Thursday, June 25, 2009

This is the way of the modern world

Those familiar with all things Neil know that Bad Religion has been, is, and always will be one of my favorite bands. Brett & Greg are masters at the seemingly forgotten art of songwriting, and generally craft more memorable tunes on the back half of an album than many bands write in their career. Their lyrics are thought provoking, poignant, and generally reflective of a world I consider ideal.

That said, while it is a great song, I completely disagree with Bad Religion's lyrics to The Handshake. Despite Greg's insistence otherwise, a handshake is not a subtle eff you. While I know deep down Greg hates superficial human relationships, the fact is, nobody can telepathically scan your soul for the knowledge that creates lifelong friendships. All connections begin on some sort of superficial level. It's the effort that we put into them along with a sharing of common interests and a mutual respect that blossoms superficiality into camraderie.

I recently made contact with Tim Tyrell-Smith of Spin Strategy ( Tim writes a blog that is full of great advice for prospective job seekers. Not only that, he was kind enough to share personal correspondence with me. As Tim commented in yesterday's post, the world is full of conflicting advice on job-seeking, and separating wheat from chaff is frustrating work.

As someone who has read way too much now about how to do this, I think the best any prospective job seeker can do is take in as much information as they can, synthesize it, and apply it to what is right for them. While that's not an excuse to not push your boundaries, safely residing in your comfort zone, it is recognizing that inalienable truth taught to us by the Facts of Life theme song. "What might be right for you, might not be right for some. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life."

To that end, I think Tim's website (along with Alison's advice on Ask a Manager - discussed yesterday) has offered the most sensible advice I've read thus far, at least relative to my psychology. Staying active and making contacts is critical to a job search, not just in yielding results, but in keeping you connected to the world. I've never heard of an alcoholic or substance abuser who was told they wouldn't benefit from the support of others in a similar situation. Why would the same be true for those hunting for a job?

Today was one of my most productive days yet. I found two positions that are very very close fits for my skills and abilities. One of the firms supplied me the name of the hiring manager when I called, which was a welcome first. In addition, I applied for another position wijth a very strong corporate referral that offers a lot of the things I am looking for out of a career. While I have my moments, I still remain positive and am confident that my efforts will yield results!

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