Six months ago, I was unemployed, about to turn thirty years old, and about thirty pounds heavier.
I had just been laid off from my full time job after reporting harassment two weeks prior by the very person I had reported it to. My health was declining after spending months working 13+ hour days across town. My wardrobe became limited to stretchy leggings and baggy tees, because that’s all that would fit!
After being married the spring prior, I was yearning to start a little family with my new husband. I watched the pile of warning letters for bills unpaid grow each day. I felt ashamed and embarrassed as I watched the clock ticking away, waiting for my number to be called in the employment insurance office. I felt like I was massively failing at being an adult.
There comes a pivotal moment in every person’s life, where you have to decide if you accept the life you’re living, or you want to fight like hell for the life you want. I chose the latter. I didn’t want to be a victim. I was running out of ice cream pints and excuses. I had been building up my network on LinkedIn for months, and had finally gotten into the routine of consistently writing and sharing content. It was a great platform to keep my mind stimulated, and my social skills sharp while I considered my next career move.
I logged in one day, and had a brief moment of boldness. I published an update saying that I was looking for work, and shared my career goals, binding myself to them publicly. I announced that I was finished doing things the “traditional” way, and wouldn’t be handing out a single resume, that I was going to rely on my network to help me find my dream job.
Then, something wonderful happened. Strangers started messaging me, commending me on my courage for putting myself out there. They became invested in my story and started sharing it with their own networks. I was going on two to three interviews daily, and things were progressing more quickly than I could even process! I landed my “dream job” in just two weeks, turning down four job offers in the process.
Shortly after accepting the position with Grade A, I published an article to update my network, and shared my tips for success. That post ended up going viral on Linkedin, garnering over 150,000 views and thousands of shares by people all over the world. The team over at Linkedin even sent me a package filled with swag and a lovely handwritten note to say congratulations.
After the dust had settled, my purpose became perfectly clear to me; to share my experiences candidly through my writing to help others. I started writing on a weekly basis on all sorts of painful topics like coping with career failure, why I turned down an opportunity with Amazon, the harassment that occurred before landing my dream job, and my battle with agoraphobia. Being raw and vulnerable has opened more doors for me than I could have ever imagined, and continues to transform my life every single day. I’ll never go back to being the timid, silent woman I used to be.
I used to think the brave ones were the ones that smiled to hide their pain, but now I realize that true courage is unmasking yourself, and smiling because you know that sharing your scars will empower others.
By Michaela Alexis
Michaela Alexis is a content marketing specialist accidentally turned Linkedin Influencer living in Ottawa, Canada. She had her first article go viral on Linkedin in March 2016, and has been writing ever since. Michaela spent a year and a half battling Agoraphobia before reclaiming her life and now teaches others how they too can overcome obstacles in lives. When Michaela isn’t writing, she works as the Marketing Manager for Grade A, a technology support company in Ottawa, Canada, or teaching Canadian newcomers how to network and maintain confidence during their job search process.
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