(Are you looking for my writeup about the Proofread Anywhere course and the Pluto in Virgo (1956-1970) generation? You can find that HERE.)
Back in the day, I used to have A Career.
For 22 years I worked in the global engineering and construction management world. I started out as a receptionist at a small company where employees designed and built electrical control panels for industry. Over the years, I worked my way up to being a technical executive assistant. I then reported directly to a CEO and had a finger in every non-technical pie in the place. I loved my work, my coworkers were awesome, and I was very good at what I did.
In 2008 I began to feel the energy of change around me, as many other people did/have. I got divorced in 2009, and in June 2010 I quit my job (call it a “voluntary life change,” because that’s exactly what it was) and moved to another state several weeks later.
After moving to my new state, I took the rest of the summer off. As much as I’d loved my work in Engineer World, I was burned out.
So for the rest of the summer, I just hung out with my dog and my housemates and my new friends, dawdling on, or in, or near the George Washington National Forest and the North Fork Shenandoah River. It was a wonderfully healing time for my tired mind and spirit.
(Near the end of that summer, I also met the man who would later become my husband. This figures into the story too.)
I’d felt confident about finding work after my move, in spite of the fact that many people were still struggling with unemployment after the 2008 recession. I had only been laid off once in my life, and I was called back to work three weeks after I was laid off. I will never forget that, because I returned to work the day after 9/11.
I had also dodged a couple of layoffs myself in 2008-2009. I was different, I thought. I had a solid-gold resume and a glowing letter of recommendation from my former boss, the CEO.
Summer ended, and I quickly found a temp job as a purchasing assistant at a chemical plant in September 2010. I was shocked–truly shocked–when they released me from the assignment in January of 2011 instead of offering me a full-time, permanent job. I know that shock sounds more like Uranus than it does Neptune, but Uranus had crossed my midheaven between 2003 and 2010–and those had been the best years of my life, career-wise.
Anyway, at this temp job at the chemical plant, everyone liked me and my supervisor was satisfied with my work. I learned later that one of the warehouse guys wanted the job, so they ended up hiring an internal candidate.
For close to six months I doggedly tried to land another job. I was drawing unemployment compensation and food stamps for the first time in my life. My self-esteem took a huge hit. Finding work never used to be a hard thing to do. Why was it suddenly so hard?
Finally, in late May 2011 I was offered a temp-to-perm job for which I was hired direct full-time after the requisite 90-day probationary period. When I looked back at my lengthy work history, I saw a clear pattern where I always changed jobs in May. The sun conjuncting my Gemini ascendant seems to have always bestowed a lot of light and grace on me where work/career were concerned. So I chalked that period of unemployment up to waiting for the right timing.
But this new job? In the past, I’d always “traded up” when I changed jobs. But this new job was far below my capabilities and far below my former pay grade. And I encountered some unanticipated strangeness there too.
The Dark Side of Corporate America
My new job in 2011 had me working in the management office of a local owner-operator for the (I believe) largest fast food chain in the world. It was a small office, with only six or seven people there all day during the course of a day.
Though my job title was technically “administrative assistant,” I spent most of my time doing customer service, trying to placate angry customers who SWORE they said NO PICKLES ON THEIR BIG MAC.
Not only that, my coworkers in the management office were mean to me. And, in general, the level of unprofessionalism in that office stunned me. I’d truly never encountered something like that in my prior positions.
My boss finally relented in the face of my distress and told me that the reason everyone was being so mean to me is that she’d hired me for that job.
Instead of hiring the friend of the women who were being so mean to me.
Knowing it wasn’t exactly about me personally didn’t make things any easier. But there were other things I noticed too. It seemed I’d been pretty insulated, previously, as a worker bee in corporate America.
My employers at this firm truly, actively bent over backwards to make the lives of their employees in the restaurants as penurious and as miserable as possible. I observed a score and more of different ways that they did this every single day. And when one of the owners showed up at the office one day with a new Mercedes, for which he had paid $125,000 cash, it’s like I was suddenly face to face with an emperor who was wearing no clothes.
I stuck it out at the job for two years. By that time I was married to my now-husband. I finally quit in Spring of 2013 and decided to try to work from home. I also completed several more college classes between 2013-2015.
Becoming a Freelancer
By the time November 2015 rolled around, I’d been freelancing as an academic transcription editor for a couple of years. The money was poor for the amount of actual skill the job required, but it was low-stress compared to my prior job.
And then I stumbled upon Proofread Anywhere, a program that trains people how to do the specialized proofreading that is required for court reporters pertinent to legal transcripts (they also have a general proofreading course, but I completed the transcript proofreading course).
At first I was concerned that the course was a scam. (It’s not.) The holidays were also coming up. So it took me about two months to take the plunge and sign up for this course. I just knew I would be great at this. I knew it!
- I’m a Gemini-rising magpie–an information junkie and collector of obscure facts.
- My chart ruler, Mercury, is located natally in the loquacious, gracious, and justice-friendly sign of Libra.
- My Mercury is natally located in the 5th house, a position that’s both creative and perceptive with words and punctuation.
- My natal sun also resides in justice-friendly Libra.
- I was an exclusively phonics-trained reader, and I was trained to read by my parents before I even entered kindergarten.
- I was reading adult-comprehension-level books in elementary school.
- I was an experienced editor and proofreader as part of my former career in the engineering world. (My experience with engineers is that they are notoriously bad spellers and writers.)
- I saw testimonials of people who said they were making good money and staying busy as a proofreader for court reporters.
So there were multiple aspects of my life experience and research into my new career that “should” have favored my success as a proofreader. But after a year and a half of working as a proofreader and sometime-scopist, I had to face the fact that I was (strangely) unable to satisfy my proofreading clients.
My scoping clients were a lot happier with my work than my proofreading clients were, but the court reporting milieu still felt unnecessarily stressful to me on the whole. So at the end of 2017, I shut down my sole proprietorship and hung up my proofreader/scopist hat.
One of the things I now understand is that Neptune transiting Pisces on the midheaven of my natal has been calling me to a different expression of my talents. But, for a while there, I was bitterly disappointed at my inability to make my career as a proofreader work.
Astrologer CJ Wright, who blogs at Auntie Moon, acknowledges the disappointments involved with Neptune.
“What does Neptune teach us? Feelings of disappointment can linger for decades, tinting our psyche[s]. Perhaps we disengage from the source of disappointment or, worse, become resentful. We lose trust. There’s no room for love when disappointment and resentment take up so much space.”
So what do you do when a “career” is no longer an option?
A Vocation Instead of a Career
When I was a kid attending Catholic school, the nuns made much about finding your vocation. It seemed at the time like a pretty lofty concept. Mostly, it seemed to be about whether you were “called” to become a priest or a nun.
Vocation is really rather simple. But, as I’ve learned, “simple” doesn’t always translate to “easy.”
What’s involved in finding your vocation? Check here. It’s on a Catholic website, but it reads as universal wisdom for most of us rather than as a specifically religious concept.
I had a vocation waiting for me while I was struggling with unemployment and struggling from crappy job to crappy job.
Making the Shift
As hard as it has been for me to accept it, these past few years are not a time in my life when I need to be doing exacting, earth-bound work.
It’s a time for seeking out the highest expressions of Neptune, which is about dreams and visions that I can bring into reality, especially around my working life.
This was and is a very scary thing for me to contemplate. I have Saturn closely conjunct my South Node in the 8th house of, among other things, “other people’s money.” And one life lesson I learned early on is that I should never depend on other people’s money.
My parents weren’t rich to begin with. There was no trust fund. My mother was widowed when I was 13 years old, and she never remarried. She supported my two younger sisters and me on a teacher’s salary, veterans benefits (my dad was career military), and social security survivor’s benefits. I’ve been earning my own money for more than 35 years now.
But with my Jupiter conjunct Chiron in Pisces, there also seems to be a message about me rebuilding my faith and trust in “God,” or “the Gods,” or “Life,”– however you see that concept. I’m not financially destitute, thanks to my wonderful, hardworking husband. So the Universe has indeed been rebuilding my faith in Life, in a sense.
During a consultation with a fellow astrologer, I also learned that my progressed moon entered the last quarter phase in late April of 2010. Coincidental, isn’t it? Two months before I moved, and my career life spiraled into the abyss?
In August 2010 I met my now-husband. I married him in 2012. When you spiritually “join” with another person via marriage, I think it changes elements of your individual Fate.
The Career of Your Dreams
If there’s been anything “great” about having Neptune transit my Midheaven these past few years is that it (finally) forced me to ask myself: What is the career of your dreams? Is a “career” even all it’s cracked up to be?
I no longer have A Career. Instead, I have A Vocation.
I’ve been studying astrology for 12 years now. I’ve been offering consultations and advice to my friends and family for a few years now, and they’ve all been encouraging me to hang out a shingle.
There’s a phrase that’s often used in esoteric astrology, and that is world-server. While I’m not an esoteric astrologer, the phrase prompted me at one point to ask myself a simple question: “What are you doing to serve the world?”
“Dancers, musicians, mystics, energy healers, shamans, and other magical talents will hear a calling to be more active in architecting the post 2012 world. What is your divine gift? Now is the time to let it emerge. With Neptune in Pisces, creativity and compassion are forces that can heal the world.”–Astrostyle.com
I have more to say about my experience with Proofread Anywhere and my experience as a working proofreader in the court reporting environment HERE.
Do you have Neptune or Pisces energy on your Midheaven? How have you been dealing with it? Share in the comments!
* * *