Karen Sampson Hoffman

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A New Adventure

Posted on January 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM

The current estimate is that 11 million employees have been laid off or otherwise released from employment since the beginning of the current recession. This is the most people out of work - and counted as such - since the Great Depression and more people than the during the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s. My grandparents were familiar with the Great Depression, when one of my great-grandfathers lost everything following the stock market crash. I remember the recession when teachers didn't return following the summer break and our family made weekly trips to Canada where gas lines were shorter and gallons were cheaper.

About two weeks ago I joined the 11 million United States employees who have been laid off due to the economic downturn. When I worked with college students, I remember telling them, as they individually hit their first rocky paths, that life is an adventure. Each challenge or opportunity presented to us is an adventure. But it is also true that some adventures are better than others. For a time in the first few days I considered my recent "job-free" employment state to be one of those other adventures.

Now that I'm a bit more settled - and cleared a few of the early hurdles - I am beginning to think forward. This is definitely a new adventure; one of finding meaningful employment in an economic situation that the TV pundits say won't be alleviated soon. My options are pretty good though: I have the skills, experience and background that make me a good candidate in several fields. I have a love of words and language and the ability to use both for a good story that delights my audience.

I also have a leadership style that values those I work for and those who have worked for me. Leadership is by example and confidence, both of which I regularly demonstrated with my employees and students when I worked at the Fredonia Newman Center. During my time with CHADD I came to appreciate the style of my supervisor, who had an open door and was quick with praise and fair with constructive criticism, and who valued his employees, rising to our defense and seeking our improvement.

As an adventurer, I expect difficult days ahead, but I also look forward to exciting days. There are new opportunities for personal and professional growth ahead of me. The chance to write and to design, both of which I love, are present and beckoning to me. As a resident of the Washington, DC, and Baltimore corridor, there are many companies, organizations and agencies that I can believe in, and that could offer me the opportunity to bring good into the world and continue to grow professionally.

I am looking forward to this new adventure, be it what it may.

Categories: Job Search

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