Some lessons we learn the first time.  Others we learn over time.  Still some really don’t sink in until we’re beat over the head with them, repeatedly.

As I find myself jobless (again) right before Christmas (again) I am forced to ask the question: what message am I not “getting?”

I spent the first couple days after my latest professional rejection just spinning. Ok, I was pouting. A lot.  Then I spent some time listening.

I listened to friends who cared.  They told me what I should hear, but not what I wanted to.

What is obvious to everyone (except me until recently) is that my chosen career path is not fulfilling me. (well duh, right?)  Having lost more jobs than most people have pairs of shoes, should have been the first sign.  The latest sign was the list of thirteen clients whom had some very harsh things to say about me.  This very specific list was handed to me as I was shown the proverbial door last Thursday.

I’ve lost jobs for being lazy.  I’ve lost them for being a drunk.  And now I can add being an “asshole” to the list of things that have been fired for.

Now as most of you would (probably) attest, being a jerk is not one of my most pronounced character traits.  As a matter of fact, everyone who I’ve shown the “list of complaints” to has told me that these things I stood accused of were pretty far from the person they knew.  Yet there they were.  Typed on company letterhead.

What some of you were strong enough to point out (in the most caring way – thank you), was that my “clients” were seeing me as I showed up.  You see, when you’re with friends it is easy to “show up” as yourself.  You can be yourself and relax into the comfort of being loved and cared for.  My work was neither a loving nor caring environment.

And I was not being careful or loving to my clients.  I was annoyed, impatient and very much un-careful.  I knew what to do and became irritated when they didn’t see it my way.  Their questions became challenges to my authority, knowledge, expertise and… ego.  I had stopped listening.

Sure, I had happy clients.  And they were the ones who got the happy Andy.  And there you have it.

What I have done is repeatedly put myself into situations that made it difficult for me to consistently “show up” as my authentic self.  I have been unfulfilled, unchallenged, ungrowthed (yes, that just got made up, that’s my word) for years.  I had brief moments of happiness and excitement interspersed into a career filled with misery.

I’ve repeatedly chosen “making a living” over making a LIFE.  And it’s killing me, quite literally.

Hence this letter.

Some of you may be aware that I’m a sort of “self help” junky.  I thoroughly enjoy reading books and blogs on leadership and personal growth. It all started with Simon. Then quickly moved to others like Jonathan, Brendon, Brene`, Seth and Scott.  Simon Sinek’s work is particularly inspiring to me; he just speaks in a way that I can understand.  It’s the search for my own WHY that is behind this email.

Scott Dinsmore recommended this list of questions on his blog (or was it an email?).  It was so conspicuously closely timed to the demise of my latest “job” that I can’t NOT do it.  So here goes: please give me the next few minutes of your day and answer the following survey.

Please be as honest and detailed as you can.  I am fighting the urge to jump back into a “real job” as long as possible.  I want to take at least a little time to figure out how to align my “work” with my LIFE.  Your feedback is an important part of my search.

Some of you have known me for a long time.  Some of you may only know parts of me.  The length or depth of our relationship is not what is important.  What is important is how I showed up for you, not matter the time spent.

Thank you for your time, attention and LOVE.


Link to Survey: