Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If you're going to ask me to prepare the meal......

I'm the guy who goes grocery shopping without a plan. I wait until I'm hungry, head out without making a list. The way one might fill up their plate at a buffet as the wonderful visuals and aromas of food lead you here and there until your plate is full of impulse. I wander around and find whatever food I have craving for that very instant, plus the occasional "oh that would be good." Invariably, 25% of what I buy spoils, and I end up settling for the same tacos I made twice the week before.

I want to make sure that my job hunt does not follow the same path. While I'm not "hungry" yet thanks to my savings, I don't want to wait until famine sets in before raiding the pantry for whatever's left. I want to make sure that I make a grocery list before I leave the house. I'd like to prepare a dish that is a little challenging, but something within my capability. Ideally, it should taste good too.

Still, when you're at the grocery store, there can sometimes be way too many choices. As a lover of fine yellow tortilla chips, I'm sometimes blown away by just how many jars of salsa once can actually choose from. Ben & Jerry's has something in the neighborhood of 400,000 flavors. Even coffee beans seem to have and endless amounts of roasts to choose from.

The bulk of my day today was spent researching the ingredients I would like to buy, or businesses I would like to work for. I would like to work for a firm who has a reputation for being a great place to work. That doesn't mean slacker country. For certain people, the ability to surf the Internet constitutes a positive work environment. I want to make sure that I have the freedom to work as hard as I can, that I'm in a climate where that's not resented by my co-workers, and that management has a good handle on when to give carrots, and when to apply sticks. I also would like to make sure tha there are opportunities for advancement and added responsibilities.

I would like to make sure that it is something I can prepare. I cannot make a smoking coq au vin at this point in my life, but that doesn't mean I won't be up to the challenge once I can make a good meatloaf. That said, I don't want to make Kraft macaroni the rest of my life. I've also made tacos way too many times, and though I'm really good at it, I think I need to expose my palate to new things. I would like to find work that is rewarding to do, that is challenging and pushes me, but not out of my capabilities, and definitely not a waste of my talents.

Now that I think I know what recipes I'd like to make and what ingredients I want, I'm ready to shop. In real life unfortunately, I don't have to necessarily cold call, work with recruiters, and network to find a grocery store. But, still, it was a pretty good metaphor. Tomorrow begins the work of convincing these fine grocery establishments that they should let me in so that I can whip up a good meal!

1 hour guitar exercises
6 hours researching companies and prospective positions
1 hour researching staffing companies (backup plan)
.5 hour reading LinkedIn and LinkedIn Recruiter Blog

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