Friday, December 12, 2014

Modern Job Searching

What are some of the obstacles to the job search? Speaking as someone who's been unemployed several times throughout my career, I feel I have some experiences to share.

One is that employers seem to hold it against you that you don't have a job. They've posted a vacancy, you're not attached to anyone else, but when you apply they want to know why you don't have a job and why you haven't had one. It's a value shift akin to dating relationships in junior high: you weren't attracted to X when they were single because they were single, but now that they're dating Y and unavailable, X is all you desire. That's how employers are, and they give this away when they ask whether you're still with a place and how much time you'll need to announce your departure. It's a very lazy, inexpensive form of headhunting, where you don't hire a headhunter but simply hope an employee will leave a place based on your charm alone.

Along with this: employers advertise only wanting to hire highly successful people who produce award-winning content. There are two responses to this. One is, "Well, duh." Of course you'll say you want to hire the best people, but the other response is that that kind of employee is not jobless and looking for a new office. They're in their old position, producing highly successful award-winning content. Why wouldn't they be?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Where Should I Live?

For general reasons of restlessness—and specific reasons against qualities particular and exclusive to Minnesotans—once in a while my wife daydream about living somewhere else. The downsides to that, of course, are that we'd be losing all our friends in our city (whom we only see twice a year, at most) and distancing ourselves from our families (which is the toughest and most guilt-inducing anchor to break). As well, we'd have to start over in a new social scene in our mid-40s, learning the hierarchy and power-players, dodging the traps everyone knows but won't necessarily point out, struggling to meet people while building a new home.