Changing Against Our Will
About three years ago, we all realized everything was changing against our will. When I look back on the journals and notes I kept, I see little encouraging lines to myself at the beginning. “This will only last a few weeks,” I wrote with false confidence. I had never seen anything like this. None of us had. As the days passed, we were only met with more questions instead of answers. Tension without resolution every day. I’m not quite sure when acceptance set in, but eventually I and everyone else acknowledged that nothing would ever be the same.
Most of the time when I go through hard things, I get to hide in my room and cry. Tell a few close friends. Process and move forward. In this instance, the whole world was doing this hard thing together. I don’t think I knew where to turn. Little did all of us know this pandemic was in fact the beginning of something that would influence how we live and work forever, not a short term issue with a clear resolution or ending.
As much as things changed from how we travel to who we saw for a period of time, the part we gave the least attention to was how the constant stress and questioning was changing us long term. We were never taught how to live through a life-altering situation, let alone one that threatened our mortality and impacted everyone. Our minds weren’t trained for this constant state of tension.
At that time in my life, I was 2 years into Three Ears Media. I didn’t even focus on job postings until about 6 months prior. Just as I was getting traction, here was this pandemic creating the most market uncertainty I’ve seen in my lifetime. The calls stopped coming in. The calendar was blank. I was crushed. I felt like I had failed. I remember sitting in a business mastermind crying as people said their businesses were fine while mine had lost every bit of momentum. That was the same day someone suggested I create an online training to teach people how to write job postings.
That day was one of those benchmark moments that helped me start to shift into this “after.” A new way of living. A way of living I never could have fathomed just 6 months before. But it wasn’t just a benchmark shift in my work life. It created shifts and changes in my personal life, too. It changed me and how I saw what I wanted for the future. The life I wanted to live right now. There are not many times in our life where we can benchmark a clear before and after, let alone a society collectively marking a benchmark. That’s the making of history altering events, hell, society altering events. I was no exception.
We are all forever changed and just beginning to experience the symptoms of this shift. I hear it in people’s voices when they call and are worried about endings they can’t control. It comes out in tangible grief and big reactions over little things. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I had a burst of a big reaction this week after Zoom wouldn’t let people into the webinar Tuesday. Even though I had a great time with the people that were able to access the content, I spent hours thinking about what did happen all while on the verge of tears and frustrated. (It’s available to everyone now here.)
I freaked out over technology. The stuff that’s *never* quite reliable.
I think the only cure for this particular madness of constant change are giving people. People who say nice things for no reason. Who notice you just trying to do your best. The ones that send coffee and share all your stuff just because they want to see you be successful.
People who will let you be yourself. People who want to really know you. It is a huge comfort to be known. If you can do that for a handful of people, it could be a real gift to others while everything just keeps changing. You can be a gift to others while everything keeps changing, even when it’s against our will.
Kat Kibben View All →
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.