Doing the Job Hunt Jig

In case it hasn’t been obvious – from my increased output on this here site – I am going on Month #2 of unemployment. The joy of that? Plenty of time to write. The bad? Plenty of time to wallow in self-pity. But between the navel-gazing and Neanderthalic attempts at prose, I have made progress on the job front. As in, I have some opinions about the entire process.

This is going to be more of a reflection than a rant – going over what I’ve learned and/or observed in the last few weeks of hunting gainful employment.

#1: Everyone’s a Critic

The moment I informed the social media masses of my loss of job, the outpouring sentiment has been…mixed. I think some of that has to do with the fact that this was becoming a pattern. Replies ranged from the standard “I-have-a-sad”-s to the oft-shouted “Grow-the-f**k-up”-s. Both ends of the gamut have their validity. And between the outcries of sentiment and shame came the advice.

For the most part, the words of wisdom imparted by friends and family alike have been quite helpful. However, every once in awhile, I get something asinine. Someone feels like they have something gem-worthy, but it turns out more like…um…

“Why don’t you work at Taco Bell?”

Or…

“Sign of the times, man. Gotta pay your dues.”

Or some combination of the two.

These people need to be “duly” launched out of a taco-shaped cannon.

The rest? I thank you for thinking of me.

#2: Networking Is Hard

A common bit of advice I get when on the job hunt is to learn how to network. As in, solidify social and professional contacts that may have tips towards potential jobs. Problem is? No one has any solid advice on how to actually do it. To someone prone to social awkwardness, this is nerve-wracking.

I suppose the first step is to – guh! – talk to people, but it’s like pulling teeth…with a monofilament whip…attached to a crane…affixed to an AT-AT. A couple of years ago, I even attempted to attend regular job groups to solidify contacts. It was like going to an AA meeting – never again.

#3: Thinking Positive Works…Or Else

I used to be a big believer in the Law of Attraction (read: The Secret -type bullshit), but I since grew out of that phase. There is no way you can “will” a unicorn into existence just by thinking positively about the outcome of one. No actual science supports the claim to “happy vibrations” pulling and pushing the Universe at someone’s whim.

That said, there is something to thinking positively so as to welcome positive outcomes. Case in point (albeit completely anecdotal): For the better part of three weeks, I made it a point to be as upbeat as possible. Result? Increased traffic to my two blogs, and good times all around.

Problem is, when you’re a chemical depressive, that doesn’t necessarily last long. The pendulum will eventually sway in the other direction. And it always seems to happen when I’m idle enough to dwell on a certain topic. That being, how much I suck as a human being.

I start to ponder on my encroaching debt, mounting bills, bill collectors wanting to mount me, un-returned job prospect e-mails, etcetera ad nauseum. The moment those thoughts took reign of my brain, lo and behold my world became a tiny territorial bubble of shite.

My car almost broke down, my computer did break down (culprit: cat hair), debt collectors threatened me, and friends/family were mad at me. Luckily this only lasted for a weekend, but it certainly scared me into “happy-fun-times” submission. Lesson learned: Don’t worry, be happy, or Fate will teabag you!

#4: There Are Some Jobs I Simply Won’t Do

I’m not going to say what job this was from, but one time I had to help an old man. A poor 90-year-old gent who missed the toilet. For three hours I had to keep him company in a stinky bathroom while he attempt to clean himself – occasionally replenishing his supply of towels, cleaning solution, and sheets. Eventually, he was free and clear.

And after that, I thought to myself, No job could ever phase me again.

That was until I worked in an in-bound call center for only a day. I would sooner work fast food again. Apparently, I have some pride left. Just a smidge, though.

#5: “…With a Little Help from My Friends”

The last thing I’ve been able to reflect upon is how grateful I am to the disparate circle of people that still talk to be – both friends and family alike – during this ordeal. I will admit to being woefully imperfect, prone to horrible decision-making, and probably a downright barely mediocre employee. Yet some still see a bit of potential there. To those, I am beyond touched.

I’m not the easiest to deal with, but I am easily prone to loyalty. I mean, after all…

It is the sign of the times, and I must pay my dues.

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 Musings

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