Christmas came early…lessons from my husband


This is an emotional post. There are many reasons why I want to share this journey with you all. Mostly, I want to help others, I want to inspire others, and I want to motivate others.

I’d like to start by saying my husband is one of the most amazing people I have ever known. Lucky for me, Jeff fell in love with me, and has been by my side since 2000. (Y2K!) We had a big epiphany about three years ago that he needed to look for a new job. He worked so hard and loved what he was doing, but it was time to move on from his current situation.

Our journey began with him trying to figure out how to look for a new job. We were living (and still live) outside of NYC in a Connecticut suburb so he could commute to NYC for work, a company that Jeff has been at for 17.5 years. Yes, you read that right—17.5 years! That’s an eternity to stay at one company, so he wasn’t even sure at first how to begin his job search. But we did, we started it. One foot in front of the other.

This journey has led us on many twists and turns. We made a list of all the cities we would both agree to live if we had to move for his new job. Of course, Chicago and Boston were both on that list, which made some of my best friends happy. He came close to getting a job in both cities. Jeff also came very close to landing several jobs in NYC during this search. It was an emotional roller coaster—at some points we were close to moving our family.

There was even one time he received an offer, only to find out it really wasn’t an offer because that job opening suddenly disappeared. Poof! It was there one day, and gone the next. Jeff kept getting close to something, only to then find out they chose someone else for the position. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, he kept saying to me after countless interviews. But we kept on going. I continued to tell him his time would come. I tried my hardest to support him and be there for him, but I was also so sad and so frustrated for him that he would interview and then nothing would happen time after time.

Jeff ClarkeI am not exactly sure what flipped the switch for him this past summer. (I credit his weight loss and overall change in lifestyle and attitude. Jeff lost 55 pounds, and his confidence and energy were better than ever.) Because as soon as fall came, he was juggling several job opportunities at once, and they were all landing in his lap. Jeff chose one amazing opportunity where he felt the fit was pretty close to perfect for him. After 3 years, the search is coming to a close, and Jeff is starting this new job just in time for Christmas (cue the celebration music!).

What I can tell you, is that we have we learned a lot in these three long years! So if you are feeling “stuck” in a job or in a situation, and think you’ve been there too long to ever leave, I say you can leave and find something better. Jeff is proof that it can happen! I also want to urge anyone who is looking for a job that persistence and patience are both very, very important. Be persistent because it will pay off. Be patient because your time will come, even if it takes years like it did for my husband. Be consistent because being in constant activity of job hunting and networking is key. We also learned that you should be picky in this journey.  Jeff had an offer this summer that he turned down because it wasn’t the right fit. Don’t just grab the first thing that comes your way if it doesn’t feel right. Remember what I said earlier about patience. I really think it takes a village, a tribe, a team to help get you there. It’s difficult to go through this journey on your own. Ask others for help and support. We have had a team of friends, family, former colleagues, etc., who have helped with job leads, introductions, ideas, tips, phone calls, encouragement, and advice along the way. That’s what’s been such an enormous help for us. Talk to everyone, and be open to telling as many people in your network as possible that you are looking for something. I also think having a positive attitude and believing that it will happen is very important. Having that positive mindset can make such a difference. Remember that change is good. Yes, it can be scary, but it is always refreshing and exciting as well. Embrace the change!

My husband has inspired me to never give up. He didn’t give up—he knew there was something better for him out there. He knew it would happen, he just wasn’t sure when his time would come. Well, all that determination has paid off now, and he is no longer just a bridesmaid. 🙂 (LOL)

Jeff has come out on the other side of this whole process stronger and better than ever before.
He inspires me every day, and my hope is that by sharing this journey with you all, it will help some of you who are reading this who may be in a similar situation. Let’s keep learning and growing together!

Thank you all for letting me share this emotional journey, I am one proud wife.

xoxo NBC