Casting a wider net

At last, it has happened.  The month of November has moved on to my radar screen.   This month is significant for me in many ways.   I told myself, if I did not find decent employment in  graphic design and illustration by December, I would start to seek other options.   In order to get things moving though I need to start looking now.   I have certainly tried to work in design and illustration, and will continue to do so.   I have advertised on the net (Facebook, local web pages), and I am in more than half a dozen social media sites trumpeting my work.  I have met with SCORE to help me in my business plans.   I have my own website and domain, business cards I hand out when I can.  I have applied for dozens and dozens of jobs.   I have attended job fairs.   My resume was re-done professionally.   I am associated with 3 temp agencies and almost 6 freelance sites.   I cut my hair, I wear suits when called for.   I am looking for jobs with commute times up to two hours from my house.   I do understand these things take time.   I have given myself a several months to find something, but with no success.    My wife has not met with any success either.    I am a becoming more concerned now.   After all, we had stable jobs for over 20 years, and we were very good at what we did.   So what am I to do?

I have planned for this contingency, but it still is somewhat of a bitter pill to swallow.   Trying to be realistic, I was not aiming for top-notch  jobs (though I tried a few of those too), but rather junior to middle positions in the field, the response from employers have been incredibly underwhelming.   Part of me is sad for myself  – my dream was to find a job in the graphic arts.   It does much to deflate my rather modest self-esteem.   The other part of me is rather sad for potential employers, and a bit angry.   I know how good a worker I have been.   I know the dedication I have given to even the most mean-spirited of employers.   I know the pride in which I took in what I did, whatever I did. However, until someone develops a mind-reading device, that fact is not readily transparent.

Now that I understand this fact and we are in the second half of the game, I need to to take action geared more towards keeping food and shelter first and foremost.   I am still going to be applying for work in the arts, but I have to think of other short to mid-term  employment possibilities.   Perhaps jobs and careers that I could enjoy on a different level, ones that appeal to my  sense of altruism and good-will.  For instance, I saw a job working on environmental causes, another on social work.  For the next few weeks, I am adding those possibilities to my job search.  If that doesn’t work, then I will cast an even wider net, and try get a job at a grocery store or restaurant.  In about 4 more months, the only other option after that is going on unemployment.   I’ve never been on unemployment, I don’t even know how that works.  I’ve always worked, and take pride in that fact.   For now, I am living off my savings.   I just don’t think I should live off the government unless necessary.   If all my efforts to find employment doesn’t work,  I will be in several months be forced to make the decision of making a last ditch stand in California or heading back to Pennsylvania.  Which truthfully turns my stomach.  But I won’t go down without a fight.  It’s not over yet.  I need to believe that.  It’s the only way I can keep trying.

Where I am living right now – I just simply love it.   It’s so beautiful, so vibrant an area.   Except for the paranoia of unemployment, it’s a dream come true.   I will do almost anything to stay here.   Even if that means under-utilizing the skills that I have.   I need employment soon to keep that basic dream alive.   If I can meet that basic need of staying in the Bay area, then I can work on my true dream of working as an artist in the area.


About Rhett Kennedy

An east coast transplant living in San Jose CA, and loving it. I am a master of useless trivia (medieval and ancient culture, a smattering of politics, ukulele and fan of most forms of music). I know life insurance, audio visual technology, commerical and fine art nd love to sing scottish ballads. I'm happily strange and enjoy strange people as a result.
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