I worked for the same organization for twenty-five years, acquiring an appropriate amount of experience, knowledge and skills as I performed a variety of assignments and duties. Some duties were basic, some very disconnected from the position for which I was hired, such as assuming secretarial duties as directed by the manager when the position was vacated. When there was no supervisor I had a semblance of supervision and trained many new employees. Continuing education at work built a considerable knowledgeable base to enhance performance at duties.
All of that aside, or perhaps all of that added to my resume’, after twenty-five years I decided to retire from my job, a decision I really have yet to regret, however, my timing could have been better. The economy tanked and the ranks of the unemployed did a good imitation of the great depression of the century past. I had never planned on remaining unemployed, simply free for a few months to volunteer at youth camps, visit family and catch a few fish, all goals which have been joyfully attained.
I have discovered a great many aids for the unemployed seeking a remedy for their situation: websites, classified ads, job fairs, pamphlets, state agencies and well meaning friends and family. Everyone, it seems, has the solution to your idleness and is quite willing to share their personal insights. Don’t misunderstand. The best method of procuring gainful employment has always been word of mouth. A guy who knows a guy can put you onto the lead you may be seeking. That is called networking and is the most effective means of ending the unemployed status.
What recent months have taught me is that this process is not called “job hunting” for nothing. One must return to his roots to truly understand. As we plan for dinner in this modern age, we begin with a trip to the grocery to stock our pantry with our preferred choice of edibles. Not terribly many years ago, though, our ancestors donned their hunting clothes, retrieved the appropriate firearm from its rack on the wall and trekked into the forests to find game that would be preserved by a variety of methods to sustain their families throughout the winter.
Every job opening posted these days receives an overwhelming response from the multitudes huddling together in the unemployment lines. Ok, actually they submit their resume’, their CV, their letters of recommendation and requests for employment online. This is, after all, the twenty-first century. With competition at its most frantic, the time has arrived for a change of tactics, a return to more traditional methods.
I have decided to don my leather jacket with the fringe down the sleeves, pants to match, and moccasins and pull the musket from the rack on the wall. Pardon the hunting analogy, but the shotgun approach no longer works. It is time to stalk the job, the boss and the company. This century’s job seeker needs to study they prey and learn as much as possible. It’s impossible to make an impression at an employment interview, assuming you ever get that far, without having a working knowledge of the nature of the company, its market, history and standing in the community.
Just as the mountain men read the animal tracks on the path and knew what animal made the tracks and how long ago it passed, the job stalker needs to understand his prey and become familiar even with the names of those who will interview him.
Understanding all that I have just written, the greatest trick to finding employment for me seems to be this: You really need to know what you want to be when you grow up. I have undergone a great deal of introspective contemplation. What do I really want to do with the rest of my life? The biggest roadblock I encounter is that I really like what I’m doing right now. It just doesn’t pay what I’m worth. Wow. That is what I’ve always said about my previous employers and now I’m doing it to myself.
I do like the boss, though.
"If you care, you will find a way. If you don't care, you will find an excuse."