Starting From Scratch

After staying home with my children for two years due to Covid, I needed to get back to work in order to assist with my family’s finances. I had lost my previous job when the national shutdown occurred and when I was asked to come back, it was no longer the right fit for myself and my family. So, after two years of staying home, I began to look for a new job.

Starting over in your forties is scary. Not only are you starting from the bottom all over again but at this point in your life, there is so much that you are no longer willing to put up with that it can make the job search difficult. The hardest part was figuring out what the heck I wanted to do. I soon realized that I wanted part-time work in order to be more available for my family and wanted a somewhat clerical position.

I stumbled upon a post for a small business looking for a part-time office assistant. Though I didn’t have experience with everything that was listed, I was familiar with the type of work being described so I updated my resume and wrote an informal and honest cover letter and emailed them off. I was convinced I wouldn’t hear anything back because I had it in my head that I was not experienced enough for anything I applied for.

About a week or two later, I got a phone call from Linda. It was very conversational and comfortable and actually, did not even feel like an interview. When my husband came home for lunch, I was still on the phone and when I got off, I said, “I think I just had a job interview”. The conversation ended with Linda encouraging me to think about what we discussed and to look at the website and call back if interested. After discussing with my husband, I decided I was, and we set up an in-person “interview” at a restaurant.

At this time, I met both Linda and Jason. It was very informal, and we were able to discuss schedules, hours, etc. The flexibility offered in this job was key because my life had changed so much since my last job and it was crucial to be available at certain times to take my kids back and forth to school, hockey practices, appointments, etc. Not only was the position extremely flexible, but I would also be working close to home and even closer to my kids’ school, so no more long commutes when someone is sent home sick.

As in any new job, the first few weeks were spent getting my feet wet and trying to figure out expectations. The position that I took was a newly created one, so there were no shoes to fill and no protocol to follow. That was not what I was used to, so it took a little while to adapt to that. However, Jason and Linda were very patient with me while I learned everything I needed to. About a month or two in, I started to create a routine and became more familiar with what I was doing and more confident in my skills.

A little more than two months have gone by, and I am still learning as I go. My job duties vary quite a bit, but I am adapting, and it is getting easier to take on new tasks. There have been a few bumps in the road (mostly due to work/life balance) but overall, going back to work has been a good experience. I enjoy coming into a space each day in which I am respected and appreciated, and that makes all the difference.

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