Jan 3, 2010

It's 2010… Now what?

My dear blog is 7.5 years old. And I have no idea what to do with it. I am not happy keeping it artificially alive via Wordless Wednesday posts. (Ironically, Wednesdays are usually when I feel like writing.)

There are things to write about but because I've given myself the rule of not writing about work (at least not in recognizable detail) the one biggy in my life cannot be shared.

Oh, what the heck. Here goes (warning, astrology ahead):

Once again, I face downsizing. Now, astrology tells me that our department will continue and I'll land on my feet. I want to tell my co-workers that we will be fine, but I don't. We all need to create our future and the best motivation for that is to believe the one we thought we had doesn't exist. We are all aging. I'm the youngest at 49 (eep!). Advantages and disadvantages abound for those of us who are young enough to be used somewhere else in the company and/or have been with the company for over 10 years, and preferably over 25. My age and my seniority are now my assets. Good assets.

But how to create a new future when there is nothing concrete to go by? No decisions have been made; 2010 will be about the process of arriving at a decision. In the meantime, what skills do we need if we are to work elsewhere in the organization? When can we get those skills? And do we really want the job that goes with them? Also, if we do apply for other jobs in order to be pro-active or just safe, leaving the department early would definitely cripple it and perhaps speed up its demise. We have been told to be utterly selfish and ignore our loyalties to each other. Sad but true.

We are a bunch of craftsmen working for a company that has nothing to do with our craft. We service all the others by operating our inhouse printing department, which also offers prepress services, like graphic design. Since we are not part of the core business, we have always faced the threat of outsourcing. Our boss made the brilliant move of documenting all our work. We can show our productivity, our costs and our earnings (being a cost center that charges other departments). And because we have been able to consistently document our efficiency and low costs, we have survived.

We work so well together. We back each other up, help each other, enjoy each other's company, try to compliment each other, teach each other, and generally get along very well. We are annoyed that while the head honchos of our company want to encourage a working environment where team spirit reigns, we seem to be completely undiscovered as the poster child for that. And now they're trying to figure out what to do with us because we aren't core business.

I understand business is about the bottom line. So's my job. It's about my bottom line. So now the question for 2010 is where do I go from here? What would be the smart move? Stay and maybe get an entirely different job? Start looking for work in other companies (that would require overcoming a huge amount of inertia after nearly 27 years in one place)? Go back to school?

School. Heck, at age 49, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. My co-workers have pretty much the same feeling. If any of us wanted to do something else, we'd probably be doing it. I love doing typography and graphic design. If I am to move into a different area, it'll be web design. I can't stand the idea of making nothing but business cards until retirement. So, does my company need an (at this time) unskilled web designer? What about learning Flash or Javascript? I never did get the hang of computer programming languages, but I'll give it another shot if it will bring me into a longer-lived future.

One of the things that happened sooner than imagined in 2009 was the introduction of the paperless office. We've been remodeling our entire office building and office space. My co-workers now have two computer screens and one portable PC, and are expected to use print-outs and paper sparingly. It has apparently worked beyond belief, because in 2009 we got a sharp downturn in print and copy jobs, which doesn't help my department's case. But the world is going more and more online, and so are our customers. The older generation like an office to visit; the younger generation want a form on a webpage.

Now to the astrology in all this: It is said that lunar eclipses have an effect of about 3 months for a person. Not sure how powerful the partial eclipse of New Year's Eve was, but it did land on significant points in my natal chart, sextiling/trining both my natal Neptune and my lunar nodes. (The lunar eclipse was at 10 degrees Cancer/Capricorn; anything at 10 degrees will be triggered by this eclipse.) My nodes fall in houses that have to do with education, both basic and higher. My Neptune sits in my 10th house, the house of career. Yeah, you see where this is heading, too, don't you. :-) Let's make this even more interesting: A Chiron return in March. Chiron is about where and how our wounds can actually be our motivation for action. Mine sits in my 2nd house, house of personal resources (like talents and money). Want more? Transitting Saturn - the grand old man or woman of hard work, karma and wisdom - is currently in my 9th house (higher education) and is also backing and forthing across my ascendant by square (personality and self-image) the first half of 2010. (I figure Saturn in my 9th house also explains my renewed in interest in astrology.) Transiting Pluto is also dallying between my Ascendant and Jupiter, and will be joined by Saturn squaring Capricorn. Recreate myself? Oh, yes.

Today I was listening to yet another spirituality themed podcast and I felt old at one point; I wanted to be young enough to see what will happen next with our planet, with humanity. And then it occurred to me that I have to stop approaching what I want in life as if I were still in my 20's. I still have a future but I have to think of it not in terms of long-term goal in life like a younger person would think, but rather about how to keep myself happy in the here and now. The idea of asking myself where I want to be in five years has never appealed to me because I have never known. I have no idea still what would be my ultimate happiness, but I have a feeling that in 2010 that is the question I need to finally answer. My five-year plan would then be about honoring that happiness, not necessarily about climbing some career ladder. Now it's about the now.

I would like a guidance counselor to help me out with all this, but in lieu of that, there's always three words for 2010. I think mine will be sell as in sell myself, my friendship, my skills, my experience, my personality), and care as in care for myself, my body, my home, my work, my future, the people in my life and anything or anyone else that matters. Haven't thought of a third word yet, but my first two are pretty heady. Maybe faith. Faith in self, future, process of life, friends, co-workers, the universe.

11 comments:

alice said...

Fascinating read. I'll look forward to seeing where you go from here.

Geir said...

I never comment here, but I read everything you write. It would be a sad loss if your blog was to go down the drain. Please keep it going.
For 2010, I wish you well.

SolSionnach said...

Thanks for this, Keera. I'm with Alice on this one.

Protege said...

Very interesting post. Even if I am slightly younger than you, I have very much similar thoughts to yours.
I hope you will find the right direction to take with your life. And please keep this blog as I enjoy reading it.;)
Btw, I love astrology. Could you do my chart?;)
xo
Zuzana

MelRoXx said...

Astrology is very interesting. I'm don't believe it but its really fun!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Hi, all! I was holding off until I had a concrete update, but I'm still thinking - and distracted by work (!). And astrology. :-) Why is it nothing but clear skies when I said we'd have clouds (and so did our met office)?

Alice, thanks!

Geir, nice to hear from you and thank you for the encouragement.

SolSionnach, I know you can relate very well. :-)

Protege, thank you for your encouragement! As for doing your chart, I'm afraid I have to beg off. I no longer do that kind of astrology.

MelRoXx, thank you for dropping by! One reason I'm into weather forecasting is that it is a good way of proving whether or not there is anything to astrology (natal astrology is useless for that). I can forecast weeks ahead of the met office and all anyone has to do is wait and see if I was right.

max said...

A Chiron return in March. Chiron is about where and how our wounds can actually be our motivation for action. Mine sits in my 2nd house, house of personal resources (like talents and money). Want more? Transitting Saturn - the grand old man or woman of hard work, karma and wisdom - is currently in my 9th house (higher education) and is also backing and forthing across my ascendant by square (personality and self-image) the first half of 2010.

Speaking as someone from far away, and all nine house-y, I say... (wait for it)... wait. How Saturnian is that? From the sound of it, the full moon was the bartender politely saying last call, not throwing you out on the street yet.

Meantime, I'm more bothered by 1) Merc Rx, 2) Jupiter + Chiron + Neptune all oppo Uranus, which is 3) oppo the sun. The argument in favor is that you'll finally do something. The argument against is, boy, is this not the cool time to move, especially with another eclipse intrain.

I vote wait and watch until Match while preparing to hop - look around and see what the job scene is like.

The older generation like an office to visit; the younger generation want a form on a webpage.

And the banks are taking a beating (which I always forget because I always think you work in graphics, which you do!), and you guys are an auxiliary department. Definately not a winning position to be in here. Even if you scrape by, you'll still get hosed later. Upside: you have time.

Heck, at age 49, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Pluto conjunct north node square sun - in some sense you never will, not that you haven't become something already.

What would be the smart move? Stay and maybe get an entirely different job? Start looking for work in other companies (that would require overcoming a huge amount of inertia after nearly 27 years in one place)? Go back to school?

Yes. In particular, going back to school to see if you can pick up some XHTML and the like while looking inside and outside the companies for the skillsets they're looking for would be the smart play here.

I think, sadly, the writing is on the wall for your department. So get ready to hop.

I say wait until after the middle of Feb or better early March - Mars goes direct then. And it ain't the meat, it's the motion.

max
['Which some sources say isn't entirely true, but...']

Keera Ann Fox said...

Max, I would say you've read my chart correctly, because you've come up with the same times and timings I - and circumstances - have (I don't write down every last detail on my blog).

Stella said...

I've been meaning to say this for a while, so sorry for the lack of feedback when I suspect you might have needed it. This has been a processing moment for me.

Basically I would miss your blog entries: I have them on my RSS feed and they have that 'just right' factor that many of my other subscribed feeds don't have and are verging on delete, either through flooding or absence.

Secondly, I love this post for it's expression of personal dilemma. That's what blogging is all about! I'm not a writer but I teach blogging to my students because of my appreciation for the skill.

And thirdly, due to this post of yours, I downloaded OpenAstro for Ubuntu and am reacquainting myself with astrology! After all these years of sc(k)epticism (that amounts to *10 years*); allowing science to dictate my beliefs!! The scientific bible has let me down recently and actually offers me very little in comparison to technology.

I've discovered I have a grand cross for my 2010 solar return. I'm curious to see what challenges this brings :-)

Keep up your blog! xx

Keera Ann Fox said...

So nice to see you here, Stella! And thanks for the lovely feedback re my blog.

I'm tickled that you're looking at astrology again, but I'm also a bit saddened by as well as curious about how science let you down.

alice said...

I'm curious too! (Does this have anything to do with global warming?) Do tell!