No Pain-No Gain


No Pain No Gain

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2011

“Why does my butt hurt”?  I asked myself early one morning.

I stopped and thought, “Well, I went back to work.” You see, my body was not used to doing manual labor.”  

But, boy, the pain I feel, feels great.

The next day, one of my friends, Wanda shouted, “You’re working?  Woohoo!”

I had to explain to her that it was only temporary. But, it was just what the doctor ordered. This ongoing encouragement from friends is what I needed to push me forward. You see, I’ve been unemployed for 20 months.  

I used to work at the Carver County News. I loved my job. Then, the crash hit in 2009. Like many of us, I found myself in job transition. Yes, that’s what they call it now.  

When an unfortunate event happens to you, you are keenly aware of the impact. Slowly, you accept the situation. Then, you take action.

Many times during this difficult period I‘ve asked myself, “What’s next in my job search?”

It was then that my mind started to explore new avenues of work. I told myself that I could go back to my old reliable routine of office positions. I had success with these in the past, and they might turn into new leads. But, I hit many dead ends. I was frustrated and lost.

This tension only intensified when, well-meaning friends, would announce that our neighbors had found work. I was jealous.

As the weeks progressed, I was told to network with people. This involved introducing myself to complete strangers. These meetings were held in and around the Twin Cities. This was hard. I’ve always prided myself on being self-sufficient. And I thought asking for help was a sign of weakness. I was wrong.

I believed people wanted to help. So, I continued to attend gatherings of this kind, ask questions, research new leads, and be open to friendly suggestions. That helped.

I used to dream of the day when I would announce to family and friends that I had landed a paid position. I didn’t care where, what, when or how. I wanted a pay check!

Many times I was told to go back to school. One local college had a price tag of $40,000.  I knew they were crazy. And avoided them at all cost.

Then I started volunteering at Ridgeview Medical Center and the Carver County Historical Society.  In these positions, I met new friends, and in turn they helped me on my journey.

I was told to find my passion. Writing this column has kept my sanity. 

Now, that spring has arrived I feel renewed. And I believe I will soon be employed.

As I continue to be open to new possibilities, I know my time will come. I feel a sense of calm. My husband feels it too.

Today, I start a temporary job with the hope of being hired. My mind is full of hope.

So this column is dedicated to all my friends, neighbors, and family members who gave me their love and support.

Good luck to all of you in your job search.

Published:, Minnesota Moments Magazine,, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:,, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


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