unemployed

I hate being unemployed: part 2

I need to remind myself that I’m in a privileged position compared to most people. I don’t have any debt. I was given a nice severance package from my previous employer. Overall I have a nice cushion while I look for my next job. I need to constantly remind myself of this otherwise my anxiety might actually end up killing me.

I mentioned in my previous post that the entire hiring process has been automated in the past 10 years. It’s software and algorithms looking for specific phrases or key words. There are entire companies that will help you write a resume to game” the system. How is this helping recruiters find the best candidates?

As someone who’s approaching this having been on the other side, I can say that resumes are worthless. A roll of toilet paper is more useful when determining the fit of a candidate. It’s strange to me that most companies still hold this document up in reverence when it tells you next to nothing about the person you’re potentially interviewing. Work ethic, personality, and soft skills are far more valuable than relevant work experience. In that regard interviews are also a crap shoot. At the end of the day you’ll never truly know someone is a good fit until they start doing the job.

I have a lot of experience, but it’s not in one specific field. I’ve worked as a web developer, trainer, development specialist, and retail manager. It’s varied, and that’s the problem from a hiring managers perspective.

April 11, 2020

Productivity

Productivity

This article from the NYT gave me pause this morning. I’m self admitted productivity junkie. I have numerous apps I use for managing projects and tracking my checklists. I subscribe to YouTube channels teaching the latest in productivity and minimal living techniques. I love business and self help books and often forget to read some fiction now and then.

We’re all our own worst critic. I need to try harder to be easier on myself when things don’t go the way I expected.

April 10, 2020

The Other Shoe

It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I came across this article via Dave Pell’s wonderful newsletter Next Draft.

Every since regular life in Canada was shut down due to COVID_19 my regular levels of anxiety have basically dropped to nothing. I’ve been taking medication for over six months and this is the first time in a while that I feel like I could stop.

My form of anxiety lives in the what ifs”. It lives in the unrealized future. My mind will conjure up negative results of decisions I haven’t even made yet. When it’s bad enough it’s paralyzing, it prevents me from actually taking action and moving forward. I second guess every action or thought. It’s incredibly frustrating.

I’ve heard my kind of anxiety described as constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I guess this pandemic is the other shoe.

April 6, 2020

No one knows

I did, what was to me unthinkable a few months ago. I hired a career coach.

I didn’t start out by seeking a coach. I happened to meet a friend of my girlfriends at her birthday dinner and felt an immediate connection with him. After doing some internet creeping I decided that this was someone I could learn from. He just happens to also work as a career coach.

After staying with the same company for over 10 years I realized that I need some guidance. If I was honest with myself I had let the various jobs I’ve had over the years happen” to me, rather than seeking them out. What I mean is that life circumstances forced me in new directions. If I was unhappy with my job I simply stayed until I either got fired or finally got to the breaking point. This was a very difficult realization for me. It’s not fun thinking about how your current place in life is a direct reflection of the choices (or lack of choices) you’ve made throughout your life.

As an example; I should have left my last job years ago. I was miserable. There’s a reason why terms like golden handcuffs” exist, it’s a very real phenomenon. I was well paid and had amazing benefits. So why was I so unhappy? I’ve only had a few sessions but one of the questions he asked me was:

What do I value most from a job?”

I thought about this and came up with two things:

  1. Creative freedom
  2. Control over my work

Any time I’ve felt content, happy, or satisfied with my work, these two things have been present. I love working with small teams that have autonomy over their work and the freedom to try new things. My previous job did have that for the first five years or so, but as the company grew, more red tape and micromanaging crept in. It started slowly at first, then in the last year, it really started to change for the worse. Instead of looking for new opportunities, I let the grip of my golden handcuffs hold me firmly in place.

Looking for work during a global pandemic has been…interesting. I’m trying to keep things in perspective and play the long game.

March 31, 2020

Very cool interactive map from the NYT on how the virus spread from Wuhan.

March 23, 2020

Doing it Myself

I‘ve been dabbling in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript again. I have a lot of time on my hands so I figured; why not?

That led me to decide to move my domain to Blot.io. I like the simplicity of it. It simply used your Dropbox account as a place to drop text files and images which then appear on your site automatically. So, I can use my favourite markdown text editor and then just copy the file to Dropbox and I’m done. It’s also highly customizable. I haven’t had a chance to dive into the code yet, but I plan on it.

March 22, 2020