This isn’t any chair, this is my chair. It took me nearly a year to get this seat but last Monday I claimed it as my own on my first day as WildAid’s US Communications Director.
This chair is not just mine though. It belongs to the many of you who supported me with your well wishes, network opportunities, edits to my writing, and encouragement since May 2012. That’s when I relocated to San Francisco with my newly promoted wife and jumped into the deep end of a poor job market.
San Francisco is a constant reminder of life’s extremes. Office buildings are filled with startup dollars while the sidewalks and underpasses are crammed with homelessness. While I hadn’t really connected with the new money crowd I was sympathetic to those who were cast aside and passed by during the rush hours every day.
I don’t mean to say that I in any way can appreciate the true horrors of homelessness, but I can thank my lucky stars that I have a support network that kept me afloat. So here’s to:
The human resources representatives, who kept the rollercoaster of emotion moving forward with every email and call to update me on my application status.
The interviewers who helped me sharpen my pitch and learn how to better present myself.
To old friends who introduced me to new friends with leads on job openings.
To the editors who chose my work to post on their sites and keep my name in front of my peers.
To the nonprofits that thought they were getting me for free when they were really keeping my motor primed and ready for work.
To former colleagues and better friends who edited my resume, reviewed my cover letters, sent me links to job openings, set up meetings to network, and kept asking me back to the east coast.
To my new colleagues who saw something in me to bring me on board.
To my family who always listened, never judged, and only provided support.
And last but not least to my wife, who works tirelessly at her job while encouraging me to only move forward when the fit is right.
For so long I felt like a statistic in the quarterly unemployment updates, now I fill another graph. It’s a subtle switch that means the world to each number who is subtracted or added.
This chair belongs to all of you. I hope that someday if you ever find yourself out of work, and I truly do not wish this on anyone, that I can provide you with as much support. It makes all the difference.