobs could I do? Really anything would need additional education to be properly trained. Could I be a teacher? Probably. Do I want to be a teacher? I don't think it's really for me. I couldn't come up with anything else.

So I instead started thinking about what I actually enjoy doing; where I have felt effective and necessary. I realized that I thoroughly enjoyed the role I have had  in Junior League for the past five years - being on and running the Nominating Committee. More specifically, the interview process that we have developed for selecting the Board of Directors. I have lots of non-work skills and experience from interviewing and selecting the JLD Board for the past five years! Maybe I can put those skills to work in Human Resources somewhere!

For the first time in a long time, I was excited about the possibility of a new job. Human Resources sounds incredibly interesting to me. I think I could do a job in the HR field and I think I could do it well. Everybody I've told this new idea to has been very supportive and they all say they could definitely see me in this sort of role. Do I need additional training? I don't know yet. I'm willing to do it. I'm willing to start at the bottom. And it's not like I've made any money the past four and a half years and need to have some great salary.

It was very liberating to realize what I want to do. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I hope that I can make this work and I'm going to start working on making it happen immediately. :)


  1. You GO Liz!!! :)

    1. Thanks Vanessa! And thanks for the chat the other day!

  2. Stephanie PrestonApril 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Liz, I think HR is a GREAT idea for you. I hope however you get there, you find something that makes you look forward to going to work each day.

    1. Thanks so much Stephanie! It's about time to be excited about work!