Archive for Job Hunting

Moh-Jiy-Toes

Lately I’ve been trying Mojitos. I say trying, because I’m learning that they are the Klimpaloon of the mixed drinks. Perfection is impossible, and anyone that’s told you they’ve seen a perfect one is a cartoon character. It’s not a perfect metaphor. I’m getting better at them. The trick is less rum than you’d think, more sugar than you’d think, and muddle everything.

Spring is almost done cooking, and the roasted heat of summer is starting to show. As of press time, I have two fans blowing on me to keep me cool. Albeit, I am a bit of a slavering meat beast with many sweat creases, but it is getting warmer out. I’m considering turning on the air conditioner, but am worried that in runs on pure green money. Sadly, I only have currency in the form of cardboard boxes and vague whispers of future favors.

It’s easy for me to give in to sloth this time of year. Looking for jobs has becomes more and more demoralizing the more I keep looking. I can see opening just outside of my driving radius. Well, not just outside, I’m not commuting to the Miles City every day. I’m considering Roundup. Add to that the time vacuum that is the Comedy Bang Bang podcast backlog, and watch my brain goo coagulate.

In fact, I have it on right now. I’m slowing down, and I can feel my brain

Business as Usual

A couple years ago when we started this blog, it was sort of on the assumption that we led interesting lives. As this weeks rolls around, I’m starting to wonder if this is the case. The most interesting thing that happened to me this week was getting a couple emails that I was not qualified for jobs I applied for. Well, that and a couple Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t answer the door now, nothing good comes of people who ring the doorbell.

Really, I’m just passing time between applications. Wheeee, reading is fun!

I have nothing to talk about. Still afraid of cold-calling potential employers. I should just do it, but I’m afraid that when I try I’ll say the secret word, and then that therapist will call all the other therapists, and tell them not to let me be a therapist.

Still have my new house to figure out/take care of. The toilets keep flushing by themselves. I’m starting to suspect a poltergeist. I should be worried about the haunting, but I’m more worried about the implication that ghosts poop.

Things are getting greener outside, which means I should start taking care of them or they will die, and then angry soccer moms from the block will come to my door and tell me that I am the Antichrist because my grass is yellow. Such are the priorities in this strange new world I live in.

-Austin

Blerg?

Well, this is embarrassing. After all the hullabaloo I made about posting stuff, I almost shrugged off making a post today. The only thought I had this morning was a rather childlike “I don’t wanna.” It’s a thought I’ve been having a lot lately, between applications, doing my taxes, and slowly fixing up the house.

God, growing up sucks. You think it’s going to be all staying up late and bacon whenever you want it, but it turns out to be bills and the slow, inexorable hands of mortality and death haunting your every waking thought.

Am I right?

Though, I am feeling better day by day. I’m reading again, and it’s slowly bringing back the creative parts of me that got burnt out over the last six months. Hell, two days ago my friend Kevin and I tried to write a rock opera. We even made it through half a song, a cigar, and two whiskeys before we got bored.

So, slowly getting back to baseline. That’s the cool thing about us humans. Give us three weeks, and we can get used to just about anything.

-Austin

Oops-es and Updates

First of all, I owe the guys an apology. Last week I blamed them for my stuff, and they rightly took offense. I meant it to be a joke, sort of a “ha-ha, I’m blaming you for my actions” kind of thing, but it just came out dickish. For that I am sorry.

I may not have much of a sense of humor these days. Not that it excuses being a dick.

But things are looking up. I had a job interview last week. Tumbleweed, which is the kind of job I should have been looking for in the first place. So, fingers crossed.

 

Feedback Loop

I made a new résumé yesterday, and I’m really happy with the update.

My old résumé gave hiring managers a lot of details, but very little information about my personality and design sensibilities. Sure, the text alignment was spot-on, but my grammar was terrible, and the tenses kept changing sporadically. It was, to put it kindly, a train wreck on fancy paper.

Yet, for some reason I kept using it. Every time I gained a new skill or job, I plugged it into the same old résumé. After all, why fix something that’s not broken?

Well, it turns out that my résumé was very broken, and the “don’t fix what’s not broken” mentality is detrimental to personal development.  I have a brilliant advisor at my university that would have gladly torn my résumé to shreds, but I kept it to myself believing it was good enough. I have a friend that’s a brilliant editor, but I still won’t let her touch my Gold in them Hills posts (because, obviously, they’re flawless).

In reality, I usually have no idea if something is broken or not until somebody tells me. I’ve surrounded myself with brilliant, creative, and kind people, but I’m too high on myself to ask for help. Maybe it’s because of ego, or maybe it’s self-doubt and not wanting to hear the truth. Either way, it’s not a sustainable pattern if I want to mature and start contributing to society.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a group of talented friends that are willing to help. It’s about time I start using my resources instead of relying on myself to fix everything.

Some Kind of Medicine

It’s been two weeks since I left my job, and it still stings. Fiercely, if I’m being honest. Most of my time and mental energy is spent staving off the unhealthy. This is on top of my grandma’s failing health, car trouble, money trouble, and who knows what else. Understandably, I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

But let it never be said I can’t take my own medicine. I’ve worked with people who were in situations as crappy as the one I’m in now. Crappier, even. I have a new appreciation for what they went through.

There’s something I used to tell my clients who were down, out, and unemployed. Coming back from something big isn’t something that happens. It’s something you do. It’s a habit you create. Right now, the dark thoughts and the listlessness, those are the things I have to fight. Not letting them get a foothold is a habit I’ve used before, and will use again. It’s a bigger job than I thought it would be.

That said, I’m taking a couple weeks, before I start looking for work again. I think I’ve earned that much simplicity. It might be hypocritical, it might be spot-on. I’m not sure.

I’m trying to stay busy, at least in spurts. Dan and I have big things coming out this week. In fact, there are going to be a few announcements this week explaining that better. And it’s going to be something We’re very proud of.

So there’s a silver lining at least. Stay tuned.

-Austin

The Addendum

So, I resigned from my job.

We talked it over, my boss, HR, and me. We agreed that this job wasn’t the best fit for me, and no amount of wanting would change that.

Whatever opportunities there were for me there dried up. They wouldn’t move me into something different until I mastered the job I had. Which makes sense, but it wasn’t an option for me anymore.

My first time working with kids, my first time in a milieu, and my first time in care-taking. No small wonder I wasn’t cutting it.

I’m trying to tell myself it’s not a failure, that it’s a learning experience. I’m also trying to tell myself that knowing my limits is just as important as knowing my strengths. And that in this line of work, a job that only lasts a couple months isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

All that said, I tried as hard as I could, and it wasn’t enough. That’s gonna sting for a while.

Now comes the hard part. Moving on. Making peace with the way things are. Making a fresh start, maybe trying to grow a beard. Finding opportunities in this town. Again.

The Meeting

God, December was a terrible month. So terrible, in fact, it rolled over into January. Here’s the crisis du jour.

Saturday, my boss calls me in to her office. She tells me that I’m not as far along as I should be in my job growth. I’m a headache for some of the other staff. She then tells me she, HR, and I have a meeting on Monday, which is now today. Which is, at press time, a couple hours from now. She wouldn’t tell me what the meeting is about, but she was fairly insistent it wasn’t about being fired.

So, boom. Another bomb dropped on whatever zen I’m trying to cultivate.

At first, I was pretty shook. When anyone is trying their hardest and gets told it’s not good enough, it hurts. And with as much as I struggled with confidence and competence in the past, this opened up some old wounds.

And then I started thinking. I worked my ass off for grad school. I spent time, money, and effort pushing limits past what I thought I could do. Because of that, I can say I am good at what I do. It’s just that what I do isn’t what my job is right now. My job right now is care-taking. I took it because they promised me that after a couple months, I could move into a job where I know I can do good.

I kept at it this long because for all their faults and my headaches, I do care about the kids at the ranch. I want to help them, and I want to learn how to help other kids in their position. The management has made it clear that I can’t do that where I’m at now, and I agree.

Now comes the hard part. I have a ticking clock on getting my license to be a therapist. On top of being told I can’t stand still where I’m at now, despite promises they made when they hired me. So, at this meeting today, I’m going to have a lot to talk about.

Stay tuned, I’ll do an addendum post to tell you how it went.

This Was a Triumph

One year ago, Dan doubled down on dreaming big, Austin considered coping mechanisms, and I promised myself a year of hardship.

Today? Dan is declaring the death of his childhood, Austin is watching a loved one fade away, and my year has been overwhelmingly difficult.

Mission accomplished?

I think so.

All cynicism aside, this year has been a massive turning point for the writers of Gold in Them Hills. Dan made huge steps towards publishing his work, Austin helped dozens of kids find a sense of stability, and I completely abandoned my comfort zone on a quest for perspective.

Amid the paralyzing anxiety, forced deadlines, longing for companionship, inability to find my dream job, roller coaster of emotions, and utter confusion, I’ve managed to come out of 2014 with more passion and drive than ever before. Bigger things are coming, and this time I’m going to ride the wave instead of being pummeled by it.

There’s a fire in my heart, and it’s not going anywhere. I have a few announcements in the pipeline for 2015, and I’m sharpening my skills and hitting my knees for the next season of life.

So here’s to 2015. May you all learn from your mistakes, remember the good times, and be brave enough to keep trying when the times are tough.

– Clark

Big Fish

I applied for a job today. Well, not exactly applied, but I talked to the owner of a large Manhattan company about building a new website for his business.

If he had been interested, I could have moved to part time in food service and reintroduced web design into my daily schedule. Unfortunately, he already had someone on the job, so I’m sticking with the food service lifestyle.

Post-move, I keep hoping that I’ll strike it rich – that I’ll find one job or one connection that will pull me out of my retail/food service world and into the professional Manhattan lifestyle. Every time I think I’ve found my break, it crumbles away in front of my eyes. This was one of those opportunities, and I must say it stung a bit.

This rejection makes me think that it’s time to look for some smaller breaks. A bunch of normal-sized finds that add up to something bigger. I’ve been looking for a very large Lego™, while maybe I should be building up the small pieces that already surround me.

Who knows, maybe a small website gig will turn into a big job. I’ll never find out unless I start trying. The idea of working full time while taking on side work is terrifying, but not nearly as terrifying as being stuck in an expensive city with too much fear to take risks.

So it’s time to brush off my Photoshop, defrag my computer, and start kicking some web design butt.