Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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My Wonderful “Pushy” Husband and How He Helped My Job Hunt

img_0226My siblings know that I won’t do something if I don’t want to (and I drove them nuts), but now I have a husband who is “pushy” in a kind and helpful way. Last summer when I had a job that I had tried every ladder to move up, but there was no upward mobility, and my husband told me, “Quit! I know you can find a full-time teaching job.” Stephen is not annoy-pushy, but he is firm and kind-pushy. If he thinks I should do something, he encourages me until I think I can do it. I didn’t have as much confidence as my husband, but I believed him, so I resigned my job at the end of the summer semester, and then started the full-time job of job hunting.

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Full Circle

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Recently I looked up when I heard a student call my name, “Miss Campbell!” The girl with light, flowing hair looked much more of an adult than when I last saw her in her school uniform as a Senior last year. There stood a graduated Senior from the class I taught for two months last fall! Continue reading


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A Homeschooler Takes on the “Mean Girls” and …

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Homeschooling’s Black, White, & Gray Series 1 Ep. 7

What does it mean about me if a dysfunctional institution led by some “mean girls” throws me out? Here’s what happened, but first of all, my definition of “mean girl” is a sometimes fun, but really selfish, usually gorgeous, controlling woman who uses manipulation to get what she wants and to keep admiring people around her (similar to the mean girls in the movie with that same title)…

I met her on the day I interviewed for the job, and she seemed interested in me and glad to have me come on board. This beautiful, married woman seemed like she could be a friend; since I was used to being friends with my bosses, I thought I could do it here too. I jumped into the job, helping with even more than I probably should have, but keeping my eyes open because I knew the institution had a reputation for dysfunction. I invited her to go see Shakespeare in the Park (which she couldn’t make), we had other interesting conversations, and I thought she liked me.

Because my “dysfunction radar” was on high alert, I didn’t let things slide when my schedule got changed around the day before school started. I spoke up, respectfully. I let her and the boss over her know that it shook me up to have more students thrust upon me and rooms changed around the day before school starts, and I felt disrespected. I thought they understood…

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Navigating Unemployment: It CAN be a Fun Time or “Funemployment”

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No job? No money (and that seems like it would be no fun.) A few weeks into my unemployment a friend told me the concept of “Fun-employment,” that is, choosing to have a lot of fun while being without regular work. So I tried it! I walked by the lake, visited my nephew for days, and wrote a book. I started dating a wonderful guy, and then found a fulfilling job that has more opportunities than the job I lost. Fun-employment works.

How can we prepare so that unexpected unemployment can be a time of growth, fun, and healing instead of fear and panic?

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Top Ten Activities to Restore Hope After Job Loss

During this transition time, these activities have helped me greatly:

10. Run Toward Love. After I was fired, I drove out to my parents’ home where they served me pot roast and just let me cry, tell my story multiple times, and love me.
9. Take Someone with YouIf you still have to clear out your classroom or cubicle, take a loving person with you to finish off the job of clearing out your things. My Mom accompanied me; it helped to have a cheerleader.
8. Unpack Your Boxes and Reorganize Your Life. I let the boxes from work sit there for a week, then I tackled the project of finding spots for all those books. Just face into the boxes and start creating new life rhythms by putting your favorite work objects around your home.
7. Connect with Loving Co-workers, if possibleI communicated with several people at my old job about what happened, and it surprised me how compassionate they were! Several wrote me emails and cards full of truth and encouragement. One former co-worker brought chocolate and came over to talk; it was hard, but helpful to hear her opinion. Multiple people encouraged me to not let this situation jade me toward teaching, and told me “You ARE a good teacher.” Their words helped pull the poison out of the wound the job loss had afflicted. Because that co-worker had more objective viewpoint right then, she helped me know what I could say about the job loss. I’m so thankful for her coaching.
6. Go Away for a Few Days. Yes, file for unemployment as soon as possible, but you just need time away for a bit to let down so that you can heal. I visited my brother and his family the week after my job ended, and it was there, surrounded by love that I had the strength to file for unemployment. Filing and retelling the story was hard and very humbling, but it helped me process the trauma. Hugs from my one-year-old nephew, and then an invitation from my sister-in-law to stay for four days instead of one was healing balm. My mind could let down, forget what happened for a while, and just rest, play, and love.
5. Create a New Life Structure. Get up early on work days. Apply for jobs, go network, and let job hunting be your new “work.” Have hope; you will get another job.
4. ExerciseI planned exercise into my day because it relieved stress, and brought me joy! Go run by the lake or plan to go dancing.
3. Maximize Your Networks. Yes, sign up and use networking and job hunting sites, but also connect with people in person. I went to my grad school’s career office, and they loaned me career books (a great one is The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry), critiqued my resume, and supported me in thinking about different career choices. They helped me know it’s fine to try something different, like floral design…
2. Do What You Love and Feel Your FeelingsI read, I sang, I cooked. I took floral design classes, and I started writing a book. I cried, felt sad, shouted with anger, ached with loss, and chose to forgive. Then a tutoring job came!
 
1. Believe and Know That You Are Loved Just As You AreYes, sudden job loss wounds your heart and your confidence. Yes, you need time to heal, but while you are healing, just know that there is a plan for you designed by the Great Creator. Know that you are loved. You are not your job; you are of full value just as you are.
 
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Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell