Hi everyone! Oh, how I have missed you.
I’ve been on the hunt for a new job, and I am very proud to say that after almost five months of hell, I have been offered the most perfect job for a great lighting company in south Florida.
Perhaps even better news than that is that I accepted the position, and I start August 15! I’m keeping the company under wraps for now, mostly because I am continuing my lifelong research and writing obsession with light and the lighting industries through JimOnLight, and I want to maintain my integrity as a researcher and writer. But let me just say this — a position has been created for me that I am honored to accept, and I am excited to get back to work — this time for a company and a boss who will treat me like a human being. How exciting is THAT?!
My experiences over the last almost five months have been intense to the point of Albert Camus’ worst nightmares — doors that I thought would be wide open I found locked tighter than Fort Knox, while other doors that I assumed would be deadbolted swung wide open and welcomed my big bald head with open arms. If there is anything I have learned from this experience since March is that you never really know who your real friends are, even those you’ve supported at every turn, until you need a friend in return. It’s literally made me change my entire philosophy of life and work. On one hand I’m pretty thrilled to change philosophy, but on the other hand I’m pretty bummed to see that the majority of the people for whom I’ve done lots of work were just as quick to turn their backs as someone I never met before. Ce la vie.
One thing is definite for all of you out there still in the situation I just got lucky enough to slide out of — you have to hold onto hope, you have to hold tight, and you have to beat the pavement in order to make something happen. Finding a job in this economy is no small feat, and it’s no small victory once you’ve found a way out of the mire. Let me be the first to tell you that sometimes the shit can get dark. It is hard to exist when you have no money. It’s hard to get by when all of the laws are written to help those who can help themselves but live on the system, I know this for a fact.
I’ve had lots of time to think about what to say to help those lighting industry folks who are down and out, and are losing hope:
- Get used to the fact that your life needs to be different (read that as cheaper) until you get steady money coming in again. Life’s not over, it’s just stalled out a bit.
- HANG IN THERE. This crap will change if you keep doing what you’re doing, which hopefully is making the calls to everyone and anyone you know, letting them know that you’re looking for something.
- JOB SEARCH RESOURCES — Check it out, nothing hurts when you’re without a job!
- Tune up that resume — put a call on Facebook to some of us out there, any number of us would be more than happy to help a fellow industry member by taking two minutes to look over your resume.
- Do you have a savings account? GET ONE. Are you sticking a decent portion of your take-home after bills in that savings account? If you answered anything other than “you bet your bottom dollar I am,” START SAVING. Save ANYTHING YOU CAN. it will help down the line.
- Expect some percentage of rejection and disappointment. Sorry folks, but it’s true. When you send out resumes and portfolios en masse, you’re going to experience a good portion of “no, sorry” responses. It happens. It just means that its time to get out there and keep pushing.
- If you have family, see what they can do for you. You might need to suck it up and move home for a bit (hey, I did it, I can never thank my Dad enough for what he’s done for my wife and I, he literally saved us) until you can get back on your feet.
- If you have friends, see if they can help you out. Suck it up if you’re destitute, your pride isn’t doing anything but screwing you up.
- If you have “habits,” like drinking or smoking, guess what? YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT RIGHT NOW. You also can’t afford to be eating out all the time, either — it’s time to get used to bologna and ramen for a bit. The stuff isn’t all that bad, believe me. It’s way better than fucking starving.
- If you have a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, whatever — MAKE TIME TO SPEND WITH THEM. QUALITY time. Spend time with them where you’re not looking at your phone searching for jobs, and get used to dumping the shit out of your brain so that you can also be a good partner. I cannot stress this to you enough — being unemployed and broke is EXPONENTIALLY WORSE when you have to fight all the time with your loved one. Also, it costs nothing to walk around the park holding hands and talking about things.
- I said this before, but HANG IN THERE! This WILL get better. It might take a month, two months, or twelve months. It does happen. It just might be a while. It was for me, anyway.
If you need a pick-me-up, drop me a line. I’d be glad to do what I can for you. I have great jokes. Sometimes all it takes is a smile on your face to greatly improve your day when you’re out of work.