Repackaging after the hatchet

I’m sitting on the floor in my living room, surrounded by old payroll stubs, copies of documents written so long ago that the staples are rusty, letters of recommendation from people long since gone, a sheaf of loose-leaf paper, and a fresh sign pen. Trying to make some sense of 35 years of employment – trying to figure out how to condense it down to the proverbial one-page resume. One page? Can’t be done, but maybe two, or maybe four. . .

The architecture/design field is in shambles. Those of us who’ve been laid off may well have to repackage ourselves and move on if we hope to have any income in the next couple of years. This is the stickler. After 5 years of design school and 2 years as a designer, what can I be next? Shall I try to be a lawyer again? Would any employer consider me as a technical writer? How about an environmental or health policy expert? I’ve got extensive experience in all these things, but, except perhaps for the writing (thesis), it’s been a while. Sure, I can get up to speed quickly – I haven’t lost my smarts – but there are probably plenty of people competing for jobs who are already up to speed.

So, I plug away, discovering what treasures my beat-up file cabinet in the basement might hold, recalling bit by bit what I actually did in those previous careers, perfecting the resume. It will come together. It will.

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