Tuesday, February 2, 2010

So its been a week and a few days since I made the commitment to blog regularly. I guess the second post is what sets the boundaries of what regular really means.

Today I had a conversation with a friend about jobs and working for the man. He currently works for a company and he remarked to me how much he would rather be working for himself because he feels unappreciated and unmotivated to work hard. The reasons for this are that he sees the benfits of his hard work paying for nice houses, and expensive cars for the bosses.

It made me think about my attitude. I have never allowed those thoughts to effect me to the point of expressing the same thoughts he did. Of course I often thought about how much a particular CEO or Director made, but my default attitude was that they worked hard to get there.

Also, my mindset has always been that I have been hired to do a particular job for a particular pay that I agreed to. At the point I no longer like the terms of the agreement, I have the power to change it by seeking new employment. Additionally, I can look back at the positions I have had and remember the personal satisfaction I got out of those jobs....plus I got paid to do it.

This may sound to some naive, but I promise you I am not. I think the real difference comes from my attitude and how I approach each day. I always make sure that first, I maintain a positive attitude-regardless of the type of day I am having. Second, I am constantly setting goals for myself.

If you are thinking positive, it is so much harder for the troubles of the world to barge in on your life and derail you. Also, what good does it do you to have a sour attitude? Most of the things that happened to you have or will have happened to almost everyone else, what makes you any different?

Second, by setting goals for myself, I ensure that there will be growth, motivation, and satisfaction in my life striving to check off those goals and make new ones. I think this is important because it keeps me from becoming complacent and stagnant in my current situation, while also giving me hope for the life I will be living when I attain some of my longer term goals.

So is my friend stuck with a bad attitude and no hope for the future? No! I have no idea what his thought process is in regards to how satisfied he is with his life. I simply used that conversation to evaluate my own thoughts on the matter.

In conclusion, sure, the boss man may have a fancy car and a nice house -BUT- I have daily satisfaction knowing that I approach each challenge with the mindset that I have already succeeded and I have a plan for the future

Also, I know that God is my ultimate provider. Everything that I have is because of him. My house, my car, my future job and my finances. This week has really put that in perspective for me as I realize that really need to lean in into him and trusting God to meet my needs.....and he is faithful and just.

Happy Groundhogs Day to you all, Punxatawny Phil says we will be having more winter. Im good with that as I have really been enjoying the recent snowfall we have had here in Kansas.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Im going to give regular blogging a second shot.

Ok so, daily blogging is not a thing that I will probably ever continue for any amount of time. However, I think that I will try and write something at regular intervals. I am going to start with a broad goal of once a month. Really, this is shooting for the stars when you consider that I started this a year ago and in that time I only posted 5 times.

This is long, but as I said early on when starting this blog, it is for me. Plus, If I kept things short it wouldn't be an accurate reflection of me anyway. I am usually a very thorough (pronounced: Long winded) person.

So to answer the question that I estimate I have been asked over a million times, no I have not yet found a new job; though it is not for lack of trying....and trying....

I have been on many interviews and I have received much fewer calls back alerting me to the fact that they are not interested in me. Most of the "No's" I received came when I called the company back to inquire why they never called as promised. In college, I was adivsed by my Engineering mentor that when waiting for the call back, you should expect them to call you back by the deadline set. If they do not specify a date, it is appropriate to ask. What I am finding is that there is a diminishing sense of respect from corporations in regards to the treatment of potential employees. Most would not call me back, or at the very least to email and tell me they are not interested. My ideal action would be that they should respond back to me via the highest level of communication we shared. For example, if we spoke, we should speak again when you have made up your mind. Common decency. If I come in for two interviews, you better call me to tell me no instead of ceasing all communication. Just Saying....

I have a couple stories to tell where I was left with my jaw on the ground after chattting with the interviewer/recruiter. I will not post them in a public forum, but they convinced me that maybe I did not want to work with them anyway. Live and Learn...

Moving on from job talk. I've had ups and downs. Most of the ups preceed job activity and the downs creep up afterwards. I really can see why being unemployed can harden a person and make one cynical and bitter. I refuse follow that path.

To close this one up, the sermon at church this morning was about our Dreams. God has big dreams for us, we just need to make sure we are doing our part to tap into those dreams. We only got to the first point today, so the rest will have to wait till next week. The first step to dreaming God's dreams for us to step out and do something. We have to get out of our comfort zone and into God's realm.

The part that struck me was the following question: Who do you get your security from? If it is the world, then you are missing out big time. If our security is firmly planted in Christ, then we can tap into the Dreams that God has for us. How cool is that?
1. God has dreams and hopes for us
2. We can have them!

I really need to focus more on allowing God to take care of me. I crave control over my little bubble and have a hard time allowing anyone in. Finances are tight but I wring my hands and panic instead of pressing closer to God and allowing him to provide for me. God continues to provide for me but I also give myself a migraine and rub my hands raw fretting. It all ties back to the fact that instead of resting in the secure arms of Christ, I am wandering the cold reality of the world. I'm pretty sure I am missing out. I just struggle with the process of relinquishing control. THe funny thing about all of this is that I really do not have control over most of the things I worry about. The bills, the trucks faulty transmission, the broken vacuum cleaner, the refridgerator that is on its last legs...

Ok, so this is really long now, but I am getting stuff out of my head and onto 'paper'. I am going to give it a shot to post again tommorow. I do not have too much planned, so we shall see what happens.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

So I have two excuses for the break in posting.

The first, I took a relatively last minute trip to San Diego. My dad had to go for business and since I had some extra time on my hands, I tagged along. I have never been there, but I really want to go back now that I have. The weather was in the high 60's to the high 70's the 5 days we were there. To offer a comparison, the day we flew out, it was 14 and sleeting. Our plane had to be de-iced twice before we could take off.

While there, I was able to go to the zoo (which was awesome), the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum (also awesome), and the Imperial Sand Dunes (freaking amazing). I'd like to post pictures, but I can't find my camera....its here somewhere so I'll do it later.

The second reason I haven't posted in several days is pure procrastination. I really just turned my computer on for the first time since I got back.

Anyway, job front looks stagnate. I have a couple more contacts that I need to make which look promising. I have already saturated the actual job postings here locally.

Funny story from my day at the zoo. I was taking a few pictures of the polar bears. One was swimming and the other had been playing with a toy. It was a rope with several plastic balls strung on it. Apparently he got tired and laid down. The rope ended up laying on his side.

In walks a young teacher leading a group of probably kindergartners into the room. As she enters, she exclaims in that teacher voice "Look at the balls on that Polar Bear"

To the children, I hope that it sounded innocent, but to everyone else in the room, it was awkwardly hilarious.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keep your fork...

I heard a pastor give a sermon once on what to do when you seem to be facing adversity. He used the saying that I am sure most of us have heard when having a family meal once the main course is done. Someone will get up to clear the plates so that desert can be served, they say "Keep your fork". This lets you know that desert is on its way.

He went on to say that when you are having a rough time, keep your fork, because good things are coming. God has a plan to prosper and not to harm you.

So there are a few perks to not having a job to report to each day.
1. I don't have to shave everyday. I still do, but it is nice not to do it until later in the day.
2. No dress code. I have a couple pairs of camo-pants that are very comfortable, but would never be work appropriate. Its nice to be able to be comfortable.
3. Being able to ignore the 6am alarm. I still have it set, in case I feel motivated to get up when it goes off.
4. Staying up late. I am a night owl, and like being out at night.
5. Going along with #4, going for late night drives. Bring along some good music and just cruise around town with very little traffic.

You have to keep an eye out for the good things happening around you or you will find yourself wrapped up in darkness.

One thing that is a blessing of sorts is that one of my friends is a nurse with a 3 days on/4 day off schedule. So we have been hanging out. One can only apply for jobs so much each day, so we meet up for lunch or try to find something to watch on TV.

Along the lines of TV...I never really have watched too much tv, but I have realized there are not a lot of choices in day time televisions. My friends give me a hard time by asking for updates on the daily soaps.....No, I am not watching them.....I prefer The View. (NOT!)

On the job front, there are a couple of pots that are starting to warm up. Don't want to get my hopes up, but they are apparently really impressed with my resume and are willing to find a opening for me even though no job requisitions exist at the moment. Gonna keep praying for that and see what there is in store for me.

Thanks Everyone for reading and the comments. I am not good at commenting back, but I will try.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 3ish. Cleaning house

So John does not do well with excess time and energy....

My job required a lot of thinking; There were problems to be solved, bugs to find, failures to debug, etc.... In just two days of not working, my brain is racing with all this extra processing power.

Though I do not have a diagnosis, I am pretty positive that I suffer from Attention Deficit. Suffer is not the right word, I quite enjoy it. I think the people around me are actually the ones suffering.

The reason I mention the two things above, is that my job had a lot of things to do, which fed my ADD. So that by the time I got home, I was too worn out to bounce around and lose focus.

Because I am not using up my brain juice, I am running around like crazy. I can't sleep. When I do, I dream about the work I left unfinished. I am experiencing the ground hog day scenario dreaming the same dream about the same task both Thursday and Friday night. Here's looking to the encore tonight.

I spent today at home and got a lot of projects started. Not completed, but at least moving along.

I cleaned up my laundry room, but did not finish the laundry.
I finished painting the edges of the doorways in my hallway. I didn't edge along the ceiling.
I spent time partially cleaning the living room, kitchen, office and my bedroom.
I took one of my computers apart. I did however have to completely put it back to together as I am using it now to type this.

I did finally get my hair cut. It was well beyond the point where I should have done it. It looks good, however, now my head is cold, lol.

So the thoughts today were interesting. I am trying to update my resume and I am hung up on the Objective Statement. The last time I used this resume, I was looking for entry level engineering positions. I am not in that boat anymore. I have so much more of myself to offer after three years, that I can look for jobs in alot of different areas.

I really have a passion for people and technology. Ideally, I see my self in a project manager role. But I also could see myself teaching....college. I know I could not handle anything below that.

As I type I am realizing that I am offer complicating this and thinking too much. I am always guilty of over-thinking.

I will keep this one shorter than the last post...it was quite the workout to the scroll finger I found out today ;)

One final thing....I am soliciting some advice. I internalize all my emotions. I have always held on to my stress until the point where I melt down. I realize that this is not healthy and the daily migraines are a constant reminder. The problem is that I have no idea how to not do this to myself. Any tips? I have to get this under control because it is going to be stressful in the coming days and weeks.

Thanks for reading, and have a great Saturday night.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 2....is it just a long weekend?

Wow, I am speechless. Logging in this evening to see the comments from people that I know as well as complete strangers. Thanks to all for the encouragement and the friendly greetings!

Now I feel a pressure to make this blog a bit more entertaining for the reader while still being an outlet for me. Don't fear, and no offense, I will limit my efforts to provide entertainment. Just hoping to keep things real and toss ideas and thoughts out into the ether. I look forward to continuing to make connections here as well.

Today was the first day I did not report to work. Despite the fact that I was awake until 1:30Am, I still woke up at 6am....our bodies are amazing in that it knew the time without my alarm blaring.

Another amazing feature of our bodies is the processing power and timing of our brains. When I finally got into bed, thinking I was worn out and would just fall fast asleep, my brain kicked into high gear. The whole day began to replay in my head like a really odd, mostly boring movie. I walked through the drive to work and the fresh snow that caused the commute to be slightly longer than normal. Then moved in through the daily staff meeting at work and finally to the meeting I had with Human Resources. Next I was back at my cube packing things up, when it hit me. I sat straight up in bed and realized that I had forgotten to empty my file drawer. How bizarre.

Getting back to today, it was a very odd day. As I said in my last post, I am a creature of habits and routines. I am most happy when I have a schedule to follow. I can handle unexpected events, as long as I have the opportunity to plan-even if just for a moment.

So I planned my day yesterday....
sleep in
Update resume
go do something fun for me

I didn't get the sleep in part accomplished, but I have my resume ready and I met up with some friends for dinner which was great fun.

Now for something different, my mom mentioned to me that there is a grieving process involved with this situation. Remembering back to my the one semester of psychology that I took my sophomore year of college, there are five stages of grief:
-Denial and Isolation

I have come to the conclusion that the stages come and go in any order depending on several factors which, I am convinced, includes the tide and somewhere in there are the lottery numbers.

Right now, Denial, Depression and Acceptance are battling for position. I refuse to allow myself to be angry long because there is no one to be angry at that would accomplish anything. Second, there is currently no bargaining as it has already happened and there is no changing that.

My coping mechanism is to stay busy and not think about the fact that it happened........denial, lol. By deferring the thoughts, I set myself up for a wave of sadness when the thought does cross my mind. Which makes me not want to think about it anymore.

There are two major thought processes taking place simultaneously. One deals with the past and the fact that things have changed. The second, and the scariest, is dealing with the future. I can vividly see the events that have transpired to this point. As would be expected, I do not see much in front of me but white space with a ton of question marks.

I am a visual person and so my thoughts are usually associated with pictures. My current view of the future is best described by the Wile E Coyote picture at the top....I was on solid ground with a destination in front of me. Now I am suddenly in thin air. The momentum I had previously has no bearing on the current situation. So here I am, hanging out in the open air, with a silly look on my face trying to figure out what happens next.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spare time

I have recently inherited a vast amount of free time. I say inherited because it was given to me without me asking and it involved alot of paper work. With this newly found time, I need something to occupy my time and keep my brain churning so the rational choice was to start a blog.....

I gained this time because I was laid off today.

Don't worry; Its ok. Or will be. Its not now, but it isn't bad.

I loved my job. Sure, everything has its ups and downs, but I got a lot of satisfaction from the work I was doing. There were tangible results from my efforts.

I also really liked the people I worked with. As big a company as it was, it was very familial. I will miss seeing them everyday, but I hope to keep in touch.

The above statements is what makes it so hard for me right now. I was happy; and they took it. If you don't know me, or don't pay enough attention, you will know that I am a bit of a creature of habbit. Change is neccessary and unavoidable, but as long as I have a say in it, I am good.

I had no say. Therefore, I am not happy. Where is my routine? Up at set time, out the door at set time, grab coffee, run reports, etc....

Boy is Friday (the first unemployed day) going to suck...Maybe I won't go to bed and friday morning won't come.....yeah, probably not.

So I do my best to stay positive. Feeling sorry for myself and having a bitter attitude does nothing for the fact that I lost my job. There will be positive end results if I remain positive.

Had a discussion tonight with my mom about whether Karma is a biblical concept. I say that yes, it is. Reaping what you sow, as well as do unto others, as you would have them do unto you are biblical concepts that have similarities to the idea of Karma.

I would like to think that by maintaining a positive attitude, striving for the best in this situation and not allowing my self to be bitter or hostile can only reap good things for me.

So for my first post, this was quite the fragmented mess, but that maps pretty well to my state of mind. Expect more of the same for future posts as I don't anticipate much more clarity in the coming days.

Really wish I had lasted longer at work to succeed at my "Achieve Goal" of managing ambiguity.