Understand the Seas



For the first time in a long time, I feel like I know who I am and what I’m looking for. I chuckle at how different it is from the narrow vision I had in the immediate aftermath of losing my job. Now, I’m ready to turn outward. I look through some of the most popular online job boards for the types of positions that I’ve been in for decades. I realize that those job descriptions look pretty different from when I started my career.

For weeks I’ve been reading articles online that outline how much technology has changed everything: “Disruption!” “Change!” “Evolution!” It’s not all bad, the prognosticators claim—"think of the opportunity it brings!” Right next to those articles are the exposés on companies discriminating in new ways against older workers, against women, against minorities, against “overly-paid” employees who can be replaced by a millennial for half the cost. It’s all a bit overwhelming. But, before I throw my hands up and admit defeat, I hear my career coach’s sage advice: “Take honest stock of this brave new world. Confronting the truth will only help.”

My career coach continues to be helpful here, but I realize there might be some other expertise out there worth connecting to. Did you know you can pay an HR hiring manager to give you feedback? It was so refreshing not to have to deal with the beat-around-the-bush BS that I usually get when talking about the hiring process. I finally understand how I’m being viewed from the other side – scary, but very good to know.

I’ve also been networking more. I went to a conference in town the other week and had two or three interesting conversations there. I continue to email and grab lunch with old colleagues and friends. Sometimes there’s an interesting insight or a fresh lead, sometimes it’s just nice to catch up. With all of this, I’m starting to get a level-headed sense of what is realistically available to me and what is closed off, what I can control and what I can’t.


  • Understanding how larger systemic changes are impacting your chosen field

  • Collecting data from a variety of sources

  • Combing data about both the self and the external environment into a single comprehensive (and clear-eyed) path forward

Chris Rudnicki