I saw a saying recently in a book that has struck a cord with me. It is by Plato, ‘be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle’.
We can all think of something in our own lives and my battle is the hunt for a permanent job. It began in February this year and is still ongoing. Â I really thought it would be all settled by the end of the Summer but here we are fast approaching Autumn.
I have been working temporarily during this time, applying for jobs daily and attending interviews. Fridays I have found are a popular day for either good news or bad news. I have now become immune to the rejection that at first I took personally. This was my first and hardest lesson. The feeling of not being wanted is hard to take, you only have to look at the behaviour of the new people auditioning on the X factor. No matter how we dress it up, we all want to be wanted.
Luckily, I am rather competitive and it has only made me more determined. I do not think I have ever given up on anything. I have accepted reluctantly but gracefully that I am a commodity, my skills and experience being either worth the cost to a company or not. There can only be one person for each job and most of the time there are over 150 applications for the jobs I am applying for.
While all this hunting has been going on, Action Man has quietly been there in the background, by my side as always. He has adapted well to being on holiday, he has no regrets so far about leaving the Army, so far so good. While I have spent the Summer going to interviews, filling out forms and putting Army speak into business speak thanks to a very clever lady, he has welcomed me with Jamie Oliver home cooked meals and happy children. Â With the first inkling of any little chink in my armour, he has been there with the polish and duster to put the shimmer back into my shine again.
So the second lesson has been to learn how to be patient and enjoy the journey. To believe faithfully in the big plan. You never know what you might see on the way. As my professional future continues to unfold, I have accepted there a few pieces of the jigsaw still to fit in.
I will remember the Summer of 2012 as the one where I was out my comfort zone.Â Nobody said moving back into civilian life was going to be easy, that is why Action Man will shortly be starting his resettlement period paid for by the Army.Â We were brave enough to take the step and now it is just a matter of keeping calm and carrying on.
The third and final lesson is that civvi street can lead you on many different paths. Sometimes it can take time to find out what ‘fits’.Â In interviews there are the key words that companies want to hear. As I am giving them what is hopefully the right tick in the box, I also have a secret little checklist of my own. I have my needs and wants down to perfection.
One day soon I am going to get exactly what I want.