L is for Liminal

lim·i·nal adjective
1. relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

Committing these past few months to words is no easy feat. I’ve often called this time of life my “transitory twenties”, and it could not have been truer in this past season of life.

I quit my first “real” job over 3 months ago. I left with no exact plan in mind or job lined up – just an updated resume and some round trip tickets to LA and Paris. It was a decision backed up by many stressful moments of work-travel and many reflective moments of prayer. For the first few days, the first few weeks, even, it was liberating. But as the weeks soon turned into a month, the unspoken question of “What’s next?” lingered in my mind with increasing urgency.

Why was it so hard to find a new job? My parents, of course, had their opinions. Mom thought it was because I was too picky and that it was a matter of timing. Dad thought I hadn’t considered as many options my senior year and I was simply putting in the effort I might not have put in before.

Whatever the reason, being funemployed was surprisingly difficult. Some days I felt there was no reason to get up in the morning. When you are a young working professional or a student, you wake up to be on time for your early AM meetings or to rush to that 10:00 am class that actually takes attendance. When it’s a weekend and you have less pressing responsibilities, you might set your alarm with just enough time to make it to a late morning brunch or an afternoon coffee date. But for me, every day felt like a weekend.

Sort of sounds like summer break (happy summer solstice!), except without an end in sight. I created a routine for my day-to-day that mimicked a typical “work day” as much as possible, focusing on different projects to keep me busy. I redesigned my personal website and changed things up in my apartment with some home improvement. I registered for the GRE because grad school had alway been something I considered – and what better time than now, when I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with?

On an unassuming April Monday morning, a staffing recruiter reached out to me about a “new job opening here in the Bay Area that align[ed] well with [my] work experience.” I didn’t think much of it, but the job description really did align quite well with my past experience. Unbeknownst to me, this was the beginning of a major turning point.

While eating dim sum two days later, I got an email from the staffing recruiter asking for my availability to come in tomorrow for an on-site. The timing couldn’t have been better as I was planning to road trip down to LA that weekend, and wouldn’t have been able to make it the following week.

But I didn’t get the position. Instead, one of the team’s VPs surprised me with a call and said that they wanted me to apply for full time rather than move forward with the contract position. The situation seemed a bit strange to me, but with nothing to lose, I quickly applied for it online.

I waited and waited, assuming it would be as quick of a process as it was before. It wasn’t. Over a month later, after a multitude of rejection emails and phone interviews with companies that made me question why I left my previous position in the first place, I finally heard back.

I went through a phone screen and advanced to the onsite. Exactly like before, the on-site was scheduled for the next day, right before another trip down to LA. To make things a little more crazy, I somehow scheduled two more on-sites for that same week. After almost three months of an incredibly dry season, I was finally seeing the fruits of my labor.

Fast forward to today, nearly two months after that Monday morning – I’ve now accepted an offer with Wells Fargo as a Strategy Consultant on their Innovations team! And while the job hunt may seem an arduous but very ordinary struggle many of us go through, I wanted to commit these past few months into words to remember what God has done in my life. Some of you might think I fell into a series of coincidences or a lucky circumstance, but in many ways, I feel like He made up a position just for me.

(Some snazzy tunes – watch with captions on!)

Photo by Jenny Yu.

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