Dream Job

Abundant Life-2

Have you ever lost something that devastated your way of life? Your car, your house, your job? Maybe all 3?

I know I have! So, I thought I would share my experience and lessons learned with my beloved sisters.

In 2010, I was a wedding planner at a resort at Fort Myers Beach. It was my dream job. What I studied for, what I interned for, and what I always wanted. Or so I thought. On October 7th that year, I worked my last event and clocked out of my shift and drove over the bridge back into town. It was 2 days before my own wedding and I was leaving for a 2-week vacation to marry my high school sweetheart, take our honeymoon and start our lives together as man and wife. As I drove over the bridge, the General Manager called my cell phone and shared that I was being let go and would not return back to my “dream job”!  My feelings and reactions were as follows:

  1. Defense. I quickly asked the GM what I could do differently and if anything could be done to save my job. That did not work.

  2. Shock. I accepted my fate and drove home in silence.

  3. Denial. Given that it was 2 days before my wedding and we already had family in town, I went along “business, as usual”, trying to forget what had just happened.

  4. Anger. But when the guests were gone and I was home alone in my bed, I got mad. Mad at the GM for his leadership style. Mad at the resort for their operating model. Mad at the industry for its volatility and then finally mad at myself for my inadequacy.

  5. Sadness. This left me in a funk for quite sometime when I should have been focused on one of the happiest seasons of my life.

  6. Fear. I started to panic about how I would contribute to my new family. And how we would pay the bills and maintain our lifestyle as newlyweds.

Are you feeling these things today? Over 80,000 people in Southwest Florida are out of work because of the pandemic and social unrest. If this is you, you are obviously not alone. And it is more than OK to feel the above feelings. Its actually, useful and necessary to be in this season. The Beatles and Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says it eloquently. Embrace those feelings. Face those feels and leverage them to help you grow.

The next thing I did was Act. Taking action had a few phases over the course of the next 6 months.

  1. Reflect. With all this free time on my hands, I did some soul searching. I asked myself the following questions:

  • Why wedding planning?

  • What do I like about wedding planning? And what don’t I like?

  • What do I like about myself and what do I need to change?

  • What if I was not a wedding planner? Where would that leave my identity?

  • What if I could do anything?

  • What if I could double, triple and quadruple my income? What would that mean to me, my family, and the people around me?

  1. Learn. I started asking everyone I knew and everyone I met about their jobs. What did they like, what did they dislike, why they do what they do and of course if they were hiring!

  2. Leverage your resources. I was blessed to have a community and support system. I had family, friends, and former employers who lifted me up in this trying time.

  • Spiritually. I had friends and family to pray for me and remind me that God was still in control.

  • Emotionally and intellectual. I had friends who inspired me, affirmed me, and provided constructive criticism.

  • Financially. My parents did a grocery run for me when needed. My new husband was thankfully still working. And my previous employers gave me random events and bartending shifts to help me make ends meet for over 6 months.

I know not everyone has such a support system. But I am here to tell you that it is available! Our community partners are putting on a Virtual Job Fair in August. With one on one spiritual and job coaching, workshops on resume building, interview skills, and communication tips. There are resources out there and it is ok to ask for and receive help! Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 

In May of 2010, I got a job through a friend’s referral. I am no longer a wedding planner. This became more than a job, it became my career. It was nothing I thought I wanted but everything that I needed. I have been working here for 10 years with multiple promotions, the ability to travel the world and help thousands of people every year. This “job” has changed me, my family (now of 4), and my ability to give back to others. There is dignity in good work.  And I truly believe everything happens for a reason. God is orchestrating everything for your good. My test is now my testimony.

The story can be the same for you! We have over 30 employers that want to hire YOU, NOW. There are multiple industries across health care, retail, hospitality, and construction just to name a few. It might not be the job you want but could very well be the job you need.

This testing time can be a testimony you will share with others. You were made to live an abundant life!

Nancy Ellis is a wife, mom of two beautiful young children, a successful businesswoman and a Small Group Leader. She is transparent, real and one of the most encouraging women I know.  Her passion to lead in love in every area of life is contagious as she helps women of all ages embrace God’s love for them. – Cindy Grasso

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