Monday, January 6, 2014

Not Again


2013 was not a great year for me.  It made me think, it gave me too much time to think in since not much happened. I thought about the past a lot.  My history with work bounced around my head.  The jobs I have hated, the jobs that half worked, the gaps between.  It is the gaps that I have on my mind today, and have had on my mind for sometime.  My professional history seems to be a series of entry level technical jobs whose upstream career options were either unattractive or have remained unavailable.  I have been bitter about my jobs before and that is not where I am going today.  Today is about the other bittering agent in my life, unemployment.

In some ways my professional life exists as a negative, as much defined by the what is not there.  Layoffs and the very slow claws back to employment are not new things for me. In this respect 2013 was too much like 2008 and 2009.  Yet 2013 was worse.  Previously several things had remained untested, and I believed I could safely return to a line of work that has since precipitated a burnout.  As I start to search out jobs a nearly identical list of alternatives to geology work enter my mind. I applied with roughly the same success as I had back then.  It is all I can think of, because at least it touches on what I know.

And that's a lot of my troubles, I focus on what I know, because I can't reliably call in on who I know.  Largely because I don't know many people, especially in the professional world.  Every employment resource I have seen since I was 21 has barked endlessly it's not what you know it's who you know. This message has led to the desire to throat punch the people delivering it.  

It is not that they are wrong, the Canadian job market is a series of nested old boys clubs.  No the problem is I hate the process, and can't even say I like the people.  The process an endless series of phone calls or emails towing the line between a sales pitch and begging. Any source of advice starts to feel like a used car salesman. No matter how well I try to play that game I always get results through dumb luck, or craigslist. Or so it feels.

And this brings me to what has made 2013 such a downer year, and why I delayed the job search from the beginning.  It feels as though there is no return on investment.  The networking done in 2009 was just enough to land me a practicum in 2010, I had just enough leads left in the geology world to land me a job that spring.  Those resources did not carry forward.  No for me each time it feels as though I am starting anew.  There is this sinking feeling that despite nine and a half years of off and on professional employment I am no more employable than when I started.

It is only a feeling, the list of interviews, and recruiter enquiries this session hint at the opening up of a better class of job, but I don't have one yet.  My fear, and what has drags down my mood to the point that on bad days I will hid in the bed at midday and cry to myself, is that I will have to do it all over again.   It is not  a fear failing time around, but that the job will  fail again.  That I will have another job that dies after two years because the money behind it walks away.  The fear that I will not escape this cycle. The fear that at 36 or 37 I will be dropped again because I am only employable at boom times. Only to have to do this all over again.  And again.   The fear that I have already had the highest salary I will ever have, or that the knowledge base I gain at a job will not be enough to gain the next one.

Now that I have stopped shaking I can work on this next paragraph.   The low points in 2013, grew out of this fear, and fleas. These worries are grounded in truth.  None of which was helped by my cat's running away, or her long convalescence and all the stresses and stressors that came with that.  This is why I started writing, I did not want to face a reality where the work I did before gained me no advantage.  This job search loomed, the very idea dragged me down, so I wrote.   I occasionally flung resumes at the internet like a monkey flings feces, but with worse aim, and far less enthusiasm.   Currently nothing has really stuck.

Now I should try to keep my head up for 2014.

Also since I am hosting this on Google's blogger, which uses US based servers. Happy New Year NSA.  Do you think if I use the words, Yellow cake, centrifuge, device, and physics package, that you could drive my this blog's traffic up. K thanks bye.

1 comment:

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Searching for work has got to be one of the most miserable things on this planet to have to do. You have my most sincere sympathy. I have always hated that "It's who you know" thing with a passion, and railed at the unfairness of it. You are not alone. This unemployment cycle is the outcome of the "just in time delivery" mentality, applied to labor. It is disgusting and ubiquitous and worse in some branches than in others. Worse in yours. The best way to get away from it that I can think of is to somehow co-operate with others of similar age in the same boat and become owners of the
workplace. How to do that in the geo map making field, no idea. And maybe you should just ditch the geology field and become a story telling baker. Or a professional pun master. Somebody has to come up with the text for "The debaters". Only half kidding.