Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ms. Stark Goes to Washington

Will my career be over if I go grey?

I used to have these concerns and when I told my sister 21 months ago that I was giving up the dye she asked this very question. But I just refused to believe that I had to make personal choices such as hair color to fit the needs of everyone else. This went with dating and every other aspect in my life.

I've been in my current position for 8 years and over 10 years with the same agency. It's had its ups and downs (as does everything) but I felt like my life was in a rut. Because it was. I never bought a home here and when I looked into it I realised that Raleigh was not meant to be a permanent resting place for me. As soon as I had awareness of this I started job searching.

Many things happened to tell me it was not the right time to move: my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer- she came to live with me and received the best treatment in the world at Duke Cancer. I panicked about a job offer 6 months after my mom passed- I needed stability after losing my mom and a move would not have healed me. The job market dried up- I needed to be clearer about my goals and visions and open myself to possibilities.

This all sounds so positive when I write about it but I was unhappy for a lot of the time. Something switched this year and I FELT different; I felt like everything in my life was about to change. Sure enough some great opportunities in my field came up. At that time my Supervisor gave me advice on how to improve my resume (she was a tremendous help) and I made the cut for a record (a record for me) 6 jobs! Then I had an interview for a promotion in Headquarters and after that I was in wait mode.

Out of the hundreds that applied to this position, 26 made the cut. The Supervisor took the top 10 and I felt lucky to just make that interview cut. I have worked with several of the people in this office (as all the interview candidates have) and I didn't think I would get the job... BUT I DID!! I am moving to Washington DC in May!!!

What does this have to do with grey hair?
There are people on this team in Washington that have seen me and know I'm growing out my grey. The last time they saw me I had a 3 inch skunk stripe. Grey hair didn't make a damn bit of difference (even in that horrid grow-out stage) and doesn't make a damn bit of difference now. I just got the promotion of a lifetime- I could retire on this, and I have grey hair. Don't ever let anyone tell you that in order to (insert bizarre demand here) you must adhere to any rule. Life is too short to be dependent on everyone else's definition of "shoulds."

So as I felt a month ago when I said I was in the calm before the storm, I am now in the storm: moving, seeing friends before I go, house hunting, finishing up work... try not to take it in all at once! Well, I'll be off to new adventures soon. A whole new chapter awaits!


  1. Thank you, Karefree!! I'm thinking you used to live there, right?

  2. Congrats on the promotion and the move - good luck! :)

  3. Congratulations Jill. I am happy for you. I love the softer makeup and lipstick too :-)

  4. Thanks, Dovie! I miss you. I see you're still rocking that red- love it!