My inner editor wants to hold off on this post for another month. It would so much neater to file a jobs report on month 9, and then a quarter later on month 12. Besides, I’d rather report on cheery news. Two things drive me to writing this post today, eleven months into my job search.
1) The end of the month is approaching which means selling dwindling stock to pay persistent bills.
2) I don’t want to write the twelfth month job report unless it is good news and a celebration.
As I type the idea of celebration I also realize that you’ll hear about it soon after it happens. I won’t wait for an anniversary to report the news.
Of course, when I wrote My Jobs Report Month 9 it was in the hope that the celebration would happen before month 11. Evidently, that didn’t happen. The main bit of my story hasn’t changed, so I won’t repeat myself. Interested readers can re-read that post. The story must be somewhat compelling because it is in my top ten blog posts.
Several things have changed.
- I have been inspired to make the story broader and started the Help Find A Friend A Job (#FAFAJ) category on this blog. So far Jennifer Hooper and Spencer Webster have participated. Anyone else want to jump in?
- A few friends have taken action and asked for my resume. I’ve been applying at the front door, dutifully filling out the forms, attaching the requested documents in the specified formats, and patiently waiting. My friends have been trying some side doors. I don’t get a lot of details, but I get hints that some of the side doors are informal contacts while others are formal internal referral programs. It is all fine by me. Tracking the progress is more difficult because I can’t simply log in to a status board, but I suspect the actual progress is more significant.
- My home has been on the market for two months. That story (Home For Sale Alas) has pulled in even more traffic that my job report. No nibbles yet; which is the same story with my friend who is selling her house in the same neighborhood. The market is just quiet. That may be because our weather has been dismal. The rest of the country may be in heat wave but the local news has reported the number of minutes we’ve been above 80. (How much summer have we had? 78 minutes)
- To give a complete story I must include the change that continues: my net worth is diminishing. The companies in my portfolio continue to progress, while their stocks retreat. My business continues to gain recognition and traction, but hasn’t raised enough to pay the upcoming bill for my next exhibit: Twelve Months at Double Bluff (Raven Rocks Gallery in September.) Watching my liquid net worth dwindle to less than a year’s living expenses is why I am looking for a job and selling my home.
- Another thing that is happening is a chorus of encouragement and sincere assurances that everything will turn out alright. Some of the sweetest comments have been folks telling me that I can’t sell and move because I belong on the island and fit in so well here. Thank you. I love you folks too.
I have reasons for optimism, and how my optimism survives is a marvel. These snippets help.
- Dendreon announces earnings a bit early, July 30th. Last year’s 20% miss in earnings is what precipitated the 80% drop in DNDN and the subsequent implosion of my financial situation. Maybe new management will announce good news, or at least restore confidence in the company within the investment community. Stock must be sold to pay my bills, and DNDN’s the leading contender.
- MicroVision is supposed to have major news soon. The sad joke within the MVIS investor community, is that MicroVision is always supposed to have major news soon. But we are now in the second half of 2012, the green lasers are available, and the consumer market is beginning to anticipate pico-projectors in cell-phones and other devices. Okay folks, release the good news soon. I’ve been waiting for over a decade.
- My business is gaining recognition. My photos have been on constant display since the beginning of the year. (Currently at Braeburn in Langley, and Wind and Tide in Oak Harbor.) That’s especially encouraging because none of the exhibits required cold-calls. They were either unsolicited or informal referrals. My consulting is being recognized as valuable, though as most consultants know, many people want it for free. Trading value for value is easier for a farmer than for a consultant. The self-publishing workshop coming in August is pulling in students. (Drop the check in the mail by the end of this month and get 20% off.) If it is successful enough we may take it on the road.
- Inside and outside my business are at least a dozen other ventures that might come to fruition, though most of them are awaiting funding. Aren’t we all?
- A semi-joke amongst my apocalyptic friends is that the end is so near that the world’s financial system will crash before I run out of cash. Well, that’s one way to not worry about paying the mortgage or insurance bills.
- Oh yeah, and I always keep in mind that windfalls happen, I could get a dream job, and that everything will work out. One friend foresees that I will succeed, but it will happen in a way that I can’t imagine, so thinking about it is a waste of time.
Back to the jobs, because despite the potential for my book sales, art sales, and a home sale, the solution most people pick is selling their time to a corporation. They get a paycheck job and trade forty hours for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Self-employment is statistically the more likely road to wealth, but the great upside potential is accompanied with the disagreeable downside possibility. Corporate employment can be a dream or a drudge. I’ve seen both. Corporate employment may not be an easy road to riches, except in the higher ranks, but it is the most common road to a sustainable lifestyle in today’s society.
My life continues to include Too Many IFs. I rarely have a satisfactory answer when people ask me what I am going to do. If my portfolio recovers, or not. If my business sustains me, or not. If I find a good job, or not. If I sell my home, or not. Throughout these eleven months I’ve maintained optimism because the odds are very small that none of those efforts will succeed. Yet, here I am. Maybe that’s a subconscious source of my optimism; because, the odds that all of them would succeed is also very small, and yet it can happen. I’ve seen odds like those before. I wonder how they stack up against the lottery’s odds. Let me go check my ticket. Stay tuned.
You can’t make this stuff up. Minutes after I published the post I got a phone call for my first corporate interview. Stay tuned.
Good luck with that interview. Undoubtedly you will accept a job the day before your stocks soar, you get a big book advance, and an international photography gallery will ask to become your agent. I know all this will happen since I am traveling 2500 miles from Birchrunville to visit you on Friday and help you move it all forward. I might add to all those reading this…on my dime. Or more specifically since this tends to a financial blog, on my $409.50. But they did give me a first class seat since I apparently have spent way too much time in airplanes helping their cash flow.
If all goes well, something amazing enough will come out of my visit that you will read about it right here in a future posting. Or we might just sit on the deck and drink wine as we watch the sun set over the water and behind the mountains.
Updates: Note the plural. Since that first interview announcement there have been two more positive call-backs. Both are for part-time positions, and both are on Whidbey. Good news arrives, which does wonderful things for maintaining my optimism. Stay tuned.