So I left the banking world last summer to start working at a screen printing company, primarily holding a sales role.
It has been quite the learning experience.
At the bank, I could expect to a steady stream of customers. And because I’m slightly gifted in small talk, it didn’t take much time at all to become well-liked by a majority of the customer base.
Being in sales at the screen printing shop was different. I was starting from the bottom: I didn’t immediately have customers that I could call on. I didn’t have a list of people to contact, I didn’t have any sort of customers coming to see me.
Definitely different, but I enjoyed the challenge.
It was always my goal to work in this job, and grow my side businesses (both ymLaunch and five espressos) to a point where they were ready to support someone full time. However, we aren’t there yet.
Last week I was laid off from the screen printing shop because of how slow we had been for the winter. Screen printing is a very seasonal industry- as many orders for t shirts go from April to November. This winter being both very cold and very very long, didn’t do much to help, so the owner was forced to lay off all of the office staff in an attempt to cover the overhead. The boss said that he’s hoping we’re back within the next month, however there’s no definitive date.
That also means that it’s really unclear what direction for me to head. Filing for unemployment was very strange, however I need to be actively searching for new jobs, and not just actively searching for new work for 5e/ymLaunch. However, discerning the proper balance between these two choices– as well as taking care of my customers from the screen printing shop — has been a pretty paralyzing process.
Unpacking some options.
When I was notified last week of this situation, I took some time to walk out to one of my favorite locations in West Michigan. There’s a house that overlooks the Grand River, and if it wasn’t owned by the county, I would expect to live there someday.
I sat on the deck and started writing down my options on a small legal pad I had brought with me. I had a few options:
- ignore the situation, and keep drumming up t shirt business.
- new jobs
- new work for 5e/ymL.
What struck me as I spent some time fleshing out what each of these might look like, the ideas for my own businesses and possible new opportunities with that just seemed to flow out.
Ideas that I had previously shelved because I didn’t have time were suddenly vibrant and extremely viable options. I’ve actually been taking the steps to make some of these happen.