Hello again, dear friend,
I had another “Aha!” moment in my burnout recovery today. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that the first “Aha!” came from realizing I feel motivated to respond to writing prompts again (finally!!!). Today’s moment has me laughing at myself like:
Setting the scene: I received an email from a recruiter today for a temporary contract position requiring only 2 years experience in my field – I have 11 years experience – and the pay is close to the hourly rate of my former job. Note that the job description is for editing documents and standardizing formatting and cross-references – easy-peasy-lemon-squeezing level of effort for a technical writer, yeah? I replied I was interested and received a callback pretty quickly. After a little back and forth, the recruiter pointed out the preferred qualification for 2+ years experience in the field of material handling equipment – emphasis on preferred qualification not required qualification, right? “Well, we really want to present you as a strong candidate, so could you whip up a writing sample in that field?” the recruiter inquired.
…well, sure, of course I could…but I already have samples of a redacted user guide, training video, and quick start guide that I’ve produced. I also went looking for existing user guides in the field requested and realized I could write them oh-so-easily. Now, Katie of severe burnout and need to please regardless of cost of time and impact to mental health would absolutely have written a sample as requested, right? But Katie of recovering burnout and renewed confidence decided it was better to write up an “overview of services” with details on how I work and how I can port my skills from a decade of writing for website usage to other forms of instructional writing. Why? Because recovering Katie noted the recruiter reached out to me, not the other way around, so clearly – they need me more than I need them, right? Katie of today knows my worth and has faith in my skills and work ethic. Katie of today doesn’t feel the need to bend over backwards for any job that hasn’t actually hired me yet. Like, hello??? I have better uses for my time than writing bogus writing samples? Like recording a video for the first time in months (started recording again today, woot woot!), like taking the classes I have purchased, like writing things I actually want to write, like spending time with Gunny, like – oh, I don’t know, continuing to focus on fixing the life part of “work-life” balance?
I don’t even know how I reached this level of confidence, my friend, but wow am I glad to be sitting in this moment. I just keep giggling to myself, you know? Goodness, summer 2018 Katie – heck, all of 2020 Katie, too, just wished she could feel the way I feel today. Progress!!! I am so proud of how far I’ve come. I’m so happy with how I’m continuing to change since leaving my job and focusing on life enrichment and recovery for a bit.
I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this post – I just wanted to share in case someone else needs the reminder that signs of burnout recovery can sometimes be so little but so joyful, I guess? Not to say our journeys are at all the same, but kind of a reminder to wait for those little “Aha!” moments as signs of feeling better, right?
As for me, I found I couldn’t recover while at my old job, even after switching teams in late 2018 – it helped a bit for a little while, but the requirement to return to responsibilities from my old team starting in summer 2020 was just…progressively deeply detrimental to my mental health. I promised myself I wouldn’t let the job be such a trigger after 2018, so when I started slipping further and faster, it was time to finally call it quits. That whole “no job is worth the cost of your mental health” thing, you know? Like – I’m never, ever going to be the one to tell you that “you should quit, oh my god” unless we have discussed your situation together and it feels like the right advice based on the discussion, but if your mental health is suffering, maybe at least consider it? Reflect on if removing a situational stressor can help at all, you know? Because, my friend, I absolutely, positively, without a single doubt, know that you deserve to feel safe and supported and content more often than not. If your situation isn’t supportive of that, I’m always, always, always going to be here rooting for you as you work to change it. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to wake up without dreading the day. You deserve to feel inspired and hopeful and confident.
I think that’s all for today, my friend. Wishing you ease on your journey and sending you so much love and supportive energy, always.