Oprah Winfrey told the 1997 graduating class of Wellesley College that failure is God’s way of saying “Excuse me, you’re moving in the wrong direction.” She also said that when you are doing what you were created to do, it should feel like breathing.
The talk show host was spot on with me because the last six months as a strategic communications consultant (whatever the hell that is) at a large consulting firm felt like 175 days of suffocation. The more I tried to fit in with all the Harvard MBAs, the more awkward I felt (as a theology major). The more I studied the various models of change management and how to direct a government agency from vision to implementation, the greater gap I felt between who I was and what I was doing for a steady paycheck.
I didn’t make a very good consultant because I’m too honest. I cannot sell something I don’t believe in. And my heart was nowhere in all those communications plans I was writing. All of my therapy and support groups have trained me how to teach a person to fish, instead of handing him grilled salmon on a plate … to get people to do things for themselves. Which isn’t exactly what your employer wants you to do: to give a client a list of reasons why they don’t need you and why they should save their money for more important things.
With this philosophy, I knew I would be laid off sooner than later, and that I could no longer waste my time on projects that demand a conservative-consultant-type, not the kind of sarcastic and playful drama queen that likes to laugh and have a good time in meetings or can crank out post after post on about the human psyche.
I had been trying to line up enough freelance work to make the break when I was called into a meeting. I was contemplating resigning at the meeting even if I didn’t have enough hours secured. An hour before the meeting, John Grohol emailed me and welcomed me on-board as Associate Editor of Psych Central. I didn’t realize John was telepathic but that’s the only way I can explain his impeccable timing.
So, from today going forward, I will be writing three to four posts a week, covering the same kinds of topics I have been for “World of Psychology” and writing book reviews and educational articles. The good news is that, instead of syndicating content from my Beliefnet blog, these blog entries will be original material.
So I am thrilled to be even more involved than I was with Psych Central, and I thank John wholeheartedly for his invitation! If you have a topic you’d like me to write about or if you are a publisher and want to pitch a book, please write to me at comment at thereseborchard.com.
Oh, and I didn’t have to resign at the meeting after all. I was laid off! But that was also great because I received a small severance package that I wouldn’t have received if I had opened my big mouth before they said, “FIRED,” or, as Oprah would put, “Excuse me, you are DEFINITELY moving in the wrong direction.”
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