I am learning

I am learning things during this time of unemployment.

For example, I’m finding daytime television more annoying than ever.  I mean, it is comforting in its safe sameness every weekday and I shall never ever disparage The Waltons, which is on in reruns.  But I realize that I can only take 8 or so weeks (I know!) of The Talk, The View, Live with Kelly (Regis recently retired during my unemployed stint.  Not related I am sure but, you know, nice to think so) and now Anderson.  That’s right, Anderson Cooper has a daytime talk show that has reached the same level of insulting-to-intelligence as the others in a remarkably short time. The View and The Talk (originally the hosts were all mothers and the show was promoted as kind of ‘Mommy talk.’  Starting its second season it fired two of the mommies and hired in their place, some non-mommies.  Sara Gilbert, whose idea the show was, is still on it.  Oh, Sara, I expected more from you.  I don’t know why –  is it because you’ve always sold yourself as a bit of a rebel?  Is it because you were on the brilliant series, Roseanne?  oh bother) seem to spend most of their time mocking politicians and celebrities.  Anderson’s show has people on  that the audience in the audience and at home can feel superior to.  This seems to be the main theme (and certainly of The View’s Joy Behar’s evening show) – to feel vastly superior to other people and to berate them either to their faces or in group discussions.  Whoopi Goldberg (yeah, she is on a morning talk show. Caryn Johnson must cry herself to sleep) is there with all of them, railing against this and that.  You can tell that they all want to be seen as liberal and broadminded but . . . no.  It’s depressing that they get the high ratings that they must get, because it means that this is the sort of stuff that women want to watch on daytime tv.  Oy, Anderson, go back to Iraq or Afghanistan or the other places you talk about in your memoir.

I’ve also learned that my ‘old’ skills are not an acceptable (as of yet) skill set to any place where I have applied for work.  And yet, I’m not sure that taking a tech writing course or a PR course or a Dreamweaver course is going to give me the leg up that I need.  Seems there are a whole lot of other folks out of work out there.

I’ve learned about networking and how it is essential essential essential.  (Also, right time at the right place, of course).  I’ve networked a bit – with other technical writers and I’m going to be joining a Toastmasters club filled with people who work in communications.  It is every second Tuesday.  I was going to go four days ago but then my 1986 car’s windshield wipers died and I lost my house key somewhere in the dark and rainy night (found it easily the next less dark and rainy day).

I’ve learned that I can spend hours and hours and hours alone and not hate it entirely – except for the times when I freak out.  I do find though that when I am then around people it takes me awhile to remember social skills.

I’ve got myself a business card for the first time in my life, ditto with being on LinkedIn.  I’ve gotten rid of my 1986 car and am returning to full time bus taking with a little car co-op thrown in.  I took my bike out today to the library and to get boots better suited to the constant wintery rain, but I’m more a fair weather cyclist.

I’m trying not to spend money – my kinda not a lot EI runs out in less than a month although I can start a new claim.  That’s a 2 week unpaid waiting period though and it can take them a few months  to finalize it.  I have some savings as a buffer, thank goodness.  It is hard not to spend money but that I always knew.

I read even more.

And I think about how starting my own business in some way some how might be the best answer to it all.

I job search, therefore I am.

I also have a please give me a job blog www.keepwritingon.webs.com and now this one.

It’s apparent I have a lot of time.  Tis true.  I was laid off of my ESL teaching job about three months ago.  I’d worked at the same position for seven and a half years and even though I knew over a year ahead of time that the company was either going to close or change dramatically (and not in a good way), I bided my time.  With a whole lot of other people that I worked with, I basicallly denied what was happening.  It had been such a good job for so long and with such good pay, that even a 25% pay cut didn’t get me working on my resume.

A further 15% pay cut, removal of all benefits and new ownership didn’t either.  The stress of it all was really rather ridiculous but it gave my brain something to focus on.  So, long story short, I was finally laid off in September 2011.  I’ve decided I want to get out of teaching ESL and try to do something more with writing.  I was a journalist a zillion and one years ago and there are so many transferable skills from teaching.  Shouldn’t be super hard, I thought.  Oh sure, I was pretty sure it would be a little hard.  I’ve been unemployed before, although that was back in a better job market and at a time when I was paying much much less rent.

Now though, looking for work is rather brutal in many ways.  I’ve jigged and re-jigged my resume, network wherer I can and responded to I’m sure more than 100 positions.  I’ve  heard back nothing, not even from a volunteer writing position.

Oh.

Uh oh.

So this blog will be a mix of serious entries and more humourous ones.  But they will all be about my job search.  I don’t expect to get a job out of this but I’d love to find a wee fan base who may find themselves in the same position – in Vancouver or anywhere in the world.  Not so much because misery loves company (which, yes, it indeed does indeedy deed) but it might be nice to bounce ideas off of each other.

And so I begin.

Welcome.