"We're Going On A Job Hunt, A Job Hunt, A Job Hunt..."

“We’re Going On A Job Hunt, A Job Hunt, A Job Hunt…”

(To the tune of “we're going on a bear hunt…”)

Once upon a time, when I was a teacher, and thus gainfully employed, I enjoyed the game of “going on a bear hunt” with my younger students. Each part of the journey had an exaggerated physical characteristic, such as: climbing a mountain, fording a stream, cutting through a forest and swishing through long grass. The order was built, one component at a time, until you entered the deep dark cave. There you would encounter the bear, and with a scream, go back home as fast as you could, going through the obstacles in reverse order.

This very traditional lesson was always fun and included elements of imagination, exercise, order of operations, cooperation, and competition, in other words a rich learning experience for little people.

The grown up version has not been quite as much fun. For one whole year I have been playing the “job hunt” game. It is surprisingly emotional and exhausting as you encounter the challenges one by one. And, to date, the prize in the deep dark cave has eluded me.

The first challenge is getting over the fact that you are no longer going to go to the place you have been going to for the past sixteen years. This journey is so ingrained that you have to take care to not let your car drive you there on autopilot. Sitting in your car in the parking lot of the place you no longer work at, is, to put it mildly, embarrassing.

The second challenge is coming to terms with the sense of rejection you feel. When you were one of the founders of the institution that then veered off in a whole other direction, the rejection is multiplied exponentially. You look at the newcomers and rack your brains as to how this could possibly have happened. You never quite get over it, but the searing pain fades to a dull ache over time.

Then you enter action mode. You work on your resume, tailoring it to ever new and broader possibilities, while an element of doubt slowly enters the equation.

The next part of the hunt holds the greatest promise, and the deepest disappointments.

The Internet.

You join job sites and retype the same information for multiple opportunities to put yourself out there. You submit carefully worded letters of introduction along with the most finely tuned resume you can muster. You ensure that the essential skills and competencies match. You then submit your application. And wait…

Many online applications ping an automatic response to you. It is too often the only communication you will receive. It is at this point that you realize the Internet, while holding out innumerable possibilities, is also a giant black hole. Your resume has entered the same realm as missing socks and New Year resolutions.

(After a few weeks, you lose track of the number of applications, you forget your usernames and passwords, and realize that you need to bring some order to the chaos that is running rampant through your home office. This feels a little like actual work, so it is fairly enjoyable if not particularly productive.)

Which brings me to the dark side. The predatory organizations and individuals who send you emails full of promise and redemption - the Internet as a moneymaker. You only need to work for several seconds a day and will somehow reap riches beyond your most avaricious dreams. Don’t be fooled. These scams are sophisticated, and even one year into this gig, I still wonder…

Like me, many of you will immediately check the organization with a scam site, and disappointed, wonder how on earth you could have been fooled at this stage of the game. These are the real bears, and they have a tendency to savage what is left of your dwindling self esteem.

Eventually you find yourself checking “Indeed.com” every few minutes and recognizing the cyclical job offerings repeating themselves every month. (Does anyone ever get hired by DeVry/Corinthian?)

A little while into the year I discovered some very important things:

  1. Friends and contacts are two entirely different entities. The first is a very small but very important group, the second does not (can not?) care about your predicament.
  2. Unemployment Insurance is truly a lifeline. There are days I just want to hug our Government. It was the difference between difficult and impossible.
  3. Reinventing yourself is difficult, but may ultimately be the only option – and the most rewarding.

The last point is where the game becomes incredibly personal. I needed to stop thinking of myself as teacher and school principal, or in a role-centric view of my life. I needed to look at my skills, my abilities, and my experiences in a more holistic vision. What were my unique attributes? What could I offer that others perhaps could not?

So I worked on my writing. Here on hub-pages, in the writing of the detective novels, and in the completion of the children’s series. I worked on the creation of my web site(s). I learned about publishing at a time when the paradigm was in total flux. I learned about marketing and the value of social media.

Now the game was more active rather than reactive. I still checked the job sites and applied for seeming matches, but the focus was on me becoming my employer.

I realized that for years I have been a public speaker. Could I make a living doing that? I started to repackage my writing for speaking, learning the tricks of the trade and rather belatedly joining Toastmasters International.

So, today, on my one-year anniversary of writing on Hubpages, and with my 100th hub, I find myself playing a different game. It is risky, for sure, as with any creative endeavor. But, now I wait for the break, rather than the bear, to propel me into the next phase of my life…

Visit me at http://chrislincoln-writer.com

Dear Hub Reader


If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,

Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,

A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.

Available directly from:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-domesticus/12217500

Chris


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Comments 45 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Congratulations, Chris!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

When I saw the title of your hub I laughed as I was assuming that this would be a funny hub. Once I realized that it was a serious one I left......Just kidding I kept reading and first off congrats on hitting the one year mark at HubPages. I have pretty much given up all hope of working outside of the home. I live in a small city and I find that all the job interviews which I am qualified for seem to go to people that know the people that are hiring. I still check the job banks just not as often as I did say two years ago. I totally understand where you are coming from. Nice to see you on here again.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

WillStarr,

You have to try, right?

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Just Ask Susan

It's kinda funny...

OK, it's not. This is a really tough time for so many people and the fear of failure looms large. Over 90% of hires are through personal contacts, and if you don't count Hub followers I only have two friends (and they're getting sick of me...)

The working from home thing is ripe with scams - you know the ones I'm talking about - so I wish you all the best. Keep writing, you just never know...

Chris


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Oh Chris! Congratulations on this good hub and on that 100th landmark! And I'm so pleased to see you back! You've been missed since your hub-before-this quite a few weeks ago! Understandable that is, considering all that's transpiring for you. And now for me - and your other followers, your reemergence is like having the hub-air crackle and sparkle once more!

I'd listened to some of your audios back before and really liked your delivery. Iv'e just visited the site you put on your hub here and listened to one of your audios. "What Happened To My Perfect Child?" - so good! I've said it more than once before - your humor, knowledge, style and delivery are so effective and valuable! They simply have to catch on! And you've prepared many interesting talks on many topics so needed nowadays! I'm looking forward to listening to many more of them. And I can really see them being presented first-hand to groups, schools, businesses . . - all the places people are in quest of practical ideas and special inspiration!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

It is a sad reality what today has come too. There are so many people out of work it is ridiculous. Some aimlessly searching for something, anything just to get back into the workforce. It is difficult. My husband was unemployed at the beginning of this year and I quit my job to stay home with the kids. (Mostly because we moved out of state last December) However, while he was looking, so many of the jobs seemed scam-like. Sales positions that required you to drive your own vehicle and if you didn't hit your quota you didn't get paid. No thank you. He finally did get a job, and now that he has one, the offers are just pouring it. It is unfortunate that when you need one, the offers are no where to be found.

Congratulations on your newfound attitude and good luck with your future endevours!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

I'm glad to be back - I have not written on the hubs for a while having put my energy into the speeches and a total rewrite of my detective novel (I got some very useful feedback which I incorporated into the new version).

I have however been reading, your poetry always gives me a lift, and I will try to write a little more regularly.

I forgot how wonderful it is to hear from my fellow hubbers!

Chris


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

barbergirl28,

You know first hand how incredibly negative the job hunt can be, but it has proven the incredible strength of my marriage as my wonderful wife continues to support my endeavors. (I do cook for her, so she does get a small something out of it!)

It is a sad sign of out times that the unemployed become victims to the unscrupulous, talk about hitting someone when they are down...

Chris


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

Glad to see you back, Chris. Hope something turns up that is not a bear. I'll bet you would be a great public speaker with your sense of humor (humour).


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Hugs!


thranax profile image

thranax 5 years ago from Rep Boston MA

I just published my 100th hub a few days ago...yeah took me way to long and I really need to be coming out with more quicker.

Best of Luck,

~thranax~


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Congratulations, Chris! I appreciate your truthfulness in this hub and I wish you nothing but the best. Up and awesome.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Rochelle,

Thank you.

And thanks for adding the "u". Poor uncared for letter, removed without a second thought in American English like it did something wrong. Come on America, employ a few more "u's"...

Chris


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

Right back at you, you wonderful hub-hugger...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

thranax,

Congratulations to you too...

Thanks for dropping by, reading and taking the rime to comment, all very much appreciated.

Chris


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Pop,

I notice that you are as busy as ever, so I appreciate your readership. Thanks for the good wishes,

Chris


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Howdy Chris, long time, no see. Sounds like you've been busy.

Here in Austin, we just lost one of our favorite native sons, Cactus Pryor. Cactus had found himself without a job on numerous occasions and had to improvise a lot.

He was working in the film industry alongside John Wayne, he was a comedian, but most of all, he became our beloved tv/radio host at KLBJ (he worked for Lyndon B. Johnson and family).

Now why would this story be appropriate for you? Cactus had to mold himself many times over to find and excel in a job. I know you will have to do this too, but I feel that you will succeed.

Also, my brother who is an ex-schoolteacher and coach and about the same age as you just found a job after 2 years of searching. So you've only got a year to go!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Austinstar,

Thanks...I think...

My big concern is in the "getting the information out there" department. I'm a great public speaker and have no problem with people laughing at me, no wait, with me...

C


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Good hub, Chris.

It sends out an important message to all of those who are out of work. It tells them that they have to think laterally, they cannot just keep looking for the same job as they once had.

Well done, this is inspirational. Oh, and good luck!


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Chris, nice to hear from you again. We're all keeping our fingers crossed and waiting for the big day when your efforts pay off. It will happen because i just said so and when it does we're having a hub party where you will be the guest speaker. We've been running on the spot waiting for you to return, but now you are back we can get on knowing that we have a full compliment. It's a bit like an English local pub, we're in the same seats and nothing much has happened in your absence. I've got slightly older and am wondering when writer's block comes a knockin'. Oh well good luck on your trip and it's fingers crossed all round. Cheers mate.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Angie,

Thank you.

The world of work has truly changed and it will not be easy to figure out the new paradigm. Partly because it is so flexible and changeable. Degree's and experience were once the ticket to success, but now?

I refuse to lie down and die quietly like a good dinosaur should!

Chris


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Keith,

Although I have not been comenting, I have still been reading your poetry, and I sense no block coming anytime soon...(A good Indian meal will soon get things moving if it does happen, just saying).

Thanks for "saying" my success into being - I'll remember that when it happens. I owe you so many beers it will be quite a night!!! (not that we'll remember...)

Chris


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Chris, I was born during the "Great Depression" which followed the crash of 1929, like they needed another mouth to feed, right?

During my childhood, people who'd held high positions & great fortunes were still being reduced to hitching boxcars to seek somewhere else to look for work, which often turned out to be just knocking on doors asking to do some handy-work for a meal. And they did the work and the meal was delivered which might be meager because who had haute cuisine? We surely didn't. It was a generosity to make the exchange because everyone was doing their own handiwork and food was scarce all over. But these were decent folks in need and others who could, helped with whatever we had.

My folks were trying to be able to pay the loan for the ranch so it wouldn't be foreclosed, as many, many were. Dad worked constantly out there & during the school year Mother stayed in town so the kids could attend. She made over old clothes for my elder siblings. Those clothes were fragile and might not last through a washing - in a tub in the yard. So she just kept making over old clothes that she'd hoarded, "in case". Of course, the "case" had happened and she was willing to do the work, whatever it was. Both my parents had college degrees but, except for the tenacity, ingenuity and good sense it taught them, it was mostly spunk, toughness & indomitable determination which saw them through; - and then, not totally unscathed.

The point is, - it always is. Things are indeed difficult now, but the majority of us, though being pinched financially, still have food on the table, TVs, A/Cs & of course - computers! And there is opportunity, just as you're pursuing - in other areas than before. I sense that you are made of very strong stuff, along with outstanding talent which WILL be effective, Chris. Discouragement is the only defeater.

So go get'm Tiger! Here are more hugs from one of your faithful hub-huggers.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

By comparison I know I have it easy and I am exceedingly grateful for the differences!

It is interesting to note that collective optimism is in fact a recognized way out of a finincial depression. We call it consumer confidence, or business confidence, but it is nothing more than optimism. The idea that things will improve.

I am by nature a confident and positive person, anoyingly so, some would say, and in my heart of hearts I know things will improve. My greatest problem is that I have always been a "contributor" and it bothers me to no end to not be able to move forward. My greatest strength is my incredible wife! She keeps me grounded and positive and is an uncomplaing breadwinner.

I think I want success more to be able to thank her (and take the load from her) , than for any personal reasons.

California Sunshine Hug to you,

C


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Great hub with lots of insight. My husband and I found ourselves out of work after owing a sign franchise for 14 years. It was quite deflating to close and find ourselves back in the job market. He finally found a job after 2 years, I was a little luckier and found some part-time work on Craigslist. I can sense what you must have felt at leaving your job - it's a real eye-opener to a whole new world. And yes it's a world where the web just swallows up resumes and you wonder did anyone even read what you wrote? Glad to hear you are bouncing back - like my dad used to say "never give up!!".


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ah. Good example of how optimism permeates situations.

I can't claim to be a mind-reader, but from knowing you, I "knew" your main motive for wanting to be a contributor now is just as you describe, to do your part, to thank your lovely wife for all she is doing during the interim and to relieve her of the total load. You wouldn't be YOU, otherwise! :-) Hugs.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Dorsi,

Thank you for dropping in, leaving a comment, and the follow. I usually write more humorous hubs, but as you point out - these are very tough times (but, I can be a veritable Tigger when bouncing is required!)


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

Thank you,

C


alphagirl profile image

alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

It takes a Big Grizzley to talk about the reality of what has happened to the job market. It is very different. I have been looking for over 6 months. You closer to 50 and in my opinion, I am gonna be choosier about what and how I want to work. Reinventing yourself requires thinking about what you want to do next. Skills we have acquired and that come natural we actually do not even think of. Yes, I have found some great jobs to apply for on Ideed.com I do not like Career Builder.com there are so many scams on there. I have discovered many companies do not call, write or email you anything. Many do not want you to call them or contact the. Hence the irony of making any personal contact. Uh, You can't make any. It boils down to who you know in the internal workings of a company. I was told companies get hundreds of emails from applicants. They have a hard time sorting through. Then comes the background check and all the false information & some applicants lie. If you have an insider who has heavy influence, your resume will surely reach the right person and a personal word of "Hey, this guy is a good look at his resume!" Speaks volumes to the person who is hiring.It comes from a reliable source. Look at your your influential connections. If you can get in front of them, sing them your song and grizzly dance.You may just get hired. But don't give up. Keep us posted!

Good luck. I liked this hub.!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

alphagirl,

Thanks for reading, commenting and the follow...

I'm more teddy bear than grizzly,though...

C


Ebower profile image

Ebower 5 years ago from Georgia

I appreciate you sharing your personal story. I know all to well the feeling of being jobless. One good thing about it is that the experience definitely helps one become a stronger person! I voted this honest hub up and useful. :)


Veianet profile image

Veianet 5 years ago

thanks for sharing your personal story. It's tough to be jobless, sometimes leads to lose a purpose in life. Reading somebody's story makes it a bit better that there are others too who are going to the same path of job hunting. Thumbs up to you!


5 years ago

Searching hub. Voted up.


PoliCommandments profile image

PoliCommandments 5 years ago from DeKalb, IL

I, too, am on that elusive job hunt. Your writing is very encouraging and possesses the ability to captivate your audience. Keep up the good work, and good luck at finding the other work. I agree that the Internet has made things more difficult, and has taken away the personality behind each applicant. However, don't give up hope, and keep writing! Best wishes.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Ebower,

Only problem, I put on a twenty pounds from eating so much humble pie!

I am extremely lucky that I am not having to go through this alone - Thanks for reading and leaving a comment,

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Velanet,

I certainly touched a nerve or two with this hub. - great to hear from you.

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

f,

Thank you,

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

PollCommandments,

I wish you the best of luck. I also hope you have strong personal support - the past year would have been close to unbearable alone - at least you have an army of Hubfriends!

C


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Chris,

Congratulations on your anniversary!

When I saw the the title of this hub, I didn't want to read it because I was worried about the memories it might bring to surface. Memories of unemployment aren't good ones, and I'm not much on thinking and feeling in the negative zone. However, I decided I should push concern aside and read it anyway.

You accurately depicted the unemployment blues, and the frustration that goes along with it. And, I'm truly sorry you had to wade through that sort of pond. You're so right about encountering bears. But, I'm very happy to see that you're taking a new path and devoting your energies towards a livlihood that I believe you will find very rewarding.

Kudos for courage and I will certainly check your website. Looking forward to some great reads from you.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

femmeflashpoint,

Thank You!

I'm glad you read on...I usually write humor hubs, but felt that number 100 should have a little more gravitas.

It is encouraging, and rather sad, that so many people can relate to this experience, but hopefully the message is ultimately uplifting.

I am very much a glass half full kind of guy!

Chris


RobSchneider 5 years ago

Wow! What an interesting Hub and very inspiring. It is so easy to just give up when you get hit in the guts like that and it's happening so frequently now, to so many people.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Rob,

Thank You. Strange that of my four or five good friends, the women are the breadwinners, the world is certainly changing...

C


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

I had been unemployed for six weeks and started my new job two weeks ago. I was fortunate. Still, I dream of a day when I can write and earn enough writing that I don't have to work a 'real job'.

Congratulations on reaching one year and 100 hubs; good luck in your endeavours to be successful.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Phil,

a) congratulations,

b) writing takes not only time, but a certain level of personal security. I believe I wrote more when I was working full time. My "job" right now is trying to figure out how to hone my skills as a writer and a speaker (and, boy, are they different!) and somehow parlay that into a living. I thank God I have such a patient wife!

C


The_Idea_Gal 3 years ago

I too can relate to this. Job hunting is exhausting and time consuming and many times, I too have come out of it with nothing, which is why I wrote about job rejection on one of my hubs as well. It's just a tough reality of the economic times we live in that we can all hope will improve soon.

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