Month: February 2015

Performance Anxiety

Congratulations to Xingyi Yan for landing her job after going through such public advertising to get it. Her story can be read at

I’m a sucker for happy endings. Really. I like reading about someone who has tried so hard to achieve something despite the odds and finally gets it. University of Toronto student Xingyi Yan’s story is one of them. Carrying around a large placard that advertised her job search and giving those who took her resume candy canes, her out-there approach finally paid off when Reprise Media was impressed enough with the plucky student’s sales pitch to hire her.

Good for her. This is indeed a good news happy ending story and I don’t want to say anything that might take the fuzzy warm glow off of it, but I must.

While I congratulate Yan for getting hired, her approach was not unique. A lot of job seekers do this. They have no choice, because that’s how bad the economy is right now. That’s why I have a blog, YouTube videos and a web page devoted to my job search. Getting a job is hard. Especially when I’m faced with bouts of occasional homelessness from time to time.

This is the part where the shine is taken off the story and the real chill sets in. We never had to go so over-the-top to get a job back in the days when I was Yan’s age. Sure, there was the Catch-22 of no experience young people had to face (and still do now), but there were lots more jobs, a much stronger economy that offered employment stability, and hope for the future. Don’t worry, be happy, the song went.

Now we have to worry. The job search has become a three-ring circus where we have to perform like circus elephants for peanuts.

I meant what I said before: I am happy to hear Yan got hired. I hope it’s everything she dreamed it would be. The thing is, it shouldn’t have been something she had to go to such public lengths to get.