January 25, 2019
Fourth post in the Path to Employment series.
In my last post I stepped out of the story of how I found work and what I'm doing for work to talk about the insecurities of this transition time and some of my hopes and dreams for the next stage of adult life, post child-raising and homeschooling.
art from the The Albuquerque Museum
To summarize, I currently need a job to meet a very real financial need in our family life, paying down a debt. But ultimately, I am looking to build a career for the next stage of adult life; my post-child raising work. And I am full of insecurities, as usual.
I had insecurities about finding a job and I carry insecurities about my ability to build a meaningful and financially sustainable career for the next 25+ years of adult life.
But the only way I can work through those insecurities (I don't think I'll ever overcome them, I think I just need to forge ahead in spite of them) is by literally doing the work and proving to myself I'm capable.
I'm going to jump back into the story of my work but first a little quote from my previous post.
To grow your confidence remember your contributions.
Ironically, even though I was laid off from my first part-time job after only a few months because there wasn't enough work for me, that job really grew my confidence by leaps and bounds because I was able to see, in a business context, the transferability of my skills and experience. I also experienced working with great people in a relationally safe environment. So the wider world isn't so scary after all.
I was reminded that I'm capable of learning new things (duh). The belief in one's ability to learn new things is a primary principle of lifelong learning and is one of the most common mantra's of our homeschool - "you can do this, you are capable". But applying it to myself required stretching outside of my comfort zone and feeling a little overwhelmed to start.
I think this was a good lesson for me to re-learn at the same time as my kids are launching into young adult lives with some trepidation and uncertainty. It gives me a lot of compassion.
The customer service job didn't last but it was great experience. Before I started a new job search to replace those lost customer service hours I approached my brother and said, "I have more time to give to your project, do you want to hire me for more hours?" He said yes, and that's how I ended up with my current job.
I was already working for my brother, a few hours a week. When I was looking for a job at the end of 2017, I had sent an email to Brad with a link to my portfolio. The email was like an introductory cover letter that he could forward to his network of friends who might need the services I provide - writing, online content creation, virtual assistant work.
My brother is part of the DoTerra organization. He and his wife Dawna Toews have built a thriving and successful business. I thought maybe someone in his network might need help managing their business or creating online content. It was worth a try.
Turns out it was my brother who needed assistance, but with a creative project, something he had been wanting to start. And yes he could definitely use my help!
And so began my work as a content writer, podcast production assistant, social media and marketing manager for the B-RAD Podcast with Brad Toews.
Working for my brother has been an unbelievable gig.
Have you ever had something so good in your life that you don't want to speak about it in case you break the spell? A new love, an opportunity, an experience you feel is too good to be true and you don't want to jinx all that goodness with words and explanations?
That's how I feel about my job.
Working for and with my brother meets needs on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.
So let's start relationally. My brother and I have gotten along well in our adult years (and our childhood years also) but neither of us is very good at staying in contact with the other.
For my part, I'm pretty terrible at maintaining contact, over distance, with friends and family outside of my immediate and physical circle.
Working with Brad and communicating nearly every day about projects and ideas has brought me back into regular contact with my brother and it's wonderful.
Conspire conference Sept 2018
I'm a task orientated person who also deeply values relationships. And sometimes these parts of me seem at odds. And so when I can work on interesting tasks and nurture a relationship at the same time, holy moly am I ever happy!
Working for my brother enables me to support someone I love and get work done (make stuff in the world) and meet my family's financial needs. Wow.
The amazing thing about our relationship in our early 40's is how much our life paths, our growth and development, has followed a similar route.
We were never estranged or disconnected from each other, but after spending more time together last year, I can't believe how much we have in common in terms of our worldview, which is different than how we grew up. We've been on a parallel spiritual trajectory and didn't even know it until we started working together and had a whole lot of "me too" moments.
The B-RAD Podcast is about spiritual awakening and self-development from a place of deep self-discovery. It's about thinkers and ideas. It's thoughtful, reflective, and meditative.
I get paid to work with someone I love, creating content about spirituality and personal growth. Seriously, what an amazing job! And also it's a great podcast. I'm very proud of the work we're doing there.
Check it out if you enjoy thought-provoking, spirituality, psychology, self-help type podcasts. Episodes hover at just 20 minutes.
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