Friday, January 23, 2009

This post is more for me than for you

I haven't worked much lately. I am on a handful of casual work lists. None too active.

I have explored most entry level positions. I have looked into entrepreneurial enterprise. I have attended college and university.

As most of us frame the issue, our options are entry level work, education, or self-employment.

I haven't had a 40-hour-a-week full-time job since early 2006. I can't say I am eager to get back. Part of it is the job search. I have talked to a lot of people about job searching. I have taken-in presentations about many aspects of the job market and job searching. It has all lead me to a simple conclusion: nobody has the slightest idea.

I have never heard anybody admit that they enjoy searching for a job. I have never gotten any advice about finding a job that didn't boil down to "try harder" and "keep trying". These are the mottoes of those without a clue.

My most recent adventure into institutionalization was yet another attempt to finish my BA. What a crash and burn experience that was. I did the work I was comfortable doing and found myself under fire. Understandably so, as my work was sub-par.

Eager to figure out how I could make myself compatible with my university I began poking and prodding the machinery of formal education. I researched it's organizational structure, looked into its origins and interviewed key personnel. With this information I meditated on how we could serve each other and concluded that we could not. Not in any meaningful, healthy and respectful way. That may not be true of all institutions of "higher learning", but it will be judged on a case-by-case basis. I am not optimistic.

That leaves enterprise on the table. That is, in some small way, what I am doing now. Perhaps enterprise with training wheels. I am trying to create value within the home. I am, in some sense, trying to see it as a business. I am trying to streamline the operations so that other opportunities become clear. I have yet to find such clarity.

Ultimately, I am looking for insight. I am looking for what I should tell the kid when he finds himself in a similar situation. I have little doubt that he will find himself in such a position. Should I really be satisfied to give him the same useless advice that was given to me. "Try harder." "Keep trying." "You don't have to like it; you just have to do it."

I like to think I am already equipped to give better advice than that. And yet I am still without the clarity to take a decisive step. At least not in any direction that would get me praise.

I have plenty of reasons to stay within the home. I stay close to those I trust and who trust me. Such people I could count on my fingers. Much of the job and education markets are a race to the bottom. "Who can degrade and disempower themselves the most and enable an ineffective bureaucracy? You're hired." It is no great thing to be competitive in such an environment.

"You have to eat some shit to get to the top so that you can make effective changes." Bullshit. The most effective changes come from a motivated bottom to an attentive top. Eating shit only entrenches the current problems. Encouraging others to follow your lead in doing so makes the problem much worse. Yet that is the model so many seem to be following.

I am looking for the environment that draws out the best in me. For the moment the home is adequate.


  1. Ash: You are full of sh*t.

  2. You're a very deep thinker Johnston. Is this what you would think of those long lonely nights when the rest of us were sleeping and you'd be hammering out on your laptop? lol

    Maybe you should look for employment overseas?