Welcome to a new category within my blog. It’s not just about me. Recently I’ve blogged about my situation, selling my home, the unlikely simultaneous (hopefully temporary) lack of sufficient success in my stock portfolio, my business revenues, and my job search. I use myself as an example that gets past the statistics. There is great uncertainty in my life. People are having tough times. Usually I say that in a general way for the sake of discretion, but I realized that some of my friends might welcome the opportunity to speak up and have their story told too. So, I decided to ask a few if they’d be willing to answer a few questions. People are more than their resumes. Maybe this is another way to get to know them, and help find a friend a job.
Jennifer Hooper, a friend who lives on Whidbey, is brave enough to be the first to answer the questions. Bravery, right there is a characteristic that wouldn’t show up on a resume.
1. Who are you? No, really, not the job titles, but who are you?
I am an artist and mentor.
2. What are your dreams?
My dream is to make a good living writing for children, from online posts to picture books to young adult novels, and use that as a vehicle through which I connect with and mentor young people.
3. How have you been getting by?
Pet-sitting, house-sitting, and helping take care of horses along with some other odd jobs. Squeek squeek squeek.
4. What title fits you that would never be picked up by a resume robot?
Writer for Children and Teenagers
5. What job jazzed you the most?
The one-on-one mentoring I got to do while I was an Assistant Professor at a university in Los Angeles
6. Did you leave your last job or did it leave you?
It left me and everyone else on the campus. The university was slowly closed over the course of two years due to financial issues.
7. Have you learned anything, either formally or informally, in the meantime?
I’ve learned how to write. And I continue to learn how not to write.
8. What projects have you gotten done in the meantime?
I have written (but not illustrated) four children’s picture books and am about halfway finished with a novel for young readers. I haven’t submitted anything to a publisher yet.
9. How else do you keep yourself busy?
I have spent much more time with my family, some of whom live in the area.
I have spent a good deal of time focusing on, integrating, and upleveling (if you will — though that sounds rather lame) my spirit and ideas of spirituality. Reading, study, meditation, and connecting with the land by walking and being in it are all important components of that.
I have developed a method of working with watercolors and ink that I really enjoy.
10. How can folks find you?
Through you and this blog!
I also know that she is intelligent and wise, and succeeds at remaining positive. She is passionate about her art and is pragmatic, insightful, and articulate about the process. I’ve learned a lot by listening to her stories about her acting career and the differences between movies and the stage. If you want those details, maybe you should talk to her. If is also obvious that she understands frugality, the appreciation of the precious resources of time, money, and personal energy.
That is only an introduction to Jennifer. Like she said, you’re welcome to contact her through me or through the blog comments.
A note to my friends: If you’re having a tough time finding a job and want to participate, send me an email. I have no idea if this category will grow, or if this is a one-time experiment. I don’t know how often I will post the responses. It has to fit in amongst the various projects that I’m pursuing. Stay tuned. Good luck.
A note to bloggers: You’re welcome to pick up this idea too. Maybe using the same title, Help Find A Friend A Job, will help spread the idea. The more people hear the stories, the less likely they’ll see unemployment as a statistic or the unemployed as a stereotype. During the Great Depression people walked door-to-door asking for work. That is happening again, but maybe moving some electrons will be more effective. We might as well try. It would feel good to succeed.
Serendipity note: After getting this idea and working through it with Jen, I heard a news report on the radio. One of the local public radio stations (either KUOW or KPLU) did a follow-up interview from a piece about the unemployed. The person they checked in on found that his backup food business flourished, he got lots of interest in his engineering skills, and he got his old job back. Evidently story does matter.