Posted by: peterhact | December 2, 2013

Jobsearch, Revisited….

Sometimes, when I am looking for a job, I actually have one and I should really be thinking about making the one I have work, rather than look for a new one. Other times, like now, I don’t have a job, and I am competing with all those buggers who have a job – which makes it just that little bit harder. (ironic, as well)

I went through my list of qualifications, looking to see where I went wrong.

Back in the day, I was a YMCA Leader. I was responsible for a group of youngsters who, for various reasons, had trouble being so far away from home. (about 50km out of canberra) There were kids who wet the bed, others who had nightmares and, for whatever reason, one kid who had smuggled enough sugar to crystallise himself. Every camp, different children, same story. My role at the time was to help these kids adjust to independence. I was the one that taught them how to use the washing machine, for those wet sheets and Pajamas, how to not have a last cup of cocoa before bed or a piece of candy or how to not overeat at dinner. Little known fact: kids that stuff themselves before bedtime end up having nightmares or throwing up, or, in those hideous instances  that gave me nightmares, both.

I was their leader. I was who they came to when they were being bullied, when they were scared of an activity, (painting is scary. it is.) and I would help them deal with it. I didn’t yell at them, I didn’t bribe them (remember the bit about nightmares and throwing up?), I listened. I gave them constructive solutions to the problem, and we worked together to solve them.

These were great days. I was being shaped from a leader of children to a leader of people. I was developing my interaction skills, I was finding my niche, I was heading for a future that would see me helping people. I saw children that, faced with obstacles like bedwetting, like kids that lacked necessary skills to perform a task, learn. They, I like to think, came away from the camps better than when they arrived. Confident. enabled. socially able to engage and interact with their peers. There were kids that stood out, like Michael Milton, who had no concept of failure and was committed to going somewhere. I look back at his time at a camp I was at and there was the beginning of a person who was driven to succeed and be someone.

I met great leaders, I met great kids, I was being paid in experience to have a holiday in the mountains, down at the beach and, once, on an exchange program that saw me as a guest of a camp in queensland.

These were good days – my holidays were paid for, and I was learning. Unfortunately, learning ended when I left school. Back then, Employers didn’t like the idea of losing a staff member for a week in the school holidays. They wanted you to save up your leave and use it once a year. There were no remote desktops, there was no internet. So I had to give up being a leader and find something else that could fit in with my employment. I discovered sailing. More importantly, I discovered teaching kids and adults how to sail at the YMCA sailing club. No camps, just the chance to sail, swim and enjoy helping others again. (of course, the lake was safe to swim in back then)

So… what happened to the sailing club? was this job my job for weekends? was this my future of weekends sailing and weeks working? sounded pretty good then, it would be fantastic now. What happened to me was that I found out about girls. and alcohol. and what happens when your parents break up. I stopped sailing, I stopped leading and I withdrew into a mix of alcohol and late nights. no way that was a good combination.

I have spoken about my  past before. not going to re-hash the dark days, but instead I am going to talk about my present days and my future.

Presently, I am looking for a job. I am submitting applications, receiving a very large amount of rejections and am wondering whether the light at the end of the tunnel is actually my light shining on the caved in tunnel. I am not giving up – or giving in, but I need to work, partially for the satisfaction of a job well done, the feeling I get which I guess is pride, but also for the more mundane reasons like paying a mortgage, loans, credit cards, bills and keeping myself and the search and destroy cat module fed.

What I have to work out is how do I change me to be better? what do I need to do to become an employable person? is there someone out there who is saying, this guy is the guy we need for our company or department. Let’s hire him.

I am wearing a sign now. It sits above my heart and says “will work for money” – I can see it, why can’t anyone else?

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