It’s so hard to look at the text I’ve just typed on the screen without getting sick to my stomach or feeling ashamed of myself. No, it’s not this particular post. I’m actually quite proud of what I am writing here on WordPress. This is my 20th entry of a once-a-week posting schedule, and I’ll get an accolade for that. Getting accolades reminds me of one of those free-to-play MMOs or Facebook games where you get a badge or title for accumulating some category total.
This is the block of text I meant. I can’t believe I wrote that. I never thought I was ever going to write anything like that. Yet, there it was, staring back at me. I’ve done what was once considered unthinkable.
When I first started looking for work after New Year’s Day of 2010, I knew the economy was not producing jobs. I knew my profession (information technology) was going through a transformation where off-shoring data centres was the current trend and the in-house model was going the way of the cassette tape and 8 track. Despite all this, I promised myself I was going to try my hardest to get a job, and keep a sense of decorum and pride while doing so. I wasn’t going to stand at the corner of Queen and Yonge Street, for example, begging people for a job. I’m a proud man. I’m not one to easily ask for help. Even doing the “networking” part of a job search is a bit tough for me.
Yet, even the firmest resolve can shatter, like a forged shield that has taken one hit too many after countless battles. Last week, I was filling out an application form for a position in the customer service department at a shipping company, 15 minutes before my interview time. One part of the application asked, “How many months have you been out of work?”. It took me a few minutes trying to decide how to answer that. Do I write down 32 months or try to sugar-coat it by writing it as a decimal number in years (2.6) to make it appear shorter? I answered with the latter, but the unease I felt lingered with me long after the interview was over.
When I got home, I figured it was time to Google some new ideas to incorporate into my job search. I’m always trying to find ways to expand and tune my job search so it doesn’t seem like i’m doing the same stale thing. I can’t remember what I typed in for the search argument but I came across an Ask.com post from someone requesting help in finding a job. He was admittedly in much worse shape than I was. He received a number of sympathetic responses and some suggestions on what to do. One of the suggestions was to cyber-beg on BegsList.
I’ve heard examples of people going online to cyber-beg for help, because they lost their jobs, or are about to lose their homes, or that their child was sick and they needed money for that special drug that was not covered by the standard drug plan. I’ve also heard of scams that people pull to elicit money, and this one was a beaut. I’m surprised people can be so trusting to send money to others on the Internet they don’t even know. but apparently it works in a small number of cases.
I was even more surprised I decided to try that option. I tried to justify it the way I did in a previous blog post about making compromises in order to find work. I tried rationalize it by saying, “well, aren’t you in a way begging for help to find a job with your videos and your Kijiji and Craigslist?”. Try as I could, I couldn’t convince myself. In my past job search efforts, I was just asking for assistance to find a job. This time, I was actually begging for assistance.
After posting that beg on Begslist, I went to two other similar places to post the same thing. It wasn’t as hard the second and third time around because I used copy and paste to repeat. Once you start doing something you thought you would never do, the following attempts come easier.
Starting tomorrow, things for the most part will remain the same. I will get up at 7:15 a.m. for another day of looking for work. I will hunt for advertised jobs on indeed.ca, Craigslist and Kijiji, Monster.ca, and other sites. I will go through the newspaper want ads for any openings. I will network with a few contacts about some job leads, and follow up with companies I’ve just done interviews for, including that shipping company I mentioned earlier. The one thing that will be different is the reason why I need to get a job. It’s not about finding full time employment and a steady income any more.
I also need to get a job so I can get back my personal pride I just sold out on by writing that block of text.
Thanks for reading!
Update: I uploaded a new video on YouTube called “The 1000th Day Initiative“. On September 29th, 2012, I will be out of work for 1000 days if I am not employed by then. That’s a record I do not want to meet.
Update: 9/3/2012: I’m sick of this Mobian cyst not healing itself so I went to the doctor last week. He said I needed expensive antibiotics and possibly micro-surgery to fix. As a result, since I have an account on BegsList set up, I uploaded the following video there. Not sure how successful I’m going to be with this but as TUJA from the blog The Unknown Job Applicant once said, there’s no shame in trying anything to get a job.