Friday, June 19, 2009

Stomach Punch

As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Our friend King Hippo is a good example of this. Perhaps no fighter except for Glass Joe was easier to beat than King Hippo in Mike Tyson's punchout. Even Glass Joe though had unpredictable patterns, he was just incompetent. Once you discovered King Hippo's fatal gastrocentric flaw, anybody with basic rhythm skills was able to score one of the game's easiest KOs.

I made a trip to the workforce center today and as I was locking up the bike, two displaced workers were outside smoking a cigarette, pouring their heart out to each other. One had been out of work since January, and one had been out of work since October. The elder of the two said that during the first month he could handle it, but now he was slipping into a depression.

This conversation reverberated as I received my second rejection e-mail today for a job I had applied for. Interestingly though, at the Workforce Center, all anybody was doing was applying to jobs on-line. Another lady who was near twice my age was arguing with a counselor over why her resume doesn't need to be more than one page.

Two job-searching books that I've read, both of which written and published in 2009, discuss that 90% of time spent searching for jobs is using the Internet to respond to on-line job postings. Yet, the percentage of the unemployed who secured a new position in this way numbers somewhere between 4 and 10% and the actual figure I'd be willing to wager is worse than that.

In fact, looking back on my career, almost every job I've ever held came from me walking in to the establishment and asking to work. My friend got me a job at Best Buy at 18 working in appliances. At some point, I found out Sears was paying four times as much to do the same job. I marched in and asked an employee who I could talk to in order to get a job. I was interviewed, and hired. When I left Sears for my last employer, I did the same thing.

But what's funny is that at 29, the same courage that led me to walk into these businesses brazen and cavalier isn't there the same way it used to be, probably for the same reasons that I don't have the courage to get on a motorcycle or go offroad biking. You become conscious of your own mortality and other's perceptions. You may not have known much at twenty years old, but you didn't necessarily give a damn, and that works to your advantage.

So I understand those people that sit on job boards and apply and apply, waiting for work to find them. It has less "risk." The rejection stings less. To go into businesses is much much harder. However, in a down economy like this, it is absolutely 100% the right thing to do.

Right now, my research and focus has been more introspection driven. I need to make sure that I decide exactly what it is that I want to do with myself and my life. What will I enjoy? What can I do for forty hours a week that will not only fulfill me but somebody will throw me a check for doing? I made a misstep in judgment with my last opportunity, but the time is now to get it right.

I am confident that if I keep my head up and outwork, outthink, and outhustle my competition, the job of my dreams is there for the taking. As long as continuous effort is made, there can be no chance for anything else but results. Nobody who has found a job in this economy has credited crying and depression for their success. I've got to keep digging and digging. King Hippo has a weakness, I just need to figure it out for myself.

1.5 hour bike ride (holy cow that was exhausting)
.5 hour picking up new color toner and paper

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