Job search engines. Potential employers. The inbox of my email is constantly refreshed and my cell phone is sitting nearby.
But alas, there has been no results. I swing my sickle into the parched ground to find….nothing. The job search engines yield stale search results. There are no new messages in my inbox and my cell phone has not rang at all. Wait a second….Oh. Just another annoying solicitor trying to sell me something that I don’t want.
I have an All-Star account on LinkedIn with 68 connections. Not bad for a novice, huh? In the Toastmasters realm, I am a Spider-Man in training. I have the highest award in the Communication Track (Advanced Communicator Gold, in case you’re wondering) and I’m on the road to achieving the highest award in the Leadership Track (Advanced Leader Silver). With being a Club Coach and combining that with my High Performance Leadership Project, all that leaves is serving a District role for a year (which I will do sooner or later). All to achieve the PhD of Public Speaking – The Distinguished Toastmaster award.
Those ambitious goals may sound rather impressive, but at the end of the day, I’m still a plain old “Peter Parker” working for the “Daily Bugle”. (Okay. Not the Daily Bugle in this case, but a pizza store that pays wages that are barely legal. I mean, when was the last time that you call a dime a raise? Maybe in the 20’s or 30’s….)
So I have a good professional social network started and a variety of public speaking and leadership skills that I unfortunately can’t utilize anywhere right now. I mean, I’m doing all the right things. I’m networking and I’m searching on all the job search sites. But still, I can’t help but think that there’s something missing. I have a lot of useful skills to offer, yet I’m somehow invisible.
To address this, I will share with you what I think the problem is. The problem we might have here is an issue of placement and purpose.
Let’s look at purpose first, since I enjoy this subject the most. If you have ever seen the Matrix Reloaded, Smith, an agent turned virus that’s free from the system said “It is purpose that created us. Purpose that connects us. Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us. Purpose that binds us.”
So purpose is the very thing that drives us to pursue that particular job we are interested in. But due to our differences, we are all attracted to different jobs that serve different functions. So what is my passion? What is the purpose that drives me to pursue what I want to pursue? Self assessment time.
Now there are self assessments with hundreds of questions that will very specifically determine that kind of person that you are. But to save you the time, I will go over my own self assessment. By the time I am finished, you will know exactly what drives me and what I’m good at. I will have also learned a little more about myself, as will you.
Who am I and what drives me? We’re going to get a little specific here.
I am a 29-year-old male and I’m a details person.
I like solving problems, but I don’t like to build or repair anything mechanical.
I am energetic and enthusiastic. I am creative and I love to read and write.
The outdoors is my weakness. Although I have done Boy Scouting and got my Eagle, it has been a while since I last hunted and my last fishing outing was last summer. I tried to stay in shape by running outside last Spring, but this has sadly faded into a passing phase.
I like to meet new people. Getting comfortable takes a little while, but I get very social after that.
I tend to indulge in some electronic “junk food”. The occasional batch of YouTube videos and video games. It does wonders for depression, which I don’t experience very often.
I don’t smoke or drink, so working in these industries wouldn’t be an option for me.
I profess myself to be a Christian. I am not ashamed to say that I follow Jesus. If you don’t, that’s your decision. I am not going to judge you. There is only one who can judge, and that doesn’t include any of us.
Let’s see. Are we getting anywhere with all these little factoids? Let’s look at some actual facts. On LinkedIn, I am the most endorsed for:
– Public Speaking (5)
– Editing (2)
– Creative Writing (1)
– Journalism (1)
– Blogging (1)
– Time Management (1)
– Team Leadership
– Press Releases
– Customer Service
Based on this information, what can I actually do? I can write, edit, proofread, prepare presentations, write press releases, effectively lead teams and effectively manage my time. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. There is still something missing. How do I know? Well, nobody has hired me yet, have they? Either it’s the sluggish economy, or a piece of the puzzle that I have yet to find. A piece, when assembled, will result in the prospective job that I have been waiting for for the longest time.
Somebody thinks I’m a good writer. I’ve heard it myself from someone who will remain nameless.
They said this in response to an email that I sent to some Toastmasters club executives for a club that I was coaching. The response was that the letter was “very professionally written”. Really? Well, I’m flattered. That’s the way I normally write. Just a normal correspondence with the club executives that you will be working with on a joint project to restore a struggling Toastmasters club. But this was “professionally written”. All I need to do now is find a CEO and tell them. Maybe they have a position open in writing proposals, or some other kind of business writing.
Whatever the case, I better end this before I get too “rambly”. In case you missed it, I will recap all the relevant points, to keep you from drowning in my thought provoking stew of self-philosophy and vocational troubleshooting.
I talked about my mildly impressive social network on LinkedIn and used Toastmasters to illustrate my example of becoming Spiderman, humbling back to being “Peter Parker” at the end of the day. I then attempted to assess my passions – what drives me and what doesn’t. I then listed some actual facts about my vocational aptitude from LinkedIn. Finally, I discuss someone who thinks I am actually a good writer. So there you go. The too long, didn’t read version.
So how am I going to cure the vocational maladies that ail me? Am I going to fruitlessly sickle away in futile swings to cultivate a couple search results on job search sites that yield nothing? Will I endlessly grow my social network with people that live on different sides of the career spectrum? Or should I continue being Spiderman while living a hapless life as “Peter Parker”? Something is not working, and I am determined to find out what that is.
And if you know what that is, tell me. Thanks for reading!
Muse: I do. It’s you.
It is? Explain then.
Muse: You are the only one that’s preventing yourself from achieving anything better. You….
No. I think you missed it. I’m not preventing myself. Something else is. Haven’t you read my article? It’s a pretty big wall, so you might need a climbing harness….
Muse: Ha ha. I read everything. The only thing that’s missing is time. You need to wait. How long does it take for a plant to grow? Tell me!
It takes time.
Muse: Think of your job search the same way. I applaud you for writing such a good article. Now wait.
I guess I could….
Muse: Just wait. That’s what I’ve been telling you all this time.
Muse: Don’t be anxious. Not for anything.
We’ll see. I hope you’re right.
Muse: I am. Good things are worth waiting for. Your best moment is yet to come….
Thank you. We’re going to end this now….
Muse: What. Do you need to cry?
No. It’s not that.
Muse: It’s okay to cry. Men do it too, believe it or not.
But men don’t like to show it. It’s embarrassing and a social sin.
Muse: Fine. End it. Be true with your feelings, okay?
I will. Don’t worry.
Today’s high is just a chilly 10 degrees and the silver lining is attending tonight’s Toastmasters meeting.
To those of you who are fascinated with vocational troubleshooting, I hope that you all have a fantastic day.
Muse: I wish that he could see the future that awaits him. It’s amazing!