Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some Times A Great Notion

I managed to keep my self awake last night, both as I was going to sleep, my mind went in to over drive and some where between 3 and 4 in the morning. I got stuck on the usual point of contention for myself. Where I am how I got here and the big question how do I get from here to there. So now I shall try to reconstruct the thought process had at 3am.

Firstly where I am and how I got there. It is pretty much common knowledge that I got laid off at no fault of my own in October last year when the finances of the company I was with took a hit, making me an early adopter of the global economic melt down. At that time I was happy to be laid off, I has been there for nearly 2 and half years of work with the same firm. My rotations were nearly always 6 weeks long and my breaks a brief two weeks off. That lack of balance and the broken social life that comes from that left me tired. The work, though partly my own fault for not challenging the job enough and asking for more, had grown too routine and was only adding to the strain. So when I got the notice I was going home early I was happy, a chance to catch up on living. I chose to do this living based out of Nakusp where the cost of at least the housing could be minimized.

I had made a choice at the start of this lay off that I would not search for work right away. I had my fill I wanted to relax, I had made money and had healthy savings, there was no rush for me to head back into the world. I told my self two months and then I would start looking for work in earnest, well the two months stretched out a little to fit in the Christmas season, so it came in at closer to three months. The first chunk of this time was well spent. I had picked up a chain saw and went about securing my fire wood stash. That kept me feeling satisfied. As the stash grew and the weather got colder I dabbled at winterizing the cabin. This was moderately successful, ultimately to bring that place up to a truly livable space is beyond my skill and the amount of cash I am willing to sink into things.

I had promised myself that during this time off prior to my job search that I would take the time to truly think about who I am and what I want to do, and from there how to get there. I did not. I dabbled at things, never once did I sit down with a pad of paper and get my thoughts together. I did as the new year came along get my resume together, and have altered it slightly along the way since. I was briefly slightly hampered by the temporary brake down of my computer. So by the time I had my first resumes hitting the internets it was nearly the middle of January. I followed a hap hazard method of googling firms in an area of interest, sending slightly altered versions of a boiler plate resume and cover letter to these firms, with less then consistent follow up calls. This pattern has remained largely consistent, broken up with a few trips out of town in hopes of making connections through the visiting of trade shows and offices.

Non of this would have been possible if we did not get the high speed connection installed in the first week of January. It is alternately one of the best or worst things to have happened here. For all parties involved it is a good thing, every one staying here is addicted to information and we were all relieved to be rid of the painfully slow one computer at time dial up connection. It was this connection that convinced me I could conduct my job search for Nakusp. Without it the rate at which I could gather information and send out my own information would be too low and the demand on the main computer was too high to allow me to spend the needed time on it. But it also reenforced the sheltering bubble that living outside of Nakusp on a nice plot of land full of outdoor recreation options gives.

Though the reward for success in my job search will indeed be high, I find my self faced with the lack of a cost of failure. I was asked more then once why Nakusp, I did not have a solid logical answer, because I can, because its cheap, but realistically because there was no risk. Though moving to Nelson or Castlegar would have placed me in location both central to the region and to people in my life I choose instead the least risky path. Now this made sense when I was in the play phase right after I was let go and did not want to think seriously about life nor take action towards any goals but is it the right thing to do when I am looking for the next opportunity.

I have had a handful of small success in this search, one telephone interview, a handful of contacts, one or two notices that I am considered for a post but nothing that has moved me forward. As my frustration grew I started to look at other options and added plan B to my coarse of action. School, a return too. Right now I am aiming for a Geographic Information Systems Advanced Diploma, it should take a year, it could open things up and give me more access to jobs that let me have the work life balance I want. In considering what plans to follow I reached out and spoke to a career advisor from UBC-Okanagan, my old school, it was the morning prior to that conversation, in the act of preparing for that conversation that for the first time since October or even farther back, but certainly since the lay off that I stopped and thought and wrote about my options.

Stimulus response Stimulus Response, Don't You Ever Think

Up until that time it was all stimulus response, I had ignored my own desires and just jumped with little pattern from one dead end to another. Getting discouraged by the continued response of dropping resumes into the void. This is bringing me back to the question of Nakusp. and a few questions I have asked my self. Did I move to Nakusp so that if I the job search took too long I would not run out of money or did I stay in Nakusp so I could take my time with a job search? Or as I was thinking in the wee hours of the morning, am I just disorganized or am I shooting myself in the foot sub-consciencely. Perhaps both is the only fair answer.

More then once this month I have entertained the notion of packing a back and leaving town for an extended time. Time enough to land me a stop gap job and a stop gap place to live. I have not committed to that coarse of action. I think perhaps I should give it stronger consideration. I have had no risk and the results have been monumentally bland. There is the secondary reasons for leaving Nakusp, I can not predict what will happen when I live in a large town, but I know that the likely-hood of profitable chance encounters increases. Out here I am confined to creativity I can put in to search terms and the email addresses I can dig up, but how much am I missing. What could I come across in person. The answer is I don't know.

I do know that I have been told by professionals that my resume is fine, and that I have employable skills, some specialized some much more transferable, I also know that historically I have only gotten jobs, thought either, luck, having walked in the right door on the right day, or through connections having gotten contact information through colleges. My current methods nearly exclude that first path and the second path is hampered by the fact that the contacts I do have are in an industry that is suffering badly from the current economy. All of this leaves me unhappy and unfulfilled. I want the process over so I can start living again. Perhaps that is the appeal of school, I have more control over my success, I can get into a program and feel that something is happening. Now I have to ask what can I do before then to keep interested and busy.

Captain I am not a Merry Man.

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