Given that I had been out of the workforce for some time, I wasn't sure where to begin. It felt like a big leap and quite scary to be job searching again. I always believed, though, that if I put in the work, anything was possible.
Nonetheless, I knew I wanted to work and often reminisced about my old professional life. I continued to tell friends and acquaintances that I was looking for a job. Many of them were open to helping out, which was reassuring and what kept me going for another three months. By December, I decided it was time to reach out to my old boss. I was hesitant to call her for so long, maybe because deep down I knew she would clarify things for me. We had a nice catch up, and she asked me to think about what I really wanted to do. After a week of musing about this, some clarity came. Maybe going back to corporate was not the right move for me at this point. It felt like a big disappointment, to let go of an idea I've been so attached to over the last several months. I decided to focus my efforts elsewhere.
A serendipitous thing happened one day, when my neighbor, who knew that I was looking for a job, told me about an opportunity at a non-profit that he was involved in. They were looking for someone to join their team to fill in for someone who had just left. The role was more junior relative to my level of experience, but it was part-time, flexible, and remote. Which meant that I had control of my time, am able to do work from home and elsewhere, and not have to worry about outsourcing childcare. The organization's mission of using design to build more resilient and sustainable cities, was also exciting and meaningful to me. I followed through with it and two months later, I got the job.