The Unmasked Job Seeker


I originally had a list of ideas to choose from for my next blog post. After visiting TUJA’s blog, The Unknown Job Applicant, (which was recently featured as a Best Pressed choice by WordPress), I shelved that list for another time. At the risk of writing a “copycat” post, I decided instead to explain why I chose to make my job search public through this blog.

As mentioned in my very first post, there were many reasons why I started to blog about looking for work. The first was to showcase my skills and experiences. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if it is done professionally and truthfully. It’s no different than uploading my resume to torontojobshop.ca or monster.ca for consideration by hundreds of employers. So far, the blog has caught the attention of a few managers looking for new hires, which led to requests for my resume and interviews. It’s not as much attention that I get from my “David Needs A Job” ads on Kijiji and Craigslist, but it certainly has not hurt my job search in any way. More about that point at the end of this post.

By running a blog about my job search, I’m announcing my status as someone who is looking for employment. Again, not that different from, say, going to meetup.com or LinkedIn or telling your friends and family members in order to network. The only difference is the scope of people you can reach through a blog. I’ve received visits from as far away as India and the Philippines. I’m not planning on moving there to work, but I mention this just to show the range a blog can reach.

With these visits come words of sympathy, supportive comments, and suggestions on how to improve the way I look for work. These things mean a lot to me, more than people realize. It lifts my spirits when I am feeling low, keeps my job search strategy fresh and innovative, and introduces me to material to read about. We have a lot of intelligent bloggers here on WordPress. I’ve learned how to improve on my own blog by following other blogs like TUJA’s, though I admit there’s still room for improvement.

Blogging is a form of catharsis. I’m going to be frank with you: when you are unemployed, there’s really not a lot of people to talk to during this time. This can make someone feel somewhat isolated and can work against you. Once I get something off my chest in a blog, I find I can focus on my job search better and produce results that lead to more interviews and referrals.

All of the above of course depends on how much I choose to reveal about myself in this blog. Before writing the very first post on March 29th, 2012, I struggled with the question of balancing my job search blog to be all the things I mentioned before with the amount of my private life I wanted to reveal. I am not an introvert, but I’m not a person who constantly seeks attention nor wants to draw too much attention. My blog is visible to both people who know me and perfect strangers (like employers screening potential hires through social media).

I agree with TUJA when he said, quoted “if you’re looking for a job, it’s imperative that you take a look at what’s out there about you, and do what you can to clear out the things that might not be the most flattering towards you.”. For that reason alone, he is absolutely right to adopt an alias.

In the end, though, I decided to go unmasked in order to get past the unemployment figures reported on radio, TV and the newspapers. These are sterile numbers that statistics people love to use to measure trends, but does not tell the real story about the unemployed who are looking for jobs. You can’t really understand what it’s like until you walk a day or two in the job seeker’s shoes, and distilling parts of my life could have gotten in the way of that understanding.

What you are reading about me in the blog is not only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it’s the uncensored truth. So, if you are left with something to ponder after you read about my frustrations with job assistance centres and interviews, the amount of time, effort, and creativity I employ looking for work, or my wonderings if I am ever going to land a job, then this blog and giving up a bit of my privacy was worth it.

And as always, thanks for reading!

David

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8 thoughts on “The Unmasked Job Seeker

  1. Hiya David!

    First off, thanks for the link and the kind words. I’m really glad I’ve been able to connect with you via WordPress. Your encouragement has been an important part of keeping me going with the rants and raves I post. In fact, I’ve gotten more than one idea for a post based on your writings here.

    What you are doing here is precisely what you you wrote: “tell the real story about the unemployed.” It’s an important part of the picture that often goes unreported these days. Keep on bloggin’.

    – TUJA

    1. Thanks for that, TUJA. I linked your blog because it’s great and wanted to share it with anyone who came across my posts. I also appreciate your comments as well, as it keeps me going as mentioned in my last post.

      Good luck with the job search and keep up the good work on your blog!

  2. I think your reasons were very similar to mine. I also have my blog as it helps keep my friends and family up to date, as sometimes I really dread the “how’s the job search going” question. I think it also helps to keep you focused during your search, as I only tend to update when something has happened – for instance when I have applied for something or gone to an interview. I’m really enjoying reading your posts so keep them coming! 🙂

    1. Hi Eleanor. I hate the”how’s the job search going” question too. Blogging does keep me focused and I wish I can do posts more often but the job search understandably keeps me busy during the day.

      I hope the translation company likes what they see on your CV. Your credentials are very impressive and I wish I could speak so many languages!

  3. I, too, started a blog under my own name for many professional reasons. But mostly, I was so disappointed in an article written ABOUT me (as a “well-qualified, but unemployed middle aged woman” ) in a major local newspaper, which contained a lot of inaccuracies. I want to tell my own story in my own way. It’s been a long time since I’ve written for publication, and it’s a creative outlet I have missed. I view it as a public version of “A Room of One’s Own”. This meta conversation, about long-term unemployment and middle aged qualified people is an important one, and we can see that it crosses national boundaries. I want to be part of it.

    1. Hi Jean. Thanks for your comments and sharing your past experience running your public blog. I’m sorry you went through the hassle of such inaccuracies. I assumed, in this age of technology, such mistakes would be rare since you just copy and paste what you see on the blog and morph it into an article. Then again, I’m reminded of some spelling mistakes I’ve seen in a few local newspapers here in Toronto.

      David

      1. Oh, no. These were FACTUAL inaccuracies. That the author didn’t fact check them with me just indicates that she thought she had got the story straight, but obviously didn’t. One example, she had me going off to college at age 20, when the truth is I GRADUATED at age 20. A very important distinction that says a lot about me! (IMHO) Also, in addition to an unflattering photo (notice I now don’t use one!), there was an unflattering portrait of me as a real mope. To be fair, I suppose that I was in a mopey frame of mind during that period earlier in the summer, but I snapped out of it by throwing myself into an interesting project of my own devising, and successfully completed it. That’s the more accurate “picture” I want to paint for public consumption in my own blog: not a public invitation to my private pity party!!!

      2. Hi Jean. That’s a great attitude to have. I want to stress this is not a “woe is me” blog. It’s a chronicle of my job search, showcasing my skills while at the same time showing how tough it is to find work through the experiences of a real person, namely myself. I admit I’ve had my emotional flat tire days, but despite all this, I’m still the generally upbeat person with a good sense of humour and a “I don’t believe in the no-win scenerio” attitude

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