I’m starting a new, full-time job this week. I’ve waited 34 months to write that sentence! I received an offer on Tuesday and accepted it on Thursday.
I can’t even pinpoint exactly how I’m feeling right now, it’s such a jumble. Happy, nervous, worried, anxious, sad, excited.
I think that, primarily, I’m feeling grateful: grateful that I didn’t give up on myself and on my belief there was a good job out there for me in this moribund job market. I truly feel I’m one of the lucky ones, given my 50-plus age and the length of my unemployment.
Finding a job for myself, though, doesn’t change my view of the "big picture" at all.
We had an opportunity to turn the economy around, in my opinion, if we’d changed our government in Washington two weeks ago. We didn't. So while I'll never accept that lousy economic conditions need to be “the new normal,” I have little confidence now that things will get better anytime soon.
Maybe that’s why my feelings are so mixed. Although I’m pleased about the potential improvement in my personal economic situation, I’m extremely concerned about the adverse effects on our national economy of another four years of the same policies.
The overall picture remains bad. Jobless claims are up, various taxes will rise for most of us in just weeks, the impending costs of ObamaCare are causing businesses to raise prices and cut workers’ hours, and the stock market is declining. We may face another recession in 2013. It’s difficult to discern a silver lining in these gathering storm clouds.
In addition, I’ve learned during my unemployment that, even if you’re able to find a job, it doesn’t mean that you can’t end up losing that job in a future round of layoffs. I’ve read about this and I’ve seen it happen to people I know. Nothing is particularly secure these days and there’s no sign that we’re on verge of an economic boom.
Still, I'm determined to get off to a good start at my new job. I’m feeling positive, but I have lots of questions.
How will I adjust to all the changes: commuting, waking and sleeping hours, daily routines? Will I be able to combine my expanded personal life with my new work life? What’s the workplace like these days? Are people with jobs just as stressed as people without them? How have things changed since I last worked in an office?
And am I too “mature” for all this change?
Nah, I don’t think so. But I look forward to the chance to find out!