Is it possible to find true love again after being married for 9 years? That’s what my heart wonders in these moments while I am going through my job search journey. You see, I tell everyone around me that American was like a husband, and in some ways, it totally feels like I was married to my company for 9 years.
Let me give you some context into my metaphor. I started with American right after College. I was 21 and had been in the country for 5 years at the time, didn’t know many people in my circle who like me had landed a job at a multinational Fortune 500, the biggest airline in the world. I didn’t even know how I ended up applying, getting an interview and landing the entry level job, but I did and was more than grateful to get the experience and the benefits that come with a full-time job at a big company, free flying even in business, really inexpensive healthcare, a very good 401K matching contribution. These were all things I had never heard of before, so I said yes without thinking it or negotiating my salary which wasn’t that good, but it still was better than my former part time job at an Insurance Agency. I was in cloud nine just like a high school girl experiencing her first love. I fell in love with my job as it consumed most of my hours awake, and so my entire life began to revolve around American. So much so, that when the promotions were not available in my city, I decided it was time to choose between American and my family, and you guessed it, it was time to move out of state to follow my love and go to headquarters where all the action was happening. As I said goodbye to my family, friends and favorite city, i was putting my career and my love for American first. It was that love that fueled me to learn more and more and go places, it was that love that made me pursue my next opportunity to change my high heels for flats and accept a promotion to manage a team in ramp operations at DFW airport to better understand what it takes to run an airline, something I had no idea how to conquer. But it was there, where after almost 9 years of relationship, my love for American started to feel a little different. You see I couldn’t picture myself growing old at American, I wanted to experience more. I knew there was more out there or at least that I wasn’t happy anymore in this relationship. We had gone separated directions, we were no longer wanting the same, and we were definitely no the same kids anymore. American was undergoing an identity crisis and finding its why, and my priority were starting to shift as I was leaving my 20s behind. I wanted to start a family and get paid a better salary and more personal time off to provide for my family, now nonrev traveling and healthcare benefits were not cutting anymore. And so I did the mature thing to do and decided to quit the relationship. But I wanted to quit without cheating on American with someone else, I didn’t want to go looking for something else without taking the time to heal and process how to do better in my next relationship. See most people don’t quit their jobs until they have another offer lined up, well im not most people. I also didn’t have the time to look for another job, I was very committed to American until my last day even if our love was not the same as before.
It was there that my own discovery journey started. I was left like many divorced women with many experiences to put on a resume but a weird feeling of no knowing what to do or where to go with it. Would I ever find love again in what I do? Would I even be as passionate for the next company? As I try to go through my own definition of what I want to do next, I want to feel the same flames I once felt. I want to feel like whatever my next job is, I will be changing the world, and kicking butt in my high heels, but I also want the work-life balance and other perks that I need to start a family. Is this all even possible? Is it a fairytale? Would this time be a forever love?