Of Camping and Careers

Two weekends ago all the girls at my house left for a girls weekend, so I grabbed my youngest son and we went camping. It was an epic weekend of exploring some beautiful nature that is close to our house, wondering why we never went to any of these places. I came home and rested, excited to get back to work. Then, I had the opportunity to be a chaperone at a youth camp with my son and his friends, and once again took an extended weekend.
The first weekend of camping my son and I spent hours packing, planning, and shopping. We were well-prepared for our adventures (except the tent we took didn’t have tent poles… oops!). But the next weekend was different. I spent Monday through Wednesday night trying to get a full week of work in, catching up on projects, etc., and then had just a few hours scheduled for prepping for the chaperoning campout. I thought I had everything planned and, for the boys, I did. They had more food than they needed, we had all of our equipment, and it was a great time.
Except… well, in all my planning and prepping for the group campout, I neglected packing for me.
I’m an experienced camper. I’ve been camping since I was young. I pride myself on minimalist camping, where I don’t have to pack a ton of stuff that I never use. So, in my rush to get out the door I grabbed my toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and an extra t-shirt.
Seriously, that’s all I packed for me.  I was so focused on getting the whole camp ready that I neglected packing for me.
No big deal. It was a very hot weekend… and I’d be fine. So I thought.
That night was COLD. I was sitting on a chair chatting and shivering. I wished I had brought a sweatshirt. Instead, I was regretful.
This ties directly into my career experience around 2006. If you are a new reader you might not know that January 2006 was the epic point in my life where I lost my job, had a miserable, failed job search, and eventually came up with the idea for JibberJobber.
You see, I had neglected myself in my career. I took care of my companies, my teams, my products, my projects… I took care of all of those things just fine. But I didn’t pack my sweatshirt for myself. I completely neglected my network and my personal brand.
Just as I sat around chatting with my camp that evening, shivering and regretful, I sat around during my job search wondering why I wasn’t making any progress. It was because I had neglected me.
Look, I love it when job seekers come to JibberJobber, ready to organize and track and follow up.
I love it more when people who are preparing for an imminent job search come, putting in the work before they desperately need it.
My invitation to you is to get serious about your personal brand and your professional network. You can take care of everyone else, but do not neglect taking care of yourself. We’re here for that, and for you.
Let us know how we can help.
And just for fun, here’s a picture of some rope swings we explored … hard to find this stuff in the desert!
Mona rope swings