Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Overcoming Unemployment: Keeping a Journal

Keeping an expressive journal or diary can help some people to recover from the unpleasant feelings that arise from becoming unemployed, no matter what the cause. Expressive writing is writing that conveys your full and honest feelings and perceptions about something—in this case how you feel about becoming unemployed and your perceptions of that condition. You are writing for yourself and no-one else. It's private and you can write anything you like.

If you're like me you can keep to a daily schedule of expressive writing for about two to three days. (Maybe four.) Unfortunately, however, expressive writing is a lot like a course of antibiotics and it's necessary to use up the entire prescription. But unemployment, like infectious disease, isn't nice and its effects might take longer to remedy than a few days.

This is where a relatively new category of web apps might help you. They enable you to keep a secure (ie, private) journal. Here's one that I like because it reminds me to write my entries. I try to write up to about five good things I've done or seen each day.

Another one,, that is more full-featured is described in this video.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Issues in Networking and Jobs

How I wish I could find more Canadian content! But I can't. So here's something from the BBC.

Thinking Aloud is a regularly schedule programme. In this one, "'Jobs for the Boys?' Laurie Taylor talks to Professor Irena Grugulis about her contention that working class people don't get job opportunities in the UK TV and film industry because they don't have the right accents, clothes, backgrounds or friends. The media expert, Sir Peter Bazalgette and Professor of Sociology, Mike Savage, respond to this research and explore nepotism, networking and discrimination in the media world and beyond."

I think some of the remarks about social class are relevant to the Canadian context. But two other aspects of this discussion resonated more strongly for me.
  1. Linking to socially distant people and managing to keep up contact with them can bring rewards in the form of information about opportunities such as jobs. However, it is the people to whom one is most closely connected that know one and are best able to place one in employment.
  2. As mentioned in the interviews, some young people are acquainted with very few people in occupations other than the ones their parents do. I was one of these 'young people.' I believe that it may considerably limit the numbers of career opportunities that these individuals will think to entertain. What can we do?

Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career

Larry Smith is a University of Waterloo Professor of Economics who is said to be frustrated by the waste of talent that he sees. (As am I.) In this video he caricatures many of the excuses he has heard for failing to find and identify a life's passion.

The only refinement I would presume to add is that it's important to look for a market niche for one's passion and to be sure that the passion somehow exploits one's strengths.

Please enjoy.