Well, considering how much time has flown by since I left my job, my thoughts must invariably turn to puzzling out just what I'm supposed to do for the rest of my time on this wacky free-enterprise planet.
Now I didn't just start thinking about this. I actually took my first baby steps in this direction a full year before I left my last job. In December of 2009, completely poisoned by my current work environment, I marched into the Service Canada and asked to speak to a career councillor.
"Are you currently employed?" the shrewish desk attendant asked me.
"Uh, yes," I admitted as if concealing a boxed set of the T.V. show Small Wonder in my backpack.
"Well, if that's the case, I'm afraid we can't help you. Here..."
She handed a pamphlet to me with a bunch of third-party career consultant offices listed.
"Someone at one of these places should be able to help you."
I noticed that one of the sites listed was just across the street from Halifax Shopping Center so I screwed up the courage, dashed Frogger-like across Mumford Road and went into Ye Olde Job Junction.
Despite the smell of desperation coming off the other visitors in waves, I was impressed by the bright, uplifting environs of the office and the positive nature of the receptionist. She penciled me in to see someone just a few days shy of Christmas since the only time I could be there during office hours was during my precious holiday vacation time. I returned about a week later with a song in my heart.
I filled out a questionnaire at home, toted along a reasonably fresh resume and met with one of the councellors. His first question to me:
"Are you currently employed?"
I sighed in world-weary style and confessed my dark secret:
"Uh-huh. Well, since you already have a job I can help you this one time but that's it. This is a service we provide only to the unemployed."
Wonderful. What was I saying last time about feeling trapped in a job you hate?
Regardless of my current unfortunate pall of gainful employment, he was kind enough to give me the following revelatory tips:
- My resume format was atrocious. I needed to restructure to so that all my skills were right up front with and supporting education and employment history to follow.
- 80% of jobs are internal hires. The gigs advertised in print, online or through referrals are usually so unpalatable that they can't sucker anyone already in-house to do it. Soooooo, they usually try and pull in some stupid unsuspecting rube from the outside. Wow, I wish someone could have told me that back in 1994.
- In order to get a job, you're expected to f#@$%^& cold call business that you are interested in working for. Call up, introduce yourself, ask to speak to the person in charge of recruitment and try and get a face-to-face meeting with them. If you're successful in doing this, you need to get your resume into their hands, tie your grinning mug to the name on the paper and ask relevant questions about what education, experience and skills would by required before this anonymous asshole even considers hiring you.
But I couldn't decide if it was sad or fortunate that the annoying skills I put to work every day harassing my customers could actually help me find a job someplace else. Oh irony, you're just so gosh-darned ...ironic!
I went away with this sage advice, updated my resume and waited for a time to begin this campaign in earnest. When I left my job in April, the time had arrived.
But I still found it very difficult to debase myself by cold-calling potential employers out of the blue like a f%$#%^%& telemarketer. It was too embarrassing. It was too humiliating. It was too...it was too...
...it was too much like my last job.
So, I recently decided that I wanted employers to bid, nay, to fight over me for a change. So, I decided to do a career matchmaker test, find out what long-term assignment won't make me want to take cyanide capsules like Pez every day and then cross-reference it with market research to find out what hot, in-demand jobs may be on my results list.
Back I went to Service Canada. This time they didn't even ask me if I was employed or not.
"Oh, I'm sorry, we don't do any career counseling at all here. It's all though the Job Junction now."
Oooo-kay, fine. I heaved a sigh of frustration and stalked out, thinking: 'Yeah, well, at least I now know one outfit I wouldn't mind working for...since they don't ever f#@$%^& do anything!"
Down I went to the ole' "Double-J" and made an appointment to see the same dude I'd talked to oh-so-long ago. Next week I went back and he sized me up as I came into his office:
"Hey...do I know you?" he said as we shook hands and sat down.
"Oh, uh, yeah," I replied sheepishly. "I was in here about a year and a half ago."
"Don't you already have a job?" he quizzed, sounding like a border guard.
I'd been waiting for this moment for eighteen months!
"Nope!" I replied proudly. "I certainly don't! I'm about as jobless as it gets!"
Upon hearing this he brightened up as if I'd offered him some sort of secret Masonic handshake.
"Terrific!" he said, "What can I do for you?"
I explained my scheme (test to confirm my dream job and try and match some result up with current hiring trends) but sat in stunned amazement by the reply which followed:
"Well, we actually don't do testing like that here (!) but I can give you an online option for starters and then get you in touch with someone at the Nova Scotia Community College for a more in-depth, face-to-face interview."
Unreal. This would now be the third channel I'd have to go through just to get a face-to-face career/aptitude assesement.
'Well, add another business name onto my dream places to 'work' list,' I mused to myself.
Truth be told, I've being unfairly bitchy. I didn't mind doing even an online self-guided test as long as it could give me a jumping off point to a new and focused career path.
Sooooooo, today I answered one hundred and nineteen questions under Career Cruising's "Career Matchmaker" quiz and got the following results. In all fairness, they give you forty possible jobs, but for the sake of brevity, I'm only gonna list ten. Besides, the last thirty are just increasingly unrealistic variation son the first ten.
Okay. Ready for this? Are you ready to see what my "Top Ten" practical, satisfying and hopefully "hireable" job recommendations are? Alright, here they are...
- Computer Animator
- Film Editor
- Technical Writer
Okee-dokey, Kind Reader, seriously, let's just look at this for a moment. What do all these "jobs" have in common? Yep, you're right:
Not one of them represents a reliable, solid and bankable career path. In fact, thus far, this little experiment has left me even more confused and paralyzed and this ain't good since I've been confused and paralyzed over my carer path for at least the past twenty years now.
So, Helpful reader, I put this question to you:
What the f#@$% am I supposed to do now!?
EPIC (?): Hopefully you'll have better luck than me and pull something boring but practical like "Pharmacist", "Transportation Manager" or "Industrial Electrician": http://www.careercruising.com/Default.aspx USERNAME: jobjunction PASSWORD: halifaxns
FAIL: In a "Jackass"-like dare, see how long you can watch this without power vomiting onto a nearby wall. And, yes, folks...this shit is real.